Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Why BitTorrent needs to improve

I don’t always agree with GlassDog but they took the words out of my mouth when describing what’s wrong with BitTorrent. Most of the clients, as explained in the article, suck.
When I say suck, I mean they do have a larger learning curve than clicking a link and downloading the file normally. Even some of the better clients, which have attractive interfaces, confuse the user with lots of toolbars and menus and terminoligy like ‘trackers’, ‘seeds’, ‘peers’ and other words that are alien to most people. The ideal client would let you click on a link, perhaps using a new torrent:// protocol instead of http://, and then show a progress dialog showing how much had downloaded and how long was left. Because that’s what users expect when downloading other files and they’re comfortable with it.
Mozilla could easily extend Firefox’s download manager to support torrents in a post-1.0 release and display them in a similar way to how it shows downloads already. As could Opera. Heck, even Apple could do it and I’m sure they’d do a good job of it.
The article is quite lengthy but it’s worth reading. The comments are also worth a read too.

One Comment

  1. Shareaza does a lot of the things you’ve listed there, I’ve thrown away KaZaA and ABC (my bt client) in favour of Sharea. One App to rule ’em all…