January 21, 2005 2:19 PM PST
Exeem opens new file-swapping doors
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few sites, such as SuprNova and LokiTorrent, emerged as hubs for the swapping community, posting hundreds or even thousands of links to pirated versions of movies, albums, TV programs and software.
Last month, the Motion Picture Association of America launched an all-out legal attack on these sites, succeeding in removing many of them from the Web. SuprNova was the most popular of these, but its operators said they were withdrawing, in part, to focus instead on the Exeem software.
BitTorrent, the second generation
Although Exeem is likely to spark the most interest among inveterate file swappers, a handful of other software applications are also dramatically extending BitTorrent's capabilities.
Canadian engineering student Sajeeth Cherian recently released a program called Videora, which aims to merge BitTorrent and the blogging world's Really Simple Syndication (RSS) tool. Other bloggers have experimented with this notion before, but Videora may be the first to package the idea into a commercial, simple-to-use interface.
The program allows its users to "subscribe" to specific types of content--largely focused on TV programming--and then download it as links to it appear on various Web sites. Cherian sees it as an online version of TiVo; it has similar built-in tools, such as a "want list" and a "season ticket," which allow users to set the software automatically to download all episodes of a show, whenever they appear.
Cherian said his software, which he's selling for $23, makes finding content even easier than using a search tool.
"Anybody can use this tool to get their content to people," he said. "Instead of just searching, this lets you personalize it and have it brought to you."
For now, the tool is filled both with online videos and a smattering of TV shows and Japanese anime cartoons, many of which are technically illegal to distribute. Another new BitTorrent tool, called Torrentocracy, is aimed at letting independent media producers distribute video online legally and watch it on their televisions.
"By running Torrentocracy on a computer connected to your television, you not only become a viewer of any available content from the Internet, but you also become a part of a vast grassroots media distribution network," the developers' site reads. "This is not about the illegal distribution of media, but rather, it's about enabling an entirely new way to receive the video which you watch on your TV."
The shadowy Swarm
Little is known about Exeem developer Swarm Systems to date. The software and Web site point to an address on the
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