This week a new service called BrowserPopcorn debuted and then shutdown. Just to get things absolutely clear, that has nothing whatsoever to do with today’s situation. With that out of the way, let’s move on.
As reported earlier this week, the main fork of Popcorn Time is undergoing transition. Disputes over money and power have hit the project at its core. As a result key members have now left the project while others insist they will continue.
Today’s Popcorn problems
With that turmoil already concerning the community, this morning there are fresh issues making waves. Several hours ago the project’s official domain – PopcornTime.io – went completely offline.
The domain itself is owned by David Lemarier, aka ‘phnz’, one of the devs who left earlier this week. With that in mind it’s certainly possible (or even likely) that the outage is connected to his departure. While there are some reports that the domain is now slowly coming back online, the site itself is still accessible by direct IP address.
However, the outage is affecting more than just the Popcorn Time domain. For reasons that are not yet clear the project’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts (both named ‘popcorntimetv’) have also gone down, with the latter now complaining that it simply does not exist.
But the problems go deeper still. An externally-hosted status page for PopcornTime.io reveals additional problems.
Not only are there issues with nameservers, the website and the forum, some of the APIs on which the entire PopcornTime application relies are also non-functioning, causing the whole system to fall over.
The reason the movie API is down is the issue currently causing most concern, since it’s likely to keep Popcorn Time offline, even when PopcornTime.io returns. Here’s why.
The YTS (YIFY) connection
Most if not all versions of Popcorn Time rely on a website called YTS.re for their movie libraries and if YTS has problems, Popcorn Time has problems too. At the time of writing and for the past several hours, YTS.to has been completely offline too, meaning that Popcorn Time is pretty much broken.
TorrentFreak contacted the admin of YTS (formerly known as YIFY) but did not immediately receive a response to our request for comment. However, when accessed directly, a public facing server operated by YTS does return the message – “Be Back Soon :)” – but it’s unclear if that relates directly to the current situation or is a generic downtime message.
At least for now it appears that the problems facing PopcornTime.io and its team are separate from the problems being experienced by YTS. However, due to PopcornTime’s reliance on YTS for content, the system falls down when the latter doesn’t function as it should.
More on the situation as we have it.