Get Your Pumpkins Faster

Article by Arthur van Pelt
Sourced by DutchCowboys, ComputerWorld, Archive.org

Since The Internet Archive and BitTorrent Inc. announced a partnership last week, and sealed that cooperation with already over 1.5 million torrents available on Archive.org, the fans and collectors of Smashing Pumpkins live music can benefit from the move forward of these two parties.

The vast majority of internet users think, and know, BitTorrent and other torrent tools are used for illegal-or-not downloads of all kind of files, in a wide variety of software programs, movies, music, books and other digital media.  While BitTorrent is often in the news because it can also be used as a conduit for pirated media, projects like this cooperation between The Internet Archive and BitTorrent emphasize the practical nature of the torrent peer to peer (P2P) protocol: decentralized file transmission can be fast, anonymous and robust. And as Archive.org now shows, it can also be used for perfectly legal, non-controversial purposes.

“I supported the original creation of BitTorrent because I believe in building technology to make it easy for communities to share what they have. The Archive is helping people to understand that BitTorrent isn’t just for ephemeral or dodgy items that disappear from view in a short time. BitTorrent is a great way to get and share large files that are permanently available from libraries like the Internet Archive,” said John Gilmore, founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

OK, so what’s the deal, and what’s in it for the Smashing Pumpkins fans? The Internet Archive embraced the P2P download concept of BitTorrent and made over one million torrents available (as we speak it runs into the 1.5 million figures) of all books, movies, TV shows, music albums, and live shows that were already available as a free download on Archive.org. The torrents are being seeded by two Archive.org servers, thus making sure that download speed is always fast and very secure, even if a certain file is not that popular.
 
And as we might know already, there are quite the names in the online archives. Music artists like John Mayer, The Grateful Dead, and of course Smashing Pumpkins, have their files of (mostly) live concerts hosted on Archive.org. With the use of BitTorrent they save a lot of band width and they can now reach out to a new audience with their musical content.

Next to this, Archive.org hosts over 9,000 movies (http://archive.org/details/bittorrentmovies) and more than one million books (http://archive.org/details/bittorrenttexts). Other notable content in the archives is over 3,000 hours of 9/11 TV coverage. This coverage includes more than 20 channels of international television news over seven days, and select analysis by scholars. The footage begins shortly before the first reports about 9/11. All in all, ComputerWorld calculated the total content of Archive.org that is currently unleashed by torrents is up to nearly a stunning petabyte (PB), which is almost 1,000 terabytes (TB)!

Archive.org states in the blogged press release about how to use the new torrent feature:

“To download the Torrent of the files in the item, click the Torrent link at the bottom of the download box; your Torrent client (such as transmission and uTorrent) can use the Torrent file you get to download the files in the Archive item, including the original item files, plus all derivative and metadata files. Individual files can be selected (or deselected) from the list within most BitTorrent clients, allowing Torrents to be used to retrieve an entire item or a specific subset of files within it. BitTorrent is the now fastest way to download items from the Archive, because the BitTorrent client downloads simultaneously from two different Archive servers located in two different datacenters, and from other Archive users who have downloaded these Torrents already. The distributed nature of BitTorrent swarms and their ability to retrieve Torrents from local peers may be of particular value to patrons with slower access to the Archive, for example those outside the United States or inside institutions with slow connections.”


Currently there are over 1,300 Smashing Pumpkins related downloads to be found on Archive.org in the Live Music Archive (LMA) section, making Archive.org the most comprehensive source for Smashing Pumpkins live music collectors. The Limited Flag as stated on their site however:  No unauthorized soundboards (SBDs) and the need to email for approval before uploading.

The Live Music Archive also provides a statement why it is allowed to record and trade Smashing Pumpkins live music:  “Smashing Pumpkins Taping Policy June 2007: “a clear declaration of our new open-source taping policy…everyone is welcome to tape at our shows in whatever capacity they see fit…anyone is welcome and invited to document using audio, video, or picture cameras (cell phones are welcome)…although we do reserve the right to refuse anyone at anytime (especially if we feel the reason for recording is not for entirely altruistic)”.”

With over 170,000 downloads, “Smashing Pumpkins Live at Shepherds Bush Empire on 2007-06-19” is, as we speak, the most popular full concert of Smashing Pumpkins uploaded in the Live Music Archive. And from now on we can grab this one, and all other live concerts that are available, even faster!

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