Seattle, Washington “Pharaoh, Let My Compressed Media Files Go!”

It turns out data traffic costs money.

Most people who watch the dancing video watch the streaming version on my front page via the embedded YouTube player. This is easy to put up and it costs me nothing. The fine folks at YouTube somehow swallow all the bandwidth costs without ever having to hit up content creators or viewers for cash. Whatever "webenomics" hoodoo they’re invoking, it’s not my problem.

99% of people who come to watch the video are satisfied with that option. But I also want to provide higher-quality versions that people can download and save on their computers, so I have a page on my site with links to Windows Media and Quicktime renders. Each time those files are downloaded, it’s a direct hit to my site host of 50MB or so.

Accommodating that 1% who go for the big downloads is proving very troublesome. Turns out it still adds up to tens of thousands of people, which translates into several terrabytes per month of data transfer, which no one seems willing to let me get away with.

My previous site host slapped a massive overage bill on me to account for the enormous public demand that I had little-to-no control over. The money-back guarantee ultimately spared me from a crushing blow to the wallet.

I crawled back to my previous site host, but I’ve now been booted by them as well. They were nice enough to simply block access to the videos rather than start charging fees. Still, I’m left with no method of distribution.

I’m like Moses wandering the desert with my tribe of compressed video files. We’ve been kicked out of everywhere. I seek the Promised Land.

…cutting to the chase, I need some help. I need a place to store about 300MB of video files that’ll be downloaded several thousand times and eat up a lot of bandwidth. Fortunately, demand is slowing. But at the moment it’s still pretty high.

I’m hoping not to have to pay for this storage space, wherever it is, and I’m hoping not to have to pay for traffic.

If you have any leads, I’m easy to reach.

Thanks!

62 Responses to Seattle, Washington “Pharaoh, Let My Compressed Media Files Go!”

  1. Alex

    So sorry! I just found you and have been telling all of my friends, but I can’t help with the site hosting snafu. For what it is worth – I wish you luck!

  2. Wayne

    Matt, you sure are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Your message is getting out to TOO many people. Please don’t stop with the journal entries, though. I’ve read most of them more than once and I keep waiting for new ones to come out.
    Any plans on where you are going next?

  3. Jean Sébastien

    Yeah i agree with Wayne…dont stop updating your journal im reading it several time in a day to make me dream of what the world is really like in the eye of a simple guy…well “simple” lol nevermind
    Btw Matt,i was reading that your laptop was stolen (you traveled all aroud the world to be stealed…in your hometown,kinda ironic)…did you have bought another or you have finded your old one ?

  4. Check out BitTorrent. I know many people use it for downloading illegal and copyrighted materials, but the reason it was created was situations just like yours. This way, all you have to do is host a tiny torrent file on your website, and everyone else will do the work.

  5. What are your monthly bandwidth requirements? If you can give us (the readers of your journal) some idea of exactly what you go through on a monthly basis (beyond just saying 300mb and tens of thousands of downloaders), then maybe we can recommend something to you.

  6. vplakhi

    I second the BitTorrent comment — it’s ideal for your purposes. It gives you the best of both worlds – the power of peer to peer, combined with the convenience of a locatable link on your site.

  7. Jen

    I have a site hosted through zighosting.com. I just have the basic site with them, not sure what the larger ones offer. Might be an option.

  8. Rai

    Hi Matt,
    Someone has probably already told you this, but what about a sponsorhip deal – link to thier website etc – with one of the internet travel firms, such as http://www.expedia.com and so on.
    All the best
    Rai

  9. Check out rapidshare or megaupload. As long as the videos in and of themselves aren’t bigger than 100MB, you should be good.

  10. Mr BT

    Those unlimited bandwidth sites are nice and all; problem is, is that how they get around the ‘unlimited’ without costing them millions too, is that they limit your total transfer rate. We’re talking large files; Large files + slow transfer rate + lots of hits = UNBEARABLY slow. I’ve tried to host with these kind numerous times, and didn’t work.

    Now, I have one host that gives 1TB a month for $10/mo. Okay, okay, so it’s not a lot. Now what if I said I have a line on a coupon they ‘supposed’ to turn off after their 7th year anniversary, but someone turned back on. What if that 1TB (20GB) could be gotten for $10 for a whole year (And goes up after that of course, but you just cancel before that)

    The website is http://www.dreamhost.com — The coupon is ‘777’ without the quotes. Put it into the promo code box.

    What’s better? They don’t limit the amount of sales to the same person (I have a couple accounts) and the sales system is automated. So picture, you need 5TB a month. Get 5 accounts, have one of your faithful loyalists program a download rotater (To pick from different servers) and voila! Cheapest GOOD bandwidth out there.

    Do I get a kickback? No. This is not for me. This is the code for their 7th anniversary and the code is distributed on the net, albiet still quietly. If I were to do a referral, I could only get you $30/year, and even then I don’t see a kick-back.

    Give it a try. 190,000 current and active customers can’t be wrong.

  11. Rich

    Well it seems as though a few good ideas have popped up. Fileplanet and places like that have mirrors. I wonder if you could coax some people into providing mirrors for you up to a certain amount per month. I bet those really huge servers have a max capacity per second and allow free stuff if they are available? If there were a wait you would probably get people who actually are going to watch it more than once. Right now the download is very fast and very easy. Hmmm, I don’t think I’m helping. Good luck.

    Rich

  12. seriously, it’s funny when people are recommending things that you already tried and didn’t work for ya! Everyone is just trying to make a buck.

    I do think bit torrent is a good idea also.

    You may want to check with dooce and she what she uses. She gets more consistant traffic than anyone and she has started doing videos on her site too, not for download but pretty great quality ones anyway. http://www.dooce.com if you somehow don’t know her :)

  13. wedge

    Hey Matt,

    Why not use BitTorrent? It’d be a little intensive at first, but once it got established it would distribute the bandwidth burden over all those who download it, and you could easily just link to it from the web-page.

  14. I could host your files, but my conection is not very good, so I think it wouldn’t be nice for you though..
    Rapidshare.de is a nice alternative, another one is “freehostia.com” they have FREE accounts, check it out..

    if you want I really can host your files, but my server support only 40kb/s of upload, so, it will be very slow..

  15. Hey Matt, upload your file to putfile.com.

    It’s free, ad-payed and fast. So all download hazzle will be gone in a second.

    By the way: what a great approach to life. 😀

  16. DAn

    Can’t you just store a few files on a whole lot of computers around the world, and let the bandwidth be picked up by all of the various ISPs?
    I’m Sure lots of people would let you do that. Like say college kids who get unlimited highspeed internet and downloads.

  17. Adam

    Use BitTorrent, It’s basically a P2P file sharing program, so instead of having everyone get the file from your server they’ll get it from each other. You’ll only need to host a very small torrent file.

  18. JMB

    This isn’t the place to say it, but WOW. I saw your video from a forum and was led here. My reaction went from thinking you were standing in front of a green screen to thinking the was the combined effort of many people over the world. Until your website flashed at the end and I read the story behind it, I never would have thought it was one person.

    Your travels are inspiring, as cliche as that sounds. More people should be able to see the world. Thank you for sharing this with those who cannot afford to visit foreign shores.

    (Btw, your music choice for it was AMAZING. I have been watching it over and over the past few days simply to hear that song!)

  19. tommy

    only one thing to say for your dream travel.
    Fantastic!!!
    and im from Quebec(Canada) and you help me to prepare myself for a big trip around the world like you! thanks.

    Un petit mot en francais pour te remercier de me montrer toute ces belles images et faire vivre en moi le reve de voir le monde et ses culture!

    MERCI! Tommy

  20. Nico (FRANCE)

    very very very good !!
    in french : c’est extraordinaire !!!!!!
    jespere ke tu pourra nous faire vivre encore de ce pays magnifique !
    bonne continuation.
    Nico

  21. Mark

    Bittorrent for sure. From the official website:

    Q: What’s involved in making a torrent?

    A: Not much really. Launch the BitTorrent client. Select ‘Make New Torrent’ from the ‘File’ menu. In the window that comes up, select the file or directory of files you wish to publish. Give the torrent a name and add any comments you like to describe it. Select a block size to break the file into (or just leave it on Auto). Enter the name of the Tracker you wish to use to manage the torrent, or specify DHT for trackerless torrents. Finally, click publish. The Torrent file will be created and the file will begin seeding if you like. That is basically it.

    link to bittorrent.com

    (No, I don’t work there, I just think your dancing videos rock!)

  22. aditya

    hi matt.
    i’m a rootless indian doctor.
    your video made me smile, even after a long day full of patients.
    thanks.

  23. REBECCA

    I JUST HOPE YOU KEEP UP THE TRAVELING!!! MY SON WANTS TO BE JUST LIKE YOU BUT TRAVEL IN AN RV AROUND THE WORLD!!!!

  24. Anonymous

    Vive les tomates fraiches !!! Diable, you rock my friend. Ze video is very gut. BitTorrent I recommend too.

  25. Hey Matt!

    I really enjoyed and still enjoy your video. I was wanting to offer something to you. My website, djstormx.com, is something I use for putting out my music on the net. However, I apparently don’t market myself well and I only use up about 1.5 GB of my 200 GB bandwidth. I was wanting to offer you space on my website for free since I’m using a small fraction of it anyways. I’ll email you to give you more details.

  26. Yeah!

    Bit-torrent or emule.. I will have the video permanently in my computer (which is 24×7 connected).

    Spanish boy

  27. Great video. And my wife did not know anything about those big faces of the Easter Island. I told her “How come, you don’t know them!” then I tried to tell her something, and all I could tell was that nobody know anything about those faces.

    Try to ask a few big, geeky companies to host the files for you. If you get 12 of them, you can have an ubercool list of 12 mirrors like the professional websites. Just go on http://www.sourceforge.net and see what companies (SWITCH, Internap, ….) already host the open source software. Then write to their sale representative.

    Don’t look at me like that. It’s just an idea!
    :-)

  28. The WP

    Not to mention the fact that this solution is not incompatible with BitTorrent, but it help to make it a viable solution especially in the beginning.

  29. Jezza

    Matt, You have single handedly fulfill my ultimate goal in life… Travelling around the world… man..to top it off you throw in a dance as well

    The video and the soundtrack is just astounding..there is no word that can describe it…your video has been an inspiration. Keep on travellin man…

  30. Park

    Hi~. What a great video!
    And you look like ‘Usher’.^^
    By the way…
    Why didn’t you come to Korea?
    Korea will be very impressed to you.
    There is beautiful nature, and kindly people.
    Next time, I hope see your dance in Korea.
    Take care~

  31. Mary

    I wish I had the virtual room to host your entire site, along with all videos. This is probably about the coolest thing I have ever seen.

  32. i loved your video. i backpacked from the west coast to the east coast of the USA and toured europe. Your video makes me hungry for travel again :)

    spam4warder_at_gmail_dot_com

  33. Michael

    Thanks for sharing your video. The dance was cool too.

    I hope I get to do that before I turn 30 (that’s in 5 years, yeah that’s possible).

  34. Tim

    or how about this .. leave it on YouTube (and why not ?) and instead just host alink to this little proggie..

    link to stinkbot.com

    it basically rips YouTube videos and allows you to upload them to your ipod / Mac etc..

  35. tom

    Matt!! go to POLAND!! u were already in czech republic…Poland Is right above Czech Republic. dance in Poland!!!!

    POLAND SHOULD BE IN YOUR NEXT VIDEO

  36. jose ramon caniego

    Matt enhorabuena, por esta pagina, y ya sabes si vienes a Madrid aqui te espero para bailar juntos.

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