Bit Torrent Popularity Climbs
Napster is toast. Kazaa bit the bullet. Limewire is on the chopping block. Perhaps the next victim of the
The most popular Torrent sites – and those that have cracked the "most viewed" 500 – are as follows: Isohunt, 439, ThePirateBay, 387, TorrentSpy, 218, and MiniNova, 208. All very impressive, but those hoping that Bit Torrent will last might not want to hear of its ever-growing popularity.
Let's face it, global recognition usually isn't a good thing in the peer-to-peer business. I'd be quite surprised if the folks who created Bit Torrent.com, and those currently running the home page, really want the protocol to receive this kind of attention. At this point, it appears that many Torrents are finding the recent press release on the four top spots to be a point for bragging - but in reality, it could very well spell doom.
Why? History, my friends. Everyone gave me that crook-eye when I took history in university – even into graduate school – but it did give me a bit of foresight, surprisingly. You see, we can't really know our future without first learning our history, and in the case of file sharing networks like Bit Torrent (as with anything in the world), recent history dictates exactly how those events will reoccur.
Before its demise, Napster was a pop culture phenomenon. Not even Metallica, despite the voracious attempts of drummer Lars Ulrich, could take down the best place to find illegal music files. However, although Napster made some big news and collected a large following, it fell and fell hard. Why? Because although Metallica couldn't do much about Napster, the courts could. And the attention brought to the file sharing network through public debates sped up the decaying process.
In the wake of Napster's demise, Kazaa emerged as both the best place to get illegal music and an unhealthy case of computer spyware. Despite the fact that no heavy metal band ever lashed out at it, Kazaa had a few years of peer-to-peer prominence. Then, as recently as this summer – long after most people had become annoyed with the spyware and viruses that accompanied the network – Kazaa was put out of its misery by the music industry and
Most recently, Limewire is looking at a similar fate. Like Kazaa, its day has passed. However, it wasn't so long ago – maybe a year or two – that Limewire was the place to go for illegal music downloads. Then it got popular.
Well, Bit Torrent freaks, bask while the basking is good. Soon enough the glow will turn into a bright, bright light, like the interrogation lamp from all of those ridiculous detective movies.
And then you'll wish four Bit Torrent sites were on the 500 least viewed list.