This week was marked by a flurry of activity in the Livepeer Github across go-livepeer, go-livepeer-basicnet, protocol, livepeer-gateway, and LivepeerDesktop as we prepare for The Testnet Softlaunch milestone. Most of the remaining work is operational, like setting up mining nodes and faucets to make sure that anyone who wants to participate in the testnet can get test ETH, test Livepeer Token, and has the right tools to interact with Livepeer.
We’ve successful run many nodes on the network, elected transcoders, submitted broadcasting jobs, and watched as those nodes automatically performed the work, claimed the work providing proof, passed challenges to the work, and been rewarded with new tokens and fees. Now we’re just working through the ops work and robustness to get to a test network so some of you in the community can join as well.
Thanks to the hard work of one of our community members, Adrien, aka Buildog, we have a nice new interface to our desktop broadcasting application. This gives mac users the ability to just double click to launch this app, start a broadcast, and share the stream ID to someone else who wants to consume it.
Easy Distribution Plan
One of the challenges with building a decentralized platform, is that until there are native protocols running in the browsers, users need to download a desktop or mobile app in order to join the network and become part of the platform. This means that if a broadcaster wants to distribute their broadcast by tweeting out a link, it wouldn’t be that useful to a viewer unless they were running a Livepeer node. Here’s a plan discussed in our chat room for how to get around this issue with some compromises:
- Broadcaster starts a broadcast into Livepeer.
- They can share a link to their broadcast to a player page that is hosted wherever they’d like: S3, their web site, IPFS, Swarm, etc depending on how much they care about decentralization.
- When users click the link, they’ll load the player page. The page will check if the user is running a Livepeer node locally. If so, it will connect and use the p2p video distribution. If not, it will pull the content through a CDN via a gateway node.
- If the user doesn’t have Livepeer running, this is an opportunity to convert them to a Livepeer user.
Of course the above doesn’t apply to a fully customized and controlled experience - developers can build whatever they’d like with Livepeer. But during the early days when we’re demonstrating p2p video, pushing our own content and crypto community content, this will be a nice way to let users know how to get Livepeer, while still being able to broadcast to the masses.
We kicked off work this week with a talented designer. You won’t have to live with our current black-on-white LIVEPEER branding much longer More details to come soon…feel free to join our chat room to follow along with the progress.