Bittorrent is in the headlines these days for their new DNA content delivery platform. Another offering didn't get quite as much attention: The company also started to invite some publishers to a closed beta test of their new publisher program that includes hosting for up to 100 Gigabyte of content.

Bittorrent has been allowing third party publishers to distribute content through their website for quite a while, but up until now you had to host the content somewhere else to actually keep it available on the network if you didn't want to rely on the good will of random seeders.

Bittorrent is playing a little bit of catch up when it comes to podcasters and online video makers. The copmany has been getting some love from major movie studios and TV networks, but competitor Azureus has been attracting many more independent content publishers. How did they do that? Azureus has been offering to host an inital seed on their own servers since the launch of their platform. The company went even further recently by giving publishers the ability to monetize their content through ads or pay per download.

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So how is Bittorrent doing with their new publisher program? Let's just say it's still in closed beta for a reason. Invited users are required to download a separate publisher application that is basically just the old mainline client with some additional Torrent editing features. I hope this will eventually find its way into the regular client - there is really no reason to make people install yet another application.

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The application itself does allow drag and drop publishing after you signed into your account. Edit some additional details about your files, and your upload will start right away. Or at least that's the idea. I couldn't get it to upload anything because it tried to connect to a non-existing tracker address.

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Admittedly, this is a small error that can be fixed quickly. There are some other issues though that might convince people to stick with Vuze instead. One of them: The publisher application only supports single file uploads because it's based on the mainline client. There is no way to, say, upload a collection of pictures or a whole album with lots of MP3 files.

The fact that it's still much easier to find new and non-mainstream content on than on might be another reason. Let's see what Bittorrent is giong to do to close the gap.

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