World’s First BitTorrent Powered Live Streamed Concert

A unique event takes place today in a movie theater in the north of Norway. Using the Swarmplayer software developed by the EU-funded P2P-Next project, for the first time ever a live concert will be broadcasted on the Internet utilizing BitTorrent technology.

The Far North Living Lab was started by the Northern Research Institute (Norut) and aims to create a platform for digital creativity. Earlier this year the lab kicked off with a spectacular experiment in which they used the Tribler BitTorrent client to stream a 2K resolution film onto the big screen.

For that experiment the stream was only broadcasted to a select group of people and not the entire Internet. Today, however, the lab’s researchers will launch their second BitTorrent streaming experiment on a much bigger scale, as they will broadcast a live stream of a live music performance for all the world to see.

“The setup is very simple at the cinema – we have a standard computer connected to audio and video mixers, which then feeds the P2P network,” Dr. Njål Borch, a senior researcher involved in the project told TorrentFreak.

The software they use to stream the performance is from the EU-funded P2P-Next project and several of the partners are also donating bandwidth for the experiment to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

The performance will take place at Aurora Kino in Tromsø as a part of the Insomnia electronic music festival. To spice things up, the lab is also sending a live feed to the Notch festival in Beijing, which is running in parallel with Insomnia, and to Skjervøy kulturhus in the far north of Norway.

However, since the broadcast is public this time, everyone with an Internet connection can tune in. The only thing required to watch the stream is the Swarmplayer software, or a browser plugin (Windows only). Both are linked on the project’s website.

According to Borch, this BitTorrent live streaming experiment is not just a proof of concept, it might eventually play a significant role in the future of live streaming on the Internet.

“If the scalability is good for live streaming, this can increase the amount of viewers without massive bandwidth bills. Another effect, which I am currently very much a fan of, is that adding more bandwidth is very easy – put up a seedbox and hand it the torrent. No administration otherwise necessary,” he told TorrentFreak.

Anyone who would like to be part of this world premiere can tune in at 5 pm CET when the broadcast will start. If all goes well you’ll be able to see a live performance of a new soundtrack to Pudovkin’s 1926 film, “Mother”.

Update: The broadcast ended and it’s replaced by a 5 minute clip of the concert so people can still test the streaming technology. It was a great success with visitors from all over the world.

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