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SopCast 3.5.0 Review
SopPlayer, or SopCast Client, is free peer to peer (P2P) software to broadcast and view live TV channels and movies; the name is taken from “Streaming over P2P”. In order to watch a channel smoothly, the user should have at least 512Kbps broad bandwidth and 1Mbps internet connectionspeed.
P2P applications as in general has some generality in being open to the public, lots of privacy and security issues are marked as unsafe or at least use with care, and it is not advised for users who have sensitive data on their PCs.
During the installation process:
After installation the software will pop a login dialog box, there are two options of logging in, either as anonymous user or as a registered users, the registration option is available at the lower right side area of the dialog box, along with two other options related to authentication steps, such as “forgot password” and“diagnose client and service” as shown next.
Once the user tries to log in anonymously into the SopCast Network, Windows firewall security alert window will show up on the screen, the firewall will warn about public networks, and will give the chance to allow or disallow either of logging into private network or public networks or both. The first option of the firewall warning dialog box was selected on purpose for testing.
The Application Features:
The first successful login was made within 10 seconds; the dialog box shown next illustrates the interface to the server of SopCast. As in the snapshot there are five tabs in the SopCast Server interface, Home, Live Channels, Rec. Channels, MyServer and FAQ.
The Home tab also contains some other options linking to the home site of SopCast such as Home, Channels, Forum, Downloads and Help, in addition to contact us options down the page, as appearing the main page display an advertisement for some food.
In the live channels tab, the user will find a list of active channels, most of them are as I guess just been tried then evacuated, they are blank; nothing is there, some other are active either as full show in video and audio or just for music or audio only. This list has an additional control buttons such as favorites, expand/collapse, refresh and list by.
The other tab is the record channels, in which a set of hyperlinks to the home site of the application are there, in addition there is an option for setting the port through which you like to connect to the server, and another selective option for setting the preferred media player to be used once it is needed to be run to play something.
The next tab is the Server tab in which a set of options are there, in order to be able to broadcast you should have this tab set properly.
- SopCast is good for free tests to broadcast video and audio or watch the video and listen to radio on the Internet for users who has no sensitive data on their PCs.
- Can be a useful environment for educational purposes by letting trainees practice being watched and reviewed online by their tutors, friends and colleagues at no cost at all. And can be used by instructors to broadcast their lecture while being some where else other than being in class, such as being travelling or doing some seminars somewhere else, so as to let the syllabus go smoothly without any delays.
- Is useful for any group or community that they commit to the same believes or attitudes, such as followers or believers of social communities or religious followers of any religion or even sports audience or any other.
- SopCast as a P2P application is not a welcomed application by firewalls and some security reasons as it might open non standard ports other than port 80 or other standard well known ports, leading to vulnerability to unexpected threats coming from these ports. Personally I experienced a consequent connections and disconnections in internet due to the mentioned reasons, each time an illegal process is trying to do something suspicious the fire wall will try to block it, leading to disconnection then recounting again as a kind of resetting things back. This thing happens each time trying to test another option in the application.
- The performance of live channels is relatively slow, some channels needs more than one minute to buffer and start video or audio playing.
- SopCast support is primitive, it relies only on email, still the project lacks to proficiency, and more advancement should me made to let it work at a higher grade or level of service.
- Sopcast is a one side transmitter, it would be more beneficial or useful if the functionality is to be send/receive, or have this option available for use, and it will be then more applicable to variety of applications, such as video or audio conferences, online schools, training or meetings.
As a free P2P internet application SopCast is a promising idea on audio/video broadcasting media, the project need to be improved to fulfill and compete with lots of other online freeware software in the same class of functionality.
As a P2P application it is always listed in the suspicious software zone, as the customer privacy is a must these days, and alternatives are widely available in the freeware market.
SopCast can be utilized for some educational purposes to let students practice their online broadcast anywhere at any time at no cost.