Random Torrenting


cassetteAkin to deep-sea fishing, throwing the word ‘torrent’ (alongside just about anything) into a search engine, reveals all kinds of creatures that look strange in the daylight.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead
An essential teaching in the Buddhist cultures of the Himalayas, the explorations within this book have captivated people of many cultures, and so, torrents abound. Audio books are available for those who prefer their meditative reading via headphones, and the gravel voiced crooner Leonard Cohen narrates a television documentary about the book and it’s meaning. Exactly the sort of reason am watching more TV programs these days – quality programs on some station somewhere, are uploaded, and choice is no longer restricted to what the local network has designated must be watched at this specific time. Sixties maverick Timothy Leary predictably gets a torrent nod too, given his acid-fuelled explorations and inevitable attraction to the book. Mere side-clicks away, quite a few Leary related archival oddities too. What the Net-As-Library can provide is proving less surprising every day. A library whose keys would be thrown away for 5 years if Elton John had his way.

David Lynch’s Money Shot
Inland Empire is the latest and long anticipated (172 minute) descent into cinematic hypnosis / psychosis from the much revered director. Love or hate him, there’s such undeniably exquisite craft to his work, each release is an event in itself, all the more reason to experience the work at some red-velvet curtained cinema-den. Lynch himself takes the presentation of his artworks seriously, and refuses to ‘taint’ his DVDs with voiceovers for this reason. The artwork should exist by itself to be viewed in the right conditions, and sure, separate DVD commentary videos can be used, but not a voice on top of the actual artwork. Which’d likely leave the famous for transcendentally meditating director a little peeved to know that torrents of Inland Empire are easily found online, and probably being watched on some iDevice somewhere. Marketing for the film championed that Lynch enjoyed the freedom of shooting this digitally, undoubtedly the producers must understand also that the lack of distribution for the film will send fans downloading. There’s no reason why a completed film by a world-famous director that was screened nearly a year ago in New York, should not have been screened in Australia or Istanbul by now. The shift to digital projections and ease of distribution this will enable should help with that.

More Gravel Please
If anyone can outgravel Leonard, William S. Burroughs’d be a good man to give it a shot. Here’s the sort of man notorious for enough reasons that it’s easier to refer curious folk to a search engine about him, than list his exploits or point to a single URL. That he comes with a voice fitting his endeavours makes it all the more honeypot clickable that torrents exist for ‘A documentary about the history of witchcraft, told in a variety of styles, from illustrated slideshow to dramatised events of alleged real-life events, right up to the early twentieth century…. narrated by William S.Burroughs, recorded in the mid-1960s.’ Comes with self-described hypnotic jazz score, and requisite bizarre imagery from ye olde times.

Getting Your Torrent Freak On
Torrent Freak.com is becoming one of the better known repositories for torrent related news, and while much of it may only be of interest to torrent software fanfolk, there’s plenty here to digest, and regular probes into the central issues surrounding file sharing and peer to peer distribution online. How can artists and content producers get paid for their work? How can traditional distributors work with rather against peer to peer based systems?

As evidence of how sophisticated file-sharing has become a recent post describes software now available for mac and PC which will notify users of vacancies as they become available within private tracker
systems. Trackers essentially showcase lists of torrents as they become available, and outside of the hugely popular sites like piratebay and mininova etc, an ecology of smaller topic and niche focussed trackers provide incredibly specific archives of material for their respective communities of members. Many of these choose to remain private membership based, which is where the above applications come in. Sometime ago the record music industry only had one peer to peer based application to deal with : napster, and they must be wishing they worked with it then, rather than having to deal with the arsenal of diversified and decentralised sharing tools that sprung up from Napsters demise.

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