Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Paper Comic DeathWatch: YouTorrent

I have two things to talk about in today's PCDW post. This first one is the lastest sensation on the web that the kids all talking about -

I discovered YouTorrent in the latest issue of BusinessWeek, (not where I typically go to get the my bleeding edge digital info fix, but there it was...) BusinessWeek gave YouTorrent and its creator a nice 2 page article. By comparison, Pirate Bay merely got a little sidebar.

What YouTorrent does that sets itself apart from other torrent tracker sites is that it acts as a searchable index for all the other Torrent sites (or at least the big 10) - becoming a sort of Google for Torrents. Now while this idea isn't entirely new (isohunt does something similar) the YouTorrent implementation of this idea is pretty damn slick.

For instance, a search for DareDevil brings back 232 results. Most are the movie, but many of them are the DCP comic packs. Because it doesn't differentiate between its results, it is easy to see how YouTorrent is going to be many downloaders first exposure to digital comics (which may seem strange if you are a reader of this blog, but by and large, most people have no clue you can download comics. I see this all the time with fans who have walked away from the hobby years ago and discover Flashback Universe via a google search. I get quite a few emails like this one from M. Bartlett:

Hello to all you wonderful Flashback Universe comics folks! I just wanted to tell you that this is an awesome idea. I have been interested in the digital media of this sort of thing since I saw the illegal X-Men comics out there a few years ago (but I was too chicken to dare download such a large file).

The idea of being able to read, and keep an archive of my favorite titles without taking up tons of physical space with delicate booklets made of thin and frail paper, is a wonderfully neglected idea. I am glad to see that you guys are out there trying to get the idea out to the world - and in the most wonderful way possible, by providing something that not only demonstrates the concept (in the "proof of concept" fashion that is so popular) but in practice.

I have chosen two or three comics from your site to download and have them in the BG coming to my computer now, and I'll see what I think of the comics you're putting out, but on principle and for the sheer "cool factor" of what you're doing I will be adding your site to my links on my list and [when I revamp it] my website as well. I hope that the extra links will bring you some more traffic and attention to your work and efforts to get this form of comic book media from the "professional" distributors.

Thanks for sharing your talent(s) and dedication towards this idea with everyone. It is appreciated and I am sure I'll enjoy your comics too (I really used to be a HUGE comic book fan until they got to be too expensive).

Of late, Pirate Bay has definitely been the place for the old Zcult leechers to get their weekly fix, and I don't really expect that to change. (Pirate Bay has the advantage of being located in a country that doesn't seem to give a damn about copyright issues.)

Still you know how the kids are with their text messages and their IMs. It wouldn't surprise me if when that Iron Man movie hits, that YouTorrent sees a big surge in people downloading Iron Man comics.

It will be interesting to watch Hollywood's reaction to YouTorrent as well.

PCDW Points: 2000


Luke H said...

hmmm. I like the design and look better than the confusing isohunt; however, the search doesn't seem very "smart". For example, if I enter "Ms. Tree" complete with quotation marks, instead of getting a no results found message, I get a bunch of listings for the tv show One Tree Hill. It does appear to search within the torrent packs though and pull up a DCP pack that would contain an issue of "Locke and Key" even if that phrase was not in the title.

By the way, I haven't read and Flashback books yet but I really enjoy this blog.

Jim Shelley said...

Luke, I hear you on the lack of brains YouTorrent has. It's really a free for all sometimes as to what your results will pull back.

I think that if they can keep the site running for a little while then they might be able to add some sort of *advanced* search function or a least a way to categorize your search results.

I'm glad you are enjoying the blog! When you have a second, try one of our comics. I bet you'll find yourself really liking them.


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