I’m talking about sharing movies, TV shows, music, photos, and applications online. Sharing (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) the old fashioned way, but with a new twist. Yes, boys and girls, guys and gals, file sharing the BitTorrent way is alive and well on the Mac thanks to a free app that does the ‘sharing‘ for you.
BitTorrent is a robust protocol for sharing files peer-to-peer, from here to there (or, rather, from there to here), a fast and convenient way to distribute a large number of large files by using millions of connect Macs and PCs throughout the world. That makes BitTorrent an easy way to find and share movies, TV shows, music, photos, and apps from other users. Encrypted. And mostly anonymous.
Arguably the most popular of the BitTorrent apps for Mac users is Transmission, which removes the geekiness of BitTorrent setup, configuration and use, and makes it, well, Mac-like easy. Transmission makes it a simple process to find what you want to share online, yet it’s secure, supports full encryption, handles watch directories on your Mac (because sharing), and even sets speed limits so it doesn’t hog your Mac’s CPU or take all the bandwidth from your internet connection.
Even better, Transmission is free and runs on multiple platforms, which probably accounts for the many tens of millions of users. Some estimates say that ‘file sharing’ accounts for more bandwidth than email and web surfing (but probably not Netflix).
BitTorrent has been around as a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol since around the turn of the century. Transmission uses BitTorrent to connect to files– the aforementioned movies, TV shows, music, photos, and apps– and to download those files from multiple source computers worldwide.
The only real problem I’ve run into while using Transmission to download files is stability. It often hangs upon Quit (sometimes crashes), and it, well, there’s no better way to put it– it’s a bit quirky, but in a Mac-like way. What Transmission does is work with little effort.
The Torrent Inspector gives you details on what is happening, progress, total downloaded and uploaded amounts, time elapsed, and a clever graphic that looks like a crossword puzzle.
You’ll still have to find the files you want from various sources, but Transmission and BitTorrent are the way to go when it comes to sharing files online (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).