Wired has an interview with Bram Cohen, the creator of BitTorrent. The article goes a little beyond the interesting interview with Cohen and touches on the movie industry’s reaction to the technology as well as looking to the future of content distribution. One particular bit caught my eye:
What exactly would a next-generation broadcaster look like? The VCs at Union Square Ventures don’t know, though they’d love to invest in one.
I immediately thought “Pick any podcaster, that’s what the next-generation broadcaster looks like!” Sure, the Wired article is referring to video, but is it all that different from audio when there is a good distribution mechanism? Plus, portable video devices, not unlike today’s MP3 players, are surely not that far off.
BitTorrent is a great distribution method, but why haven’t podcasters been quicker to embrace it? Of all the feeds in Adam Curry’s Podsquad list, only Evil Genius Chronicles has a torrent feed. Dave Slusher has been putting out both BitTorrent and MP3 feeds of this podcast since the beginning. More recently, he switched his “default” feed from MP3 to BitTorrent. Additionally, the popular podcatching clients have supported BitTorrent for quite some time.
Given that a successful podcast can suck mass amounts of bandwidth (witness Coverville), why don’t more people publish torrents? Is it because the creation and seeding of the torrents is difficult and/or time consuming? Do people have difficulty downloading torrent files even with clients like iPodderX and iPodder Lemon?
Update: Matt points out that iPod video playback is possible now with the right accessory.