Better video distribution? 1/2

Ok, I'm thinking that the fact that there are a ton of different torrents out there all for the same videos, just in different qualities, is a big problem. The seeders gets spread out thin and after a few years, or less for more niche culture, there might not be enough seeders on a single torrent for it to stay alive, even though there would be enough all together.

It's like we're burning the library of Alexandria all over again, just from inefficient technology.

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Would it not be possible to create some sort of video codec/torrent hybrid thing, where there's just one torrent everyone uses, no matter which quality they want?

So when you open the torrent you get asked which quality you want, and then just the relevant bits gets downloaded?

This way the disappearance of a work would be much less likely. Also you could d/l fast first and"upgrade" your copy at any time, or choose to seed higher quality versions later

Would this be possible?

You know how previously when you went to a website with pictures in it you would have to load the full quality version of the pic from the start and it would be shown to you line by line, or the whole thing would load before any of it showed up?

But now pictures shows up in a really low quality version first, and then gets better and better.

This torrent would work the same way, but you would be able to decide when the quality is good enough and you want to stop loading it.

3/2, I guess

@forteller well you could make a torrent file with many versions, and people could download just the files they want

@ebel Yes, of course, but that's been possible from the start and haven't stopped people from creating different torrents for each quality anyway. Probably for many reasons. Also, with that solution each individual file in the torrent could still end up with too few seeders, and you wouldn't be able to upgrade your downloaded file without downloading the whole thing from scratch again

@forteller Interesting thought. Creating an open "buffer" solution for torrenting videos. However, it could be difficukt to align the frames among different videos, so it should also try to match each frame to avoid inconsistencies. I like the idea.

@forteller One of the image formats that JPEG XL is based on works like that. To get a lower-quality image you can just stop the download at some point. Would be cool with a video codec that works the same way. Although then I guess someone watching at 25% quality would only be seeding 25% of the file, so it would have the same problem as several files of different quality in the same torrent.

@owl @forteller > One of the image formats that JPEG XL is based on works like that. To get a lower-quality image you can just stop the download at some point. Would be cool with a video codec that works the same way.

Exactly! I didn't even think of this analogy to image codecs at first, thus my 3rd toot in a two toot thread :P

> Although then I guess someone watching at 25% quality would only be seeding 25% of the file,

Yes, you're right. But...

@owl > so it would have the same problem as several files of different quality in the same torrent

No! If everyone's working on the same file, that would ensure that at least the lowest quality version will be available at any point any of the seeders are online. With different files, the one seeding the file you've chosen needs to be online. And as soon as one higher quality seeder gets online, everyone would be able to upgrade, but still seed to those who can't d/l big files

@forteller Yeah you're right, not the same issue, but a similar one, where there's plenty of seeders who are done as far as they are concerned, but the complete torrent remains unavailable.

@owl Again you're right. That would be an issue! But still better than no version being available. Also, I'm thinking quite a few people would be willing to trickle down at least some larger parts of the torrent over a longer period of time, after watching the version they wanted, to keep the torrent quality up.

There could even be a notification system: "The higher quality version of this torrent is losing seeders, would you be willing to upgrade your version to help keep it alive?"

@forteller Yeah, thoughtful UI for this specific case would probably go a long way. :)

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