Blog of the Bittorrent Applet

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Music Streaming on BitLet!

Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to announce you a great addition to BitLet.
After some weeks of work, the set of applets that dwell has a new component: codenamed westream, the new applet allows you to listen music you're streaming using BitTorrent. And it runs, as always, directly from your Java-enabled browser!

At present, westream supports OGG and MP3 encoded audio files, but we are already planning to add support for different file types.

Westream works in a way that's extremely similar to the first BitLet applet: you just have to point your browser to, paste a torrent url in the text box, and click Play.
The applet will scan the torrent for files that are suitable for reproduction and provide you with a web interface to control playback and volume.

Please keep in mind that audio quality, plus the number and duration of the gaps during playback heavily depend on the health status of the torrent you're streaming. If you want to test it with downloads with at least one reliable seed, click here to try it with the new Mininova featured torrents system.

And now, allow us precise a couple of a technicalities...

We understand that some people might consider this an unfair increase in the number of leechers, but we tried to design the streaming library with the original torrent philosophy in mind:

[...] a method of distributing large amounts of data widely without the original distributor incurring the entire costs [...]

It would have been easy to design the streaming client to be extremely selfish, and make it care only for its needs. Ideally, we tried to avoid it: westream should behave as most torrent clients, with a slightly different piece choosing strategy.

As you might imagine, since we're streaming audio files, we prefer to download the parts of the torrent that immediately follow what you're currently listening to, as this is essential to attempt to allow gapless reproduction.
This, however, is not the only criterion we use when choosing which pieces to download.
As any kind torrent client should do, we tend to give a high priority also to less common pieces even if, in some situations, it could degrade the quality of the streaming experience. (As you can see, we are interested in good karma.)
In addition, we always attempt to complete the pieces we started to download: since each peer announces to others only the pieces it has completed, we try to complete each piece we start so to be able to serve them to other peers as soon as possible.

We hope you'll appreciate our efforts. ^__-

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is going to really be a great thing. =) It's like a preview of a music-torrent. xD

I don't want to jump the gun, but are you planning to make a =)

I really think if that were the case you would cause quite the stir! (and I would love you much more than I do now). What's funny is I don't think it would even be in competition with the video-hosting sites up right now, like youtube and such... Just a hunch I have. Anyway, You guys are new and have many more awesome things to do yet, I believe, so keep innovating!

January 8, 2008 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the coolest app i have seen in a long time. Go to TPB/music and choose a genre-artist-album, paste the address here and you get the tune in your speakers!

I believe that loads of people will want to seed at home and westream their blogs instead of using goear. And that a web2.0 westream enabled tracker could be great.

however, a textbox with current object tag to embed westream in blogs/forums/everywhere would help people having fun with this new toy. There are lots of people around unable to read markup.

January 8, 2008 at 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool! If it could just do this with µTorrent or foobar2000 and with an option to save the files and keep seeding them my life would be complete, but I guess I just have to stay with you guys. :P

However the sound quality is very bad (nothing to do with the technology, just hoping the developers will see this and fix it).
Try to change the volume in the applet to the highest level. Now change it back and set the volume in Windows to the same level you played the music at from the applet, or much higher if you want to. There is a huge difference and there should be none if it was working correctly.

January 9, 2008 at 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. sometimes i get negative numbers in download speed statistics
2. are files stored on hdd?
3. are chunks saved between browser sessions?

thank you

January 9, 2008 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger abahgat said...

Thank you all for your comments, reading this kind of feedbacks makes us really proud :D

Let us apologize for taking too much time to answer, but these days are being quite hectic for both of us and we were unable to answer your posts as they deserved.

Regarding video streaming, we'll see what the future will reserve us. Stay tuned on this blog for updates.

@bramtourette: thank you for pointing out the sound quality issue. That depends a lot on the kind of sound card/speakers you are using and on the way the audio library we are using deals with saturation. We will look into that soon and we'll see what we can do about that (avoiding excessive saturation would certainly be a good option)

@mojo: 1- fortunately, the negative speeds are just a minor glitch. We noted the point, and we'll fix it pretty soon.
2- Files are actually stored as temporary files. It would be very easy to store them as regular files (just as the original BitLet applet does), and we are evaluating the possibility (and the "political" implications of this kind of choice).
3- Chunk preservation greatly depends on the way your environment handles temporary files. They are usually preserved for a while, however.

January 15, 2008 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger zache said...

Some notes what comed to my mind when i tested the app.

1.) Because the download speed doesn't really tell anything about how well clip is buffered there should really be some indicator which would tell if clip can be played or not.

I personally would prefel some statusbar which would show which pieces are loaded, but its just my personal opinnion.

2.) If you have audioplayer which streams files (as not streams) there should be some way to seek the clip like normal audio player. If there isn't anything like that then the player is useless with podcasts (or audiobooks).

3.) When i was discussing the player in the irc some people reported that starting the player killed their web browser. (i don't know the details (sorry), but browsers what was used were least one Opera and one Firefox)

I hope that i didn't sound too negative. I think that the basic idea of the player is very cool and i really really hope that it will improve. :)

February 10, 2008 at 6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Mininova's blog they said they would be testing video streaming. If that is false they should remove that part from that blog post.

March 12, 2008 at 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that the music streaming service is great! I also wanted to give you some suggestions, I'm not actually sure if they are possible but hopefully you will consider them.
1) Have a progress bar for the individual songs(sort of like YouTube) to show the user how much of the song has been downloaded.
2) Have the music downloaded to the same spot every time a user downloads a specific torrent so that they don't have to redownload the music everytime they want to listen.

Other than the you guys have a great little app and I absolutely love it.

March 23, 2008 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Good God do we appreciate your efforts.

Let me just say that the bitlet applet and the .Torrent framework are a godsend for independent distrobution.

Thank you for your hard work on this beautiful program.

Our band "Vanguard" is using bitlet, along with a mininova tracker, to distribute our new full-length free to all our friends around the world.

This new music player will definetly be used by us.

June 30, 2008 at 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it down again.
I tring since 5 days (from 6 dec08) but always its giving the red symbol. (NOT GREEN/YELLOW)
So its downloading nothing..

December 6, 2008 at 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Web Hosting India said...

Thanks for the new application.I will start working on it.I hope it will be easy to use.

March 18, 2010 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Streaming Recorder said...

thanks for share your knowledge with us

April 29, 2010 at 12:51 PM  
Anonymous drm removal said...

The rise of music-streaming websites in the past year has coincided with a sharp drop in spending on advertising in general.

June 29, 2011 at 4:53 AM  
Anonymous remove drm said...

very interesting technical info you given in this article thanks

July 1, 2011 at 3:52 AM  
Blogger alice said...

as streaming technologies, protocals as https, mms, rtsp, etc. different streaming method are used on different website, what does music streaming type of bitlet?

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November 29, 2011 at 4:10 AM  
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