I've touched on this topic a lot of times - the "need" for fansubs that we had before now (well, now being within the last couple of years) and that we're living in a post-fansub world.
I agree -- BitTorrent was the engine that powered a generation of anime fans. (^_^) On the other hand, though, I think that era is mostly over now, at least for English-speaking fans. AnimeSuki has shut down, and many newer fans have either never heard of fansubs or don't understand what makes them different than bootlegs, since not many groups are doing their own translations anymore. Most things that a new fan might think to want are available through a legitimate streaming site; most fans never reach the point where they are starting to run up against the wall of knowing something exists but being unable to find a legal translated source for it.
There's still torrent-based distribution, but I get the impression it is mostly folks from that generation of fandom doing what they are used to and non-English speakers who without good access to simulcasts are stuck in the position of English-speaking anime fans of a decade ago.
AnimeSuki still has an active forum, so to me they seem to still be active in some capacity: https://forums.animesuki.com/a
The people who still find a need to use Bittorrent for fansubs are still for series that still have never or will never be licensed in the states or are just ripping from legal sits to changed the subs to how THEY see it as the true translation, all the while wanting donations from their fans to keep their activities going. Case in point: CommieSubs.
The only places that I check out are people who do fansubs series that focus on older series that have my interest, and they respect companies by shutting down their work on shows when companies like Discotek will license them. Those are groups that I don't have much of a problem with compared to the latter.
I even turned that into a panel topic I did at AWA.
Full thread - viewtopic.php?f=6&t=871&hilit=post+fansub+world
That hits on all of the topics - non-English fansubbing is coming into its own with Crunchyroll and Daisuki but there's still an abundance of torrent distribution and what I'd call traditional fansubbing, and the now more self-righteous ones doing rips or alternate translations of official streams.
DKop wrote:Yea those real media anime files maybe might work on my VLC player if I try running them, other than that they wouldnt hardly run. I still have my data files from the early 2000's that were on multiple dvd's and cds that those discs surprisingly still work today. Im curious if you still got your stuff. I have a handful of clips that are in 96p or something rediculously small that only pull up as a small block on my computer when i play them, and I have to squint to see what they are, its really something. It's the only way I got all of Victory Gundam in Real Media subbed in chinese on 4 cds back in 9th grade from a friend of mine, and those files still work to this day.
I didn't even know about IRC till much later, which if I did that would have saved me time getting files from Kazaa and WInMX if I knew i could find what I wanted without it being the lottery to try and find whatever for that day. IIRC WInMX stopped and I had to swtich to eMule, which then became eDonkey, which then eventually got shut down.
So, right behind BitTorrent, the next best thing to happen to anime fansubbing of that generation was the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP): this was a one-stop-shop of video and audio codecs that solved 99.9% of playback issues you ran into and ran independently of whichever video player you used. If after sometime like 2004 or 2005, if you had a video you couldn't play, there was a reasonable chance a fansubber did that shit on purpose (10bit encoders, I am looking at you).
I remember all of those clients - I was a Napster
kid once upon a time to and moved from there to Kazaa, WinMX/Winny, Gnutella and eMule. Kazaa and WinMX were my preferred clients for nearly everything until I started getting stuff from BitTorrent. I never downloaded a lot from IRC - I had several friends that went through that hassle and I got their stuff either at LAN parties
or via sneakernet. I prefer IRC for chat (because it's still great for it 25 years later).
Funny you should ask if I have any digital relics from those eras - I still have my Dragonball trilogy VCDs which came from that time and some CDs I burned of fansubs I would take to watch between classes. A few J-Drama from when I first really got into those. Much of my stuff from the BT era has been lost -some things re-downloaded - over various HDD crashes and such over the past 15 years. In one of my office boxes, I have an old ZIP
disk and a ton of old floppy
of stuff from being an anime fan on the net in the mid-90s.
SPOILER ALERT: lots of dragonball, sailormoon, and samurai troopers pictures and really shitty fanfiction.
I had to borrow both a ZIP drive and a floppy disk drive so that I can get everything off of those and archive them in a more modern fashion (and recycle that stuff and get it out of the house).