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Internet Archive hopes to make a million files download faster with BitTorrent links

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The Internet Archive has added BitTorrent links for a million of its free downloads of public domain works, something it hopes will let people download the files more quickly, especially outside the US.

Archive.org Torrent
Archive.org Torrent

The Internet Archive, a vast repository of free public domain movies, books, music, and more, is releasing a million files as torrents that it hopes will be faster and require fewer resources than traditional downloads. The torrents look to have been partially rolled out as of last month, but now a much larger number are available, letting users download live music shows or horror classic Night of the Living Dead among other things. Users who don't want to use torrents can still download the files directly.

BitTorrent's file transfer system relies on peers, each of whom transfers small pieces of the file rather than having it stored in and downloaded only from a central location. In this case, torrent files will be downloaded from two central servers and from local peers. The Internet Archive hopes this could make it easier for people living outside the US or in areas with slower network speeds to use the site. New pieces uploaded into community collections will have torrent files added automatically, and more content will be coming later. For a quick guide to both BitTorrent and the Archive, you can check out the blog post here.