Major changes with content encoding and sharing on and

I have made some big changes over the past two months with the way videos are trans-coded, the way .torrent files are created, and how our BitTorrent tracker operates.

The goal has been to create better quality videos at the same or smaller files size, and to share them with optional download using Web Seeds over Tor to our .onion address.

Better Trans-coding and Safari Support

First up we have been building "new" style H.265 videos for the past couple months, but with this last major update last week it has become much more visible. What's different?
  • A new NVidia GTX 1660 GPU that supports HEVC with support for 10bit, B frames, look ahead frames, and more allows me to create better quality videos at the same target size.
  • A tweaked ffmepg script that now adds a "moov atom" allowing Safari browsers to web stream video direct from our server.
  • A tweaked encoding script now populates the track number and title into ID3 fields.
  • I manually add album art to give each conference a better look.
  • Audio is no longer LC-AAC but now OPUS at 22 kbps mono to save space while maintaining the same voice quality.

Big BitTorrent v.2 Format Update

The torrents I now build are improved from past torrents:
  • Both BitTorrent v1 and v2 torrents are being built - v1 torrents are BitTorrent version 1 compatible, and - v2 are version 2 compatible
  • Torrents now include a web seed to our Tor .onion web sites as well as out "clear net" web seeds
  • Torrents now include a Tor .onion tracker as well as the existing "clear net" trackers and
To take advantage of the new BitTorrent v2 format you need a compatible torrent client. As of this writing I only know of two: BiglyBT and PicoTorrent but I expect over the next few months that all the major clients will update.

The advantages of v2 are significant, but there is a chicken and egg problem, create the content first, or wait for more client support? I decided to help out by creating v2 torrents as well as v1 ones. This way there will be content right away people can play with.

As far as servers go and are facing the same problem - we are not running a v2 capable torrent server yet, so the only way people using a v2 client will be able to initially get files is through our web seeds. Once we do I'll post here.
InfoCon and DEF CON torrents now include Tor .onion addresses!

As we move more of our infrastructure into the Tor .onion space we have started to generate torrents with support for our .onion tracker and web seeds.

We have added tracker that lives in onion space:

We are testing it now, and has successfully worked with BiglyBT and PicoTorrent

.onion web seed:
Now when you start a new style InfoCon or DEF CON torrent you will notice that there is a new web seed address: for infocon it is http://w27irt6ldaydjoacyovepuzlethuo...metn7qd.onion/ and is in the first preference.

If you are running a BitTorrent client that supports Tor this web seed will be the first tried. If you aren't then your client just skips it and moves on to the second listed web seed,

How do I torrent with Tor?
This can be simple or complicated. Basically there are two ways:
  1. Run a BitTorrent client that is Tor friendly like BiglyBT, just enable their Tor plugin and fiddle with their privacy slider.
  2. Run a Tor proxy and point your client to that. Combined with a proxy friendly client, like PicoTorrent, this is easy.
To expand on #2 above here is one way to set it up. This example assumes you are running Windows.
  1. Install the Tor Browser Bundle and start it up. As it runs it will also be running a local Tor proxy on TCP port 9150
  2. Start PicoTorrent -> Preferences -> Proxy and set type SOCKS5, Host is, Port is 9150, and check the proxy hostnames and tracker connections boxes.
  3. Now if you load a newer torrent it should start web seed downloading from the onion address and check in with the onion tracker. Victory!
  4. Not working? Please post a question in the InfoCon conversation forum.