Rojoice all you μTorrent fans! The bittorrent download manager is now also available for the Linux platform. With the release of the Mac client a while back this means that μTorrent is now available for all three major platforms.
For those who haven’t heard of μTorrent, you either don’t use bit torrent at all, or you’ve been missing out on one of the best torrent clients available for Windows. μTorrent is possibly one of the lightest torrent downloading applications available, and even now the windows version is a mere 321kB. In this small package lie some very powerful features. μTorrent has a large list of features which you can find out more about here.
The μTorrent client for Linux however is currently only a “server” which has no UI at all. So what use is μTorrent without a UI? Well, first of all, this is just an alpha version, and a UI may come with time. Even without a UI there is much that can be dont with this Linux release of μTorrent server. So what can you expect today? We’ll tell you.
For quite a while now μTorrent has offered a feature called WebUI. This feature enables an alternate remote control interface of μTorrent which allows you to control you μTorrent client from anywhere in the world. μTorrent sets up a server on your computer which you can access from any other computer if you have your computer’s IP address (and you are not behind a firewall). The web UI of μTorrent offers nearly all the features of the main application interface, however it is accessible though a browser.
The Linux version of μTorrent includes only this WebUI for controlling the application. You can launch μTorrent, have it running in the background, and you will be able to connect to it through your browser and add / remove torrents and manage your downloads.
What lies ahead of μTorrent is even more exciting. In the coming version 3 of the application, we will see possibly the biggest update yet. By version 3.0 μTorrent will integrate three core new technologies which will completely change the μTorrent experience.
The first major new technology is μTorrent Web. What if you could access your μTorrent interface from anywhere without worrying about configuring firewalls and NATs? The new service at web.μTorrent.com offers just this service. You simply need to configure a username and password in your μTorrent configuration, and use the same credentials to log in at web.μTorrent.com and you are set! You will see your μTorrent interface no matter where you are as long as you have access to a standards compliant browser.
Not only can you control your downloads remotely, you can even stream any media files in your download list from you computer, so you can play it back anywhere. You can even use the “Get File” function to download non-media files from your μTorrent list.
Another useful feature to come by μTorrent 3 is sharing torrents. If you are a seasoned torrent user, you will often have difficulty explaining the —often rather convoluted— means of downloading torrent files. For those used to downloading files by simply clicking on a link and waiting while the browser download manager saves the file, the multiple steps involved in downloading a torrent client, finding the torrent for what you want, downloading the torrent, loading the torrent in the torrent client and downloading the contents of the torrent itself can be a little daunting. With the new “Send Torrent” feature of μTorrent, you can simply right click on a torrent click on “Send Torrent” and you will be taken to a page from where you can download a version of μTorrent which comes prepackaged with the torrent file you chose. You can then simply share this link with a torrent novice, and he will be able to download the torrent client, and the torrent, in one step. If the client was already installed, the download will simply start off, else the user will get a small wizard for installing the μTorrent.
Besides the major features, a number of small improvements are also on the way. For one, the icons and looks of μTorrent have changed completely giving it a sleeker modern look. UDP support is another nice addition to μTorrent. One of our favorite new features is the addition of fine-grained priorities. Till now μTorrent supported four modes for files, HIgh, Normal, Low, and Don’t Download / skip. Now you will have a range of priorities from 15 (highest) to 1 (lowest) with 0 for skipped files. This makes it easier to ensure that files from a multi-file torrent are downloaded in exactly the order you want them to. An additional option available is to “Prioritize by File Order” which will automatically assign decreasing file priorities to the selected files, ensuring that they download nearly in the order they appear in the list.
For such a small torrent application, it seems like μTorrent’s aims are certainly giant. We look forward to what this brilliant application will bring in time.