So what is it?
Imagine the unholy offspring of a cloud storage service like Dropbox, mixed with a media sharing community such as Vuze, and P2P file sharing in a variety of ways (BitTorrent, RapidShare, directly with friends, etc). Add in some radioactive electrically charged weird mix of chemicals to give the creature super-speed and there you have Put dot io.
Apparently they're based in Turkey and they have the fastest possible Internet connection in the country. Basically users register for an account, are given an amount of disk space on their servers and a monthly data streaming allocation, as an example the normal subscription I just got for $9.99 / month includes 50Gb of space and 50Gb of data streaming.
Once your account activated, you can either upload files to the server, or ask the server to download any files from anywhere. I tried it and it did about 1.5Gb worth of downloads in barely a minute. Something like the latest Yes Men documentary released on P2P would probably take less than a minute for the Put.io servers to download.
From there you can either watch it streamed from their servers or download it to your computer, share it directly with friends on the network. You can also use it as cloud based hard drive for any files and it's browser based so accessible from anywhere.
It reminded me again of the excellent Kevin Kelly TED talk about the next 5,000 days of the web, where he describes all our connected devices as different windows into one same entity, the web. As servers increase in speed and capacity, the need for hard drives on computing machines disappears, although it also raises interesting questions about perceived ownership and privacy.
With digital media having brought the costs of copying or even owning anything close to zero some considerations we used to have are no longer relevant, like background thoughts of being careful which photos I shoot with my camera because it's my only roll of film left. Now we have hundreds of photos from various occasions stored on our computers. I'm wondering if there is some feeling of comfort at knowing that even though those photos aren't tangibly present, they are all stored in a physical object, the hard drive in the computer.
Even if I don't understand exactly how it works I can touch and feel the object containing my photos, which may create an illusion of control or comfort. With everything going cloud based, we are going further away from physical, tangible things. We are already doing this with cards and money.
I'm not really sure what it means, but it's definitely interesting.
Try out Put dot io, definitely worth it!