BitTorrent, the protocol-turned-company startup founded by Bram Cohen announced a partnership with the major Hollywood studios today and launched an online store — selling movies, music, TV shows and games legally through..yep, BitTorrent.
If you’re in one of the privileged countries with high bandwidth and download speeds, and already use BitTorrent to live your life, I think you’ll like this. Offering movies and music albums for about $4 US each, TV shows for $2 per episode (and they do have most of the main shows to offer), and a bunch of free games, they’ve hit upon as iTunes’ closest competitor to date.
Most of the movies they offer seem to be fairly recent — the kind of stuff you get on DVD — and something I noticed is that they even offer R16+ movies without any age-checking, a good way for the kids and teens to watch the movies they’d rather not be aloud to? Regarding movies and TV content also, most of them seem to require Windows Media Player and are Windows only: a nod to Apple as market split?
What I love about the TV content is they’re HD section. Having seen “Time is an Illusion” in 1080i through the service and not having the ‘borderline-legal’ guilt while doing it, I thought it was actually quite worth while. While some of the music content, especially the free stuff, seems impressive, I think iTunes is still the option for most people: who wants to go through the trouble of finding a well seeded torrent, downloading, importing, and synchronizing when for the same price you can get preformatted pay-and-go content and not have to worry about it?
BitTorrent, or rather the new BitTorrent as we know it, I think could turn out to be a great Windows iTunes alternative that’s both legal and incorporates a current technology. As for the download speed, as more people talk about it and hopefully get downloading, it should increase.