Swarmcast is claiming today that they can accelerate your video and music downloads using their Autobahn Accelerator for the iTunes Music Store. Good for them. And for everyone, if it's really true. The question is: how can they accelerate iTunes downloads without the help of Apple?

If there is any answer for that, they are not telling. Their "How Autobahn works" link doesn't go anywhere at the time of this writing and their FAQ doesn't offer any solid information whatsoever. The only technical bit is:

Unlike some download applications, Autobahn does not use peer-to-peer transfers and does not use any upstream bandwidth."


The use of P2P was unlikely, since you can't use other people's downloading files. After all, they are all secured by Apple servers and tied to Fairplay except for the EMI files (and even those contain your iTunes user information, so you wouldn't be able to share them with other peers either).

On top of that, Apple is not supporting them in any way. At least there's no trace of Swarmcast in their press release site and Swarmcast is not claiming any.

The fact is that, according to the company, the only thing they do is "optimize your incoming bandwidth, providing faster downloads and more reliable streaming." That sounds to me like one of those so-called "download accelerators" which do little to really improve the speed of your downloads. At least, not as dramatically as a real P2P network could. Moreover, they don't seem to offer any acceleration estimates either, so the whole thing just smells a little bit weird.

Since they don't offer a Mac OS X version at this time, I haven't been able to test it yet but, if any of you already have had a go at it, please post your impressions in the comments.


Product page [Swarmcast via Reuters]