A new peer-to-peer file-sharing service is allowing users to not only share pictures, audio clips, and videos, but also encourages real-time chat via text and webcams.
Sifonr uses Adobe Flash to give users access to a video communication feed with just a single click of the mouse. In addition to the chat features, users can also embed their “Sifon” (the name for the live video feed) into a blog or on Facebook to encourage others to join in.
“Sifonr is about sharing your thoughts and ideas, kinda like on YouTube, only in a more direct and more involved way”, Floze says. “For me it means the simple and logical ‘next step’ of today’s web-interaction, even if it turns out to be ‘only’ an interesting social experiment in the end. The borders between author and reader, artist and beholder, broadcaster and consumer have diminished ever since I can remember. Now with Sifonr you are always both at the same time. Just passively enjoy it, or be an active part of it.”
There is no limit to how many people can join in on a single Sifon other than however many it takes to join until the quality of the feed degrades. The files are transferred in pieces, just like in other P2P clients, but size is limited to around 1GB for now due to the way Adobe handles data within system memory rather than on the storage drive.
The service is still in its first phases of starting up, and is warning readers to be cautious due to the lack of video moderation that could leave viewers with a bit more flesh than they would like to see. Also, users will have to install Adobe Flash Player 10.1 since earlier versions do not contain the necessary P2P support.
While the premise for Sifonr sounds great, you won’t see me sharing files on a Sifon anytime soon. The idea of streaming video of oneself while sharing files just seems like a bad situation waiting to happen. With all of the John Doe P2P cases piling up in courtrooms lately, it seems like this would be a great way for accusers to more easily put a personal identity with an IP address. Assuming you are not infringing on a copyright it should be fine, but I would prefer to share my files more discretely nonetheless.
Will you try Sifonr? Let us know in the comments.