How to use it?
With the SwarmPlayer you can view videos using Bittorrent swarming. Any Ogg video inside a Bittorrent swarm can directly be embedded on a webpage. Users visiting a page can view videos in mere seconds. Website visitors never need to be aware of any underlying technology, video simply works.
The advantage of the SwarmPlayer is that webpages with popular high-quality videos are no longer very expensive to operate and difficult to manage. By combining for the first time the HTML5 <video> tag with Bittorrent streaming technology the SwarmPlayer makes video distribution easy. The SwarmPlayer is currently available for Firefox (Windows,Mac,Ubuntu) and Internet Explorer (Windows-only). Our code is available under the LGPL Open Source license. Download the source code. The SwarmPlayer software is developed by the P2P-Next consortium, an EU-funded project exploring with the future of television, in close cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation.
The SwarmPlayer has been presented during a special joined workshop for developers at Wikimania 2010 in Poland. A 2-page scientific article with additional technology details, titled "Online video using BitTorrent and HTML5 applied to Wikipedia", has been presented at the IEEE P2P'10 conference at the end of August 2010.
Monitoring the activityOnce the Plugin has been installed in the browser it will offers an easy way to retrieve video content from a P2P network and stream it to a <video> tag element.
The Status barThis novel Plugin offers several ways of monitoring and controlling the current activity. As soon as the Plugin as been activated the first time, usually by navigating to a page that needs the plugin to work, the small gray icon in the status bar becomes green and a text will show the network activities. The Plugin can also be started independently by left-clicking the gray icon in the status bar.
The Web interface
If the Plugin is active, left-clicking the status-bar icon will open a new page/tab, giving access to the Swarmplayer's Web Interface. This particular interface has been design to provide a simple, but still efficient, way of controlling the content that has been retrieved and seeded by the Plugin.
The active downloads have different colours depending on the current status. A green bar means that the video has been completely watched and is now beeing seeded to other users that are willing to watch the same content. A blue bar means that the download of the video is currently in progress. At the same time it is beeing seeded if other users are iterested. A red bar, always present with an inactive download, shows a stopped/paused video content.
The Plugin's policies prevent downloading content of no interest. The download will be removed if the user moves away from the page containing the respective content. In this way no bandwidth will be wasted in retrieving unwanted videos. Only the videos that have been completly downloaded will be seeded afterwards.