Portable Movies

While people with more influence over the direction of hardware technology remain skeptical of the future of portable video, I'm throwing my hat in the ring and betting on the success of Portable Media Center devices and other portable players by launching a site aimed at delivering content. PMCMovies is officially live, with the first round of public domain content available for download using BitTorrent as the delivery mechanism.

Once the legal issues are hammered out, the public domain stuff will be augmented with independent films too (although likely at a price higher than free). DivX versions are soon to follow to provide content compatibility with other players. Pocket PC users should also be able to take advantage of content offerings, although most feature-length movies will require a minimum 512MB flash card to hold the file. Currently, content includes Night of the Living Dead, the Three Stooges classic Sing a Song of Six Pants, and Sherlock Holmes in Dressed to Kill, with about a dozen more movies waiting to be added. If you've been looking for some legal BitTorrent movie downloads, PMCMovies is currently your best bet.

If you haven't used BitTorrent, it's well worth investigation. Unlike traditional p2p solutions, which download a file from a single source, BitTorrent does distributed downloading, grabbing pieces of the file from multiple sources and reassembling them on your PC to create the file. In many cases, this is far faster than downloading from a file server or grabbing a download from one of the file sharing services. Assuming the original poster of the file isn't out to do malicious damage, I'd venture that BitTorrent is safer than traditional p2p because the technology verifies that each of the download locations is serving the original file and not some hacked copy with spyware or other nastiness attached. Finding BitTorrent distributed content is as easy as doing a Google search for your favorite topic. I chose BitTorrent as the download solution for PMCMovies partially because I want to see how well the idea scales and partially because providing 400MB files for free download could get very expensive, unless the community downloading the files helps with distribution.