Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

F1 torrents of the legal kind // Another way to get your hands on your favourite F1 podcast

Published by Mr. C

We talked briefly on last weeks show about some minor issues we've had recently in regards to our bandwidth costs. If you managed to get to the end of that episode we mentioned a spike in traffic led our hosting company, Media Temple, to warn us we could be looking at a bill for $350+ at the end of the month, and then the traffic spiked yet further.

The price of fish

As you can imagine, there's no way we could afford those kind of costs once, let alone on an ongoing basis. The hosting company includes in their grid-service, one terabyte of bandwidth per month and until now that's suited us just fine. Anything over that though gets billed at more than two dollars per gigabyte and in July we shifted almost double our allocation.

Media Temple do a sterling job of providing us with solid web hosting, the kind that lets us handle 1,600 comments per thread without blinking, but they never claimed to offer infinite bandwidth.

We've obviously been testing out a bunch of alternate solutions and amongst them is Amazon S3, which in truth has been a little unreliable of late, but does offer unlimited bandwidth (although it is expensive). More importantly though, S3 acts as a tracker for torrent files as well as a permanent seeder and this is where things get interesting.

Getting personal

Torrents, BitTorrent and peer-to-peer file sharing tends to come in for a lot of criticism in the press, mostly when record companies sue pensioners and toddlers for alleged music piracy. However, the concept of sharing data between multiple peers has many legitimate uses, BBC's iPlayer is based on the same principles, and it's the legal distribution of data that we're interested in.

Making our audio and video available for download via peer-to-peer networks, in theory reduces our bandwidth requirements to almost nothing, as clients share pieces of data amongst themselves (at least for anyone obtaining files using this method). Additionally, if no-one is sharing a particular file, as will likely be the case at first, then the S3 peer will always be available.

It's easy to see why we're fans of P2P, and we'll be promoting it more in the future. It'll take a while to copy everything we've ever created onto to the bookseller's servers, but thus far torrent files are available for:

Additionally we're adding links on individual blog posts alongside the familiar transcript shortcuts and standard file downloads.

We're not expecting this to make a huge difference at first, and neither are we removing any of the existing download options. In fact, unless you're feeling brave or are specifically interested in testing these new download options, things will stay exactly the same.

As ever we'd appreciate any and all feedback, let us know if works for you or if there's anything we can improve.