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29 September 2010, 10:29

Wikimedia tests video playback with Swarmplayer 2.0

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The Wikimedia Foundation is always looking for ways to save money. But as video content becomes more common on the free encyclopaedia, traffic costs are skyrocketing. To solve the problem, the Foundation is working closely with the EU-funded project P2P-Next, which has just released Swarmplayer 2.0.

Once the LGPL browser plug-in has been installed (currently Swarmplayer is only available for Firefox, though a version for Internet Explorer is under construction), Wikipedia videos will no longer stream from Wikimedia servers, but rather via P2P from a BitTorrent swarm of other Wikipedia users. If there is no swarm for the video requested, Swarmplayer loads the video normally and creates a new swarm.

If the user closes the Wikipedia site before the video can be completely loaded, Swarmplayer deletes it from the user's cache instead of distributing it via P2P to save bandwidth. Otherwise, the user continues to take part in the distribution of the Wikipedia video viewed. A symbol in the task bar and the URL displays the Swarmplayer front end, which lists the videos distributed. You can prevent the sharing of individual videos or all videos with the press of a button. For more details on how Swarmplayer works with Wikipedia, a white paperPDF is available.


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