Legal matters

There is no warranty for the program, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Except when otherwise stated in writing the copyright holders and/or other parties provide the program ‘as is’ without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the program is with you. Should the program prove defective, you assume the cost of all necessary servicing, repair or correction.

Limitation of Liability

In no event unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing will any copyright holder, or any other party who modifies and/or conveys the program as permitted above, be liable to you for damages, including any general, special, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the use or inability to use the program (including but not limited to loss of data or data being rendered in accurate or losses sustained by you or third parties or a failure of the program to operate with any other programs), even if such holder or other party has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

Information gathering and privacy

Similarly to standard web servers, we keep logfiles of the IP addresses of computers that access this web site and of what files they downloaded. These web server logs and survey results may be retained for the duration of the research project. This trial will not record personal data, psychological information, zodiacal sign, sexual preferences nor other sensitive data of users. No Person-identifiable data such as names, addresses or contact details are recorded. The SwarmPlayer and SwarmPlugin are in constant dialogue with our web server. The following data is stored in our web server logs during the trial: IP address, Internet connectivity, bandwidth availability, performance of the video streaming including: packet delays, frame rate deadline misses, NAT type, Bittorrent-like unchokes, Bittorrent piece rarity, and similar low-level P2P networking matters. We will collect and store Internet IPv4 addresses of trial members and keep them under strict confidentiality. At no point will we make this information public. We reserve the right in the interest of scientific progress and advancement of Open Source P2P software to make aggregated P2P performance statistics and anonymised records available from these trials to the public. We will never publish any personally identifiable information in any form or function.

Software license

All our software is distributed under this LGPLv2.1 open-source license.

Demo

The Swamplayer is not installed on your machine! Please go on Overview and install it before trying the demo.

ONCE INSTALLED YOU CAN WATCH VIDEOS ON WIKIPEDIA USING P2P TECHNOLOGY

Example pages:
Polar bear videos on Wikipedia.org»
Tacoma Narrows Bridge (1940) on Wikipedia.org»
Cnidaria on Wikipedia.org»
Big Buck Bunny example on Wikipedia.org»
You can enable P2P video playback on any Wikipedia page just by adding ?withJS=MediaWiki:MwEmbed.js to the end of the URL.

Technology

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.

Introduction

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 streamingtechnology 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”, will be presented at the IEEE P2P’10 conference at the end of August 2010.

How does it work?

Wikipedia.org has now enabled the SwarmPlayer and Bittorrent swarming for all their video content. Your can activate the SwarmPlayer by adding ?withJS=MediaWiki:MwEmbed.js to any Wikipedia page. The JavaScript on Wikipedia.org detects if the SwarmPlayer installed. If it is not installed, the video is streamed from the normal server. When the SwarmPlayer is installed the location of the .torrent is requested from URL2Torrent.net server and downloading from the swarm starts. To ensure smooth playback of any video a fallback mechanism to the normal Wikipedia video servers is implemented. The entire playback process is shown below.

Initialization of swarms

Currently wikipedia videos are being converted to Bittorrent swarms. This is a simple automatic process we call auto-torrentization. The first SwarmPlayer visitor which views a video triggers a mechanism to create a swarm of that video. Every visitor afterwards can use this swarm to stream the video. The following figure depicts this initialization process.

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.

Introduction

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 streamingtechnology 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 activity

Once 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 bar

This 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.