I'm putting myself on the spotlight here, but now that Popcorn Time's gone, who's interested in working on a similar torrent client with an even higher level of feature-polish?

It'd be a simple and efficient distributed media streaming client powered by BitTorrent.

The primary purpose wouldn't be copyright infringement, but such a system's usage can't be restricted.

I have some specific ideas for the whole system, but they won't fit in one toot.


Some specific ideas:

* Decentralize content discovery, catalogues of movies could be distributed as torrents themselves

* Decentralize distribution of the software itself, using distro repositories and other channels for other operating systems

* Decenter copyright infringement, expanding the community and encouraging usage for original content creators

* Use WebTorrent to allow for use on the Web itself rather than just a native app


With something new, we can let our imaginations run wild to make something amazing.

I'd also like to know about other projects that are already doing similar things, or may be helpful in the development of such a project.

For example, is a C++ library that supports WebTorrent and could be vital for bridging the gap between normal torrents and ones using WebRTC.

Reply if you're interested in contributing or have absolutely any ideas to share.


@RosaLuxemburgo I had not heard about that. Thanks for sharing! It appears to be a step in the right direction. I just installed it and will check it out later.

@josias I'd just say as a browser developer please support application/x-bittorrent files & magnet: URIs! Having a builtin feedreader/podcatcher would be cool too! That would help it hook into my own efforts in reviewing DRM-free shows..

I'd keenly integrate Bittorrent directly into my browser engines given a pure-Haskell library for it. But I don't know if I'd recommend Haskell for this purpose.

@josias I don't know how much I'd contribute (I've got other projects), but I'm very keen to follow your progress on this!

@alcinnz @josias
<= same.

I think this could work well with #BitTorrent / .#magnet-Links and #IPFS as means to share #OpenCulture and #CC-licensed art without the need for expensive & centralized #CDN|s..

@etam That sounds like a useful feature, but I think it'd be too slow to use by default for a streaming client.

@eloisa Similar. It would use the same technology, but would have a different purpose. This app could certainly support PeerTube as well.

@eloisa Yep. Similar, but less focused on being like proprietary streaming services and more focused on innovating our own ways that are more in line with FOSS. For one, I plan to see about getting it in the Debian repos eventually.

It supposed to be an "official" movie streaming service for the FOSS world, along with its own decentralized distribution system that can compete with those with massive CDNs but without the massive costs.

@josias still sounds like Peertube to me, then.

Unless I'm misunderstanding something, here. Like, what's the difference? is it the lack of marketing or something technical that I'm not fully grasping, here? :blobpats:

@eloisa More like PeerTube with a managed catalogue of films rather than a loosely-moderated set of various videos. So think of it as something between Stremio and PeerTube.

Of course, nothing is actually built yet, so this is all hypothetical.

@josias when you say managed, do you mean curated? because you can do that with peertube, you can instal your own peertube instance and do that.

@eloisa Curated is the word I was looking for, and yes, you can do that with your own PeerTube instance, but the point of this is that the curated catalogues are distributed with torrents, that way the indices are distributed themselves. It's another layer of reliability while maintaining the cohesive experience of a managed catalogue.

I think PeerTube has an essentially different goal: to be a video-sharing site like YouTube. This is more for feature films, and similar things.

@josias oh, like vimeo, then? more for artists? is that what you mean with feature films?

@eloisa Possibly. It would be more for artists. For example, someone can make a catalogue of all of Blender's movies.

@josias yeah, that's how I see vimeo. Not sure if anything changed but it used to be just for artists. There already exists a peertube instance from blender, btw. And they also have their own channel with all their videos.

I think what you wanna do is all possible under peertube's code already. You just need to maybe tweak something, maybe, to fit something more to your liking, but seriously, I used to be a mod for an instance and it's not much different from what you're saying.

@josias would you maybe consider forking it? This way you wouldn't be starting something from zero and we all wouldn't be waiting years for it to come true. XD

@josias God I wish that were what web3 meant =( Make the internet useful again ✊

@josias tribler has most of these features but errr... Needs some UI work, to phrase it nicely.

@gdr Nice! They seem to be researching exactly what I want to work on here. I'll look into it.

They also seem to have an anonymizing system, which solves another problem I've been concerned about when considering use by the general public.

Thanks for sharing! This is super helpful. 😃

@josias the anonymizing system is like running a tor exit node on your computer - but just for torrents. It's one thing to risk getting sued for your own downloads and a completely different level of threat to be sued for a stranger downloading from your IP.

@gdr Hmm. That's fair. There does need to be some anonymization solution for torrents though. Of course, in that situation, you can always make clear that you did not initiate the download and argue that you're not responsible for it.

@josias well, assuming that any peer in a swarm can be a narc, you can't do much better than what Tribler did. Either you trust the legal system to not prosecute you for someone else's downloads, or you move the trust to someone who takes the blame on themselves (like a vpn provider). I can't see any other way.

@gdr Tribler plus VPNs sound like the best possible scenario. Since Tribler is backwards compatible with BitTorrent, a client could have an option to choose to participate in the anonymization system or not. That way the user can choose what they're comfortable with.

@josias have you checked out Elementum plugin for Kodi?

You can think of Kodi as a plugin based player with LOTS of extension points. (kinda like vlc, but has its own UX).

everyday flow with it: open "movie or series" section, search for a title, select one title-year from imdb ruselts, then kodi will present a selection of torrents to reproduce for user to choose from several crawl results from several torrent sites, select one and watch live

@kropot Another person in the thread just told me about it, so I do know about it as of yesterday. It seems close, but doesn't quite fill the criteria for a few reasons.

@zombified Ah. This. Well... Dunno. PopcornTime was pronounced dead multiple times. Yet, here it still is.

What I agree with, is that we just need a _BETTER_ PopcornTime, with decentralized directory, and a better support for internationalization.


@drq @zombified That's odd. I read the article JK just referenced, and I tried it myself to confirm and it didn't work. It just showed a blank screen and didn't load any of the movie catalogue.

Regardless, I've been thinking of this for a while, and we need a "better PopcornTime" with newer technologies and even less censorability (the new model should be just about impossible to block).

@drq @zombified 😆

(/me wishing it was Pleroma and could send emoji reactions)

@josias I mean, we alreadh have BTRFS (which is "better FS", but is also read "butter FS") - so why not apply the same naming where it actually makes sense!


@drq Which version of Popcorn Time are you using?

@drq Huh. Looking at the PKGBUILD, it looks like exactly the same one I'm testing, which says all its servers are down.

@drq Oh, it's absolutely because of that. That's good to know.

It's useful to have different API servers like that. The main ones were taken down because the developers saw that Popcorn Time was losing interest. A torrenting system should make the catalogue directly dependent on clients and not on whoever chooses to run the servers.


> The main ones were taken down because the developers saw that Popcorn Time was losing interest

This behaviour reads kinda like "Oh, looks like my google search statistic is going down, I guess I'll go die"

@josias This sounds like something that has lot or common components or could be even based on Peertube.

@josias Popcorn Time is not dead. The "shutdown" version was of one of the many forks, possibly with malware. The most faithful fork is (site down, see ) who's development is inactive (but technically still works.)

@Nulo You're right! The whole situation is a bit confusing. There are so many forks. It's still useful software, but the APIs that ship with it stopped working. At the very least, someone should re-release it with working API servers as the default.

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