So the folks behind the popular BitTorrent client, Azureus have launched a service which Wired has described as a YouTube for HD video. It’s called Zudeo and leverages BitTorrent’s ability to spread the download (and bandwidth) via peer-to-peer swarms.
The Zudeo client is basically Azureus with some nicer front end bits pulled in, but Advanced Mode still drops you into the old Azureus interface. It’s not quite there yet in terms of click and watch, but it’s getting there.
Why should you or I care? Well BitTorrent is a really smart way of distributing heavy content (i.e. large files), but has been a bit clunky/geeky to use still. It’s a step closer to legitimising its use as well as making it easier for people to use. Mark Pesce has talked about this whole area for some time, as have I. It’s fast (I just downloaded an HD trailer of about 130MB in four minutes) and it’s socially responsible (I’m seeding and uploading the same trailer to others at the moment).
YouTube has, I believe, worked well precisely because of the low (visual) quality of its content. It’s a lot less threatening to copyright holders (not that this has stopped them complaining). Zudeo could present a real paradigm shift that moves away from the centralised model of iTunes, etc. It could also provide a really good platform for independent content to be released in all its high quality, HD glory. So for those of you with an AppleTV box plugged into your HD plasma screen you’ll never need to leave home again.
They’re not alone in this, by the way, those good chaps over at Tape It Off The Internet (a much more amusing name) have been Beta testing their own, similar service for some time.
(Thanks to Konstantinos for the original link).