BitTorrent Future

Seth Godin writes:

BitTorrent is what p2p file sharing was supposed to be. It’s a system that is totally decentralized. The more it gets used, the better it works.

Once lots of people start using it (and I imagine it will be built into browsers quite soon) the effect is this:
Person A starts downloading a file by pointing to a “torrent” file on the web. This is not the data itself, just information ABOUT the file. It points to places where seeds (copies) of the file are available for downloading. The more seeds, the faster that person A can get going. It’s all automatic… the software does the work, not you.
Person B starts downloading, but now they’re getting the file from the original seeds and from A, too.
Person C continues the linked process, with all the seeds, plus A & B.

As a result, it’s possible to download, say, an hour’s worth of Apple Computer ads in high quality format in just a few minutes as opposed to in a day or two.

He adds in a second post:

When everyone can watch high resolution DVD quality video on their screen without breaking your server, what will you do about that?

Is Volvo ready with a thirty minute test drive I can watch when I’m ready to buy a new car?

Is Toshiba ready with a how-to manual for their new music server? A fifteen minute well-made video that actually explains what I should do to hook it up?

How about publishers? Are they ready to do a video news release with complete interviews with all their important authors?

This, folks, is the real 500 channel universe. It will probably turn out to be more boring than Seinfeld, but way more specific. A billion infomercials, all the time.

The winners will be people who have the guts to make the interesting ones.

Beyond the Music CD

Washington Post writes:

[Classic-rock fan George] Petersen and many other music-biz insiders agree that, in the next decade or so, the CD will very likely be surpassed as the album format of choice.

“The new format is no format,” predicted Petersen, a 24-year industry veteran who also owns a record label, a recording studio and a music-publishing company. “What the consumer would buy is a data file, and you could create whatever you need. If you want to make an MP3, you make an MP3. If you want a DVD-Audio surround disc, you make that.”

SBC’s Planned TV Service

WSJ writes:

SBC Communications Inc., one of the world’s largest phone companies, wants to launch a TV service in November. Currently, SBC has zero subscribers, no agreements signed with companies that own TV channels and a host of regulatory hurdles to overcome. SBC plans to use a technology untested on this scale. It opened offices in Hollywood only a week ago and one executive on the project has no TV-industry experience.

SBC wants to fulfill an age-old dream of offering a bundle of consumer services through one high-speed pipe, something that some cable companies are already doing. To catch up, SBC plans to bundle its TV offering with phone, wireless and Internet services in a package that could end up costing about $100 a month. Competing with cable and satellite television, SBC wants to offer viewers the chance to watch TV on demand, rather than at scheduled times, as well as hundreds of channels, many geared to niche audiences.

SBC’s project depends on its ability to deliver television pictures over a private network that works much like the Internet. Traditional cable operators give subscribers all available channels all the time, a process that sucks up most of their available bandwidth. Television based on Internet technology, by contrast, delivers only the channel that customers are watching at that moment. Other content can be stored on SBC’s servers and downloaded on demand, freeing up space to offer a huge array of films, concerts, sporting events and specialized programming, as well as traditional television channels.