I've started working on the "Fill your ipod for $150" project, and had planned on using bittorrent and the ibiblio "Osprey" torrent server, which is meant for just this http://osprey.ibiblio.org/
I'm soliciting ideas on ways I can make 30gb of separate MP3s easily downloadable, because it doesn't look like bittorrent will work.
I'm not able to get any of the files from http://torrent.ibiblio.org/ using my bittorrent clients (azareus or bits on wheels) and that makes me nervous. Granted, I'm behind a NATed DSL connection, which I know is not ideal for bittorrent, but I was hoping it would at least work. And, I'm sure many other people will also have internal TCP/IP addresses and DSL or corporate networks, so whatever I use needs to actually work. Also, one of my bittorrent clients (azareus) pops a "Save as" dialog for each filename in a torrent file, which would be awful for 7000 mp3s.
The problem is that I can't give people a 20gb zip file to download. That would
- take 20h to download
- not unzip on many operating systems, due to a 2gb zip file limit that is widely present
- not enable incremental updates
I was hoping that by using bittorrent, I would get:
- each mp3 would be downloaded separately, so you'd get some music very quickly
- incremental updates would be possible, since only the music you didn't have would be downloaded
- no unzipping or multi-gig files
However, I suspect bittorrent is too particular to be used widely as the main way of distributing content, so I'm soliciting other suggestions. Bandwidth really isn't a problem for me, that's not the reason I was looking at bittorrent.
One possibility, which is what microsoft does with many installers (and emusic with its downloader), is to give people a small program which then downloads via HTTP all the files. I'm open to that, if it ran on all platforms, but I don't love it. Better would be a Java app, running in the browser, so it'd work for most people, but saving files locally is, I assume problematic from a a browser-based java app, and more specifically, this sounds like a lot of work.
What http://mp3search.ru does is put all the mp3 links on one page, and asks the user to use a "download helper" application which sucks down all the mp3s on an html page. That's probably not great either, especially with 7000 mp3s.
Another option is for more to provide a batch file, which uses "wget" (or curl) to download all the files. That would be easy to develop, would allow incremental downloads, but would be ugly to look at, and many novice users would be nervous about this.
Yet a third option is a browser plugin, there are several that support p2p, or I could write a simple app using the tcl plugin, but I suspect users wouldn't like to have to permanently install a browser plugin just to download our music.
So... I've not yet found a good solution to this dilemma -- so I'm soliciting ideas on ways I can make 30gb of separate MP3s easily downloadable.