Sure, you love using BitTorrent (or the tiny-yet-mighty client, µTorrent) but how much do you know about the people behind the product? We kicked this feature off one month ago and today, we’re talking to a team member who is working on a product that’s going to make a major impact in the months to come.
You may have heard of BitTorrent Live, the program that takes the awesome power of BitTorrent and applies it to video. You also might be testing it out. Aaron Cohen (no relation to Bram) is one of the main engineers working on this innovative product. When he’s not making sure it’s functioning properly, he also likes to DJ, as well as record, mix, and master albums. Find out what he wishes you knew about BitTorrent and more, after the jump.
So, Aaron, what is your current role at BitTorrent?
I’m a software engineer on the BitTorrent Live project.
For those not yet familiar, how would you describe BitTorrent Live?
BitTorrent Live is an entirely new protocol. It’s totally new from the ground up, but it uses some of the same basic concepts as the original BitTorrent protocol including the distributed peer-to-peer network – except that it’s specifically designed for low-latency video streaming. That (last part) necessitated, more or less, an entire re-write.
Where are you from originally?
Seattle, Washington…well, to be specific, Edmonds – but it’s in the greater Seattle area.
How did you end up here?
I came from Avid Technology where I worked on Pro Tools as a Test Automation Engineer. I started here at BitTorrent doing the same thing, but with time demonstrated my utility as a general Software Engineer, resulting in a title change.
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
I love building infrastructure for things, and Live is such a new project that we get to do lots of architecture work. We get to build the framework on which everything else is based. We don’t have to spend all of our time fixing ancient bugs and, instead, get to do new stuff all the time. There’s always something unique and interesting that pops up every week.
And what do you like to do in your spare time?
I originally trained to be an audio engineer and so I like to do lots of recording, mixing, and mastering of albums (primarily the latter). I also spend a lot of time curating my funk music collection for DJ sets.
What is one thing you wish people knew about BitTorrent?
We’re inventing new things (like Live) and have new products coming out that aren’t just BitTorrent and BitTorrent-related. We’re trying to change the way the Internet works, every day.
I’ve noticed that on Friday nights you like to bust out your MacBook and DJ. What got you started with that?
I have a few friends that DJ and had access to the gear, so it was just a matter of fooling around in my free time. I’ve never really taken it professional or anything.
What gear do you recommend?
I use Native Instruments’ Traktor with an M-Audio Controller.
Great. Thanks, Aaron!