Sorry it took me so long to reply here. I’m the bro who hosts the BtSync share for Bad Voltage. I’ve been hosting this share since Bad Voltage started last year.
Bittorrent Sync (BtSync) is an automatic distributed peer to peer content sharing application for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
Basically BtSync functions on the basis of peers just like standard Bittorrent. However unlike standard torrents, BtSync shares are not static. As soon as the host provides new content, every peer syncs to that automatically. This makes it possible for listeners to connect to the share once and get new content as it gets pushed out.
The Technical Side
Technically speaking (and I know that’s what you want) all precipitants download the latest copy of BtSync from the official Bittorrent website. Windows and Mac users will get a graphical application to run on their desktop while Linux users will get a daemon that runs a web interface. I will have links below to a bash script I have written which Linux users can run to set up BtSync easily.
Once the host and peers have run BtSync, the host will generate a secret key (read+write or read-only permissions) which they will assign to a desired folder (this is done through the BtSync interface). Once this key has been generated and assigned to a folder, files can be placed into that folder and the secret key can be given to people so they can connect with their BtSync client. Those connecting will also create a folder but instead of assigning a newly generated secret key they will use for example: the Bad Voltage secret key. Once someone connects to the Bad Voltage secret key, any content that was placed into the shared folder by the host will sync to those connected (following me so far?).
Permissions work how you’d expect them to work:
- Read+Write: Anyone connected to the share can edit files and add new content
- Read-Only: Only the host can change the shared content.
For podcasts I’d recommend the Read-Only option for obvious reasons.
Whatever permissions you use, all newly added or changed content will automatically sync between everyone connected.
There are many benefits to using BtSync for content distribution such as podcasts. The primary benefit may be bandwidth relief.
When a content provider places new content in a BtSync share, their machine will upload to the peers using full bandwidth capabilities but only until the first peer fully syncs. After the first peer fully syncs the new content, the content provider’s machine will upload at slower speeds. So the more peers that sync the new content, the less bandwidth will be requested from the content provider. Eventually with enough peers connected to the share, the content provider will be uploading nothing (or next to nothing). Everything balances out with more peers helping distribute bandwidth, a little bandwidth here and there from every peer. P2P FTW!
Another benefit is that BtSync can be hosted pretty much anywhere which includes cloud hosting services.
Of course in order for BtSync to become a good choice as a content distribution method, enough peers are needed. In order for there to be peers, listeners/viewers etc…will need to be running a copy of BtSync. This is difficult if people don’t understand BtSync or care in general. Many people will simply use direct download links instead of something like BtSync. With that said however, BtSync is a great option to provide either way. There are probably other downsides on the technical side of BtSync but adoption is the largest in my humble opinion.
So what might be an efficient way to add BtSync to a workflow? For Bad Voltage this is pretty simple. Essentially the steps are:
- Setup BtSync on a remote host
- Mount the remote BtSync shared folder to a production machine
- Drop newly created episode into remote folder so it goes directly to BtSync share.
- Relax while everyone automatically gets the new episode
Additionally a script can be created and setup on a scheduler (such as cron) to take care of this more automatically. Though that is beyond the scope of this comment.
While BtSync may not yet have large adoption, it’s a pretty good option to offer for content distribution. Spread your content, save some bandwidth, make people happy. BtSync is only going to improve in the future so those utilizing it now are on the front lines of what could be the next big thing.
As promised, here is my BtSync install/update script for Linux users:
Mibsi - Mindless BtSync Installer:
Git Repo - Contribute, install and submit bugs
Unofficial Bad Voltage BtSync Secret Key