The ‘Decentralized Library of Alexandria’ has launched a beta version of its software, which enables the creation of a massive distributed and uncensorable library of all kinds of media.
Despite failing to reach its funding goals, the beta release features a polished client for Windows, Apple, and Linux. From this client software, which can be seen in the screenshot included above, users can search, view and download all of the content in the library. This content is divided into categories including ‘videos’, ‘music’, ‘podcasts’, ‘books’, ‘recipes’ and ‘things’. In order to stream content, a VLC media player is needed, which is built into the OSX client but needs to be downloaded by Windows and Linux users.
The original library of Alexandria was the most famous source of wisdom and knowledge in ancient times, but its story also provides a powerful lesson on the dangers of storing data in central repositories – as it was destroyed in a fire and many of the rare books contained in it were lost to the world forever.
The modern Alexandria is built using IPFS, a technology which itself is based on BitTorrent. This works together with the blockchain of Florincoin, which provides a permanent public record of everything published to the library. Users do not need to have a Florincoin wallet in order to use the library, although they will need one to use other features such as leaving comments on any entry or publishing content (which also requires IFPS and the library software).
Both Florincoin and Bitcoin can be used to send tips to content publishers.