Snakebite is the world’s first drag-and-drop auto torrent seeder that makes sharing files over Bittorrent easier than ever before.
It’s news the acronymic bad guys the RIAA and MPAA are just going to love. But let’s forget about them for the moment. Bittorrent is useful for far more than its infamous ability to distribute massive pirated movies quickly.
After all it has changed the way we think about file sharing and how people and networks share data. It’s so good Valve use it to distribute its games over Steam.
So what has Snakebite got to do with it?
Currently putting your files up to share is a bit of a pain. Bittorrent clients like Azureus make it easy to create torrents but you still need a tracker — the central hub that co-ordinates communication between peers — to seed the file at least until it gets out there.
Naturally you can upload .torrent files to a tracker but wouldn’t you rather just drag and drop your files into a ‘shared’ folder and be done with it? This is what Snakebite promises:
all of the power of BitTorrent with the ease of use of a webserver.
Brilliant. Why didn’t some think of this earlier?
Aside from the drag and drop archetype Snakebite also produces a ready-made HTML page listing your torrents which if you setup a username and password in the program will create an account for you on the author’s servers (actlab.tv) for a redirect page you can share with friends.
This is the cool bit — the page simply redirects to the Snakebite server on your PC the address for which is updated whenever the server is run not unlike updating a DynDNS address during boot.
Bear in mind though that if you are sharing pirated material this means you are setting yourself up as a directory server of pirated files. Napster’s directory servers were the reason it was so easily taken down and the current mode of attack by the movie and music industry is to attack anyone who makes it easier to find pirated files whether they are offering the actual file for download or not.
That said if you’re not sharing pirated stuff then Snakebite is a major advancement in bringing the Bittorrent protocol closer to home.
Snakebite is still in development and we’ll look at it again closer to release. For now an RC binary is available as a .deb package for Debian Linux and a Windows version is rumoured to eventually follow.
Above: the power of the swarm: Azureus includes a visualisation of Bittorrent in action.