Streaming Video with WebTorrent

I found out about this neat concept a while back called WebTorrent. It is a torrent client built with javascript and it can be used to stream videos from a peer to peer network.

Anyone could make their own video streaming site with this! You could let the p2p network carry most of the bandwidth so that you would not need a big internet connection.

Also, there has been a lot of talk lately about China and censorship on youtube. I know of few people who have left youtube for Vimeo and other platforms. Maybe this would be another good alternative?

Peer to Peer Streaming

The Downside

Needless to say, I had to try it! I had planned to embed a WebTorrent video into this page as a demo but there is something about it I do not like.

There is no way to throttle upload speeds. At least not out of the box. That is a big problem in my opinion and I did not want to embed something like that on my site. The last thing I want to do is eat away bandwidth from someone who may have a limit or cap.

That just did not seem like a very cool thing to do. So instead I made an animated gif of what I was working with.

WebTorrent

It is not as nice looking as the real video but 4MBs is a lot smaller than 129MBs

No Live Streaming

There is also no live streaming out of the box. The way torrents work do not allow for streaming. But someone could break up a stream into parts and have a p2p network share them in real-time.

I am sure someone will get that working if WebTorrents take off.

Who is using WebTorrent?

If you go to https://webtorrent.io/faq you will see a big list of sites and products using WebTorrent already. Most of them I have never even heard of but I am kind of glad it has some momentum behind it.

I hope they do well!

I like this idea a lot and I hope it does very good! And if they can give me an ability to throttle upload speeds I will probably use it some on my site.

If any of this sounds cool to you then make sure you check them out at https://webtorrent.io/.

But be warned. Their home page will automatically start downloading a 129MB video and use your computer to send it to others.


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