Computing Video

Beta testers wanted

Inspired by my encounter with the Miro team, and mindful of a need to broaden my skillset beyond client software, I’ve been busy the last few weeks. One comment that was made at the Miro presentation was that most of the channels are hosted over plain http, and make no use of the bittorrent client in Miro. In the pub discussion afterward, we seemed to conclude that bittorrent server software was still too hard to use.

Curious, I started looking around. Most of the bittorrent software I could find was limited in some awkward way – perhaps implemented in a less popular language, or designed to handle the needs of the high traffic pirate content servers rather than small providers of their own content. Two services stood out: Amazon’s S3 service lets you turn any hosted file into a torrent by adding the ‘.torrent’ extension to its URL, and the Miro Team’s Broadcast Machine did all the torrent generation server side, on your own server.

However, Broadcast Machine is no longer supported, and S3 leaves you needing to create an RSS feed. I’ve therefore been busy implementing a bittorrent server that can be hosted at any domain that supports PHP and MySQL. If you can install WordPress, I intend this software to work too. It can create a .torrent for any file already on your server, and then include it in an RSS based channel feed, ideal for clients like Miro.

I’m looking for a few beta testers to see if this software works outside of my own test set up. If you want to host some video content (perhaps you already post them to youtube) on your own domain, and you are familiar with installing software like WordPress there, you would be an ideal candidate. It would also be useful to see how multiple downloads work, so if you already use a torrent aware RSS reader (Miro is one), or would like to, please get in touch.

Feel free to email me (, or post a response to this blog entry.

Incidentally, selling this software is not my business idea. This is BSD licensed open source.