Thursday, November 16, 2006

Grandpa Needs His Media Email

Email is a pretty convenient way to keep in touch with folks who are far away. Sending messages couldn't be much easier. Sending various multimedia attachments is a little trickier. Sure, a couple photos here and there don't take too long to download, but sending Grandpa your latest home video of the little one burping up peas becomes a complicated affair. Many email providers won't even handle large attachments, and movies and music have the tendency to get quite large.

BitTorrent is an Internet protocol that has filled the void that Napster and Kazaa left behind. Enterprising cyber-pirates use BitTorrent to download last night's TV episode or the latest album from their favorite blinging pop star. It's popular because it's fast, and it's fast because it's popular: the more people using BitTorrent to download a file, the faster that file will transfer.

How can Email harness the speed of BitTorrent? That's the question a couple start-up companies are trying to solve. As it stands, downloading using BitTorrent is easy, but uploading is not. It would sure be great to be able to use such a technology to send Grandpa your latest clips of the family, but it has to remain as easy as email on both ends. Pando is one such company that has come up with a way to make sending large files easy.
Here's how it works: (1) Send your media to Pando (via the fast BitTorrent). (2) Send an email to Grandpa with a link to your Pando file (not a problem for any email provider). (3) Grandpa reads his email, clicks the link, and begins downloading your media at high speeds.

So what's the story? BitTorrent and similar technologies don't need to be used purely for illegal activity. As the Internet expands to provide larger and larger files, such as TV shows, entire music albums and feature films, download speeds should increase as well to maintain a comparable downloading experience. Pando and its peers (from TechCrunch) have led the way in harnessing the speed of BitTorrent for communications purposes. As big players like Apple and Microsoft bolster their online media outlets (i.e. iTunes and Zune Marketplace), incorporating BitTorrent to distribute their content would be a smart move.


At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Kevin Hainline said...

there are a lot of companies doing this without lame bittorrent -

Both work quite well, and both have "send" in the title, so Grandpa won't think that you're sending him chinese panda porn.

At 11:58 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Yeah, there are a lot of sites that do this. I just liked Pando because I could write about email AND bittorrent. It tied the package together nicely.

... there's nothing pornish about that use of the word 'package.'

At 1:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

judging by the picture, grandpa also needs his uppers.

At 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Grandpa! Pando is AWESOME!


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