This ongoing series will help you get the most out of μTorrent, from the basics to tips and tricks.
μTorrent Pro has one very important feature up its sleeve: streaming your torrents even before they’ve downloaded completely. This is particularly ideal when you’ve picked out a long movie — say, the Tbilisi I Love You BitTorrent Bundle — and want to start watching right away without waiting for the whole download process to end.
Here’s a quick primer of what streaming can and cannot do!
How It Works
Normally when you download a file from μTorrent, that file can be downloaded in a random order. The μTorrent core is designed to download as efficiently as possible, not necessarily in order of the media you’re downloading. When you download a torrent that you want to stream, the file must go in order. This means that it might take a bit before streaming begins, but no different from when a video needs to be buffered on other media sites.
You know that a torrent files is available to be streamed when it appears with a “Play” icon alongside it. So, you can choose when to stream. That button also has indicators to let you know where it is in the process: a yellow button indicates that the stream will play in a choppy state, while a green play button means you should be able to stream smoothly.
What You Need to Stream
Streaming remains exclusive to μTorrent Pro on Windows, so Mac users won’t be able to access the feature.
For the best results. you should use streaming with a high speed connection, greater than at least 1Mbps download rate. Otherwise, your stream will likely be choppy.
You also need a player to access the content. While μTorrent provides a player within the client specifically for streaming, you can also push the stream to third-party software. You can switch that out in the Playback section of the Preferences tab, found within the Options menu. That way you can connect it to a VLC player or Windows Media for efficiency.
Kinds of Files to Stream
Not all files can be streamed equally: Streaming capabilities are largely dependent on the size of the file and the strength of the connection. It is not likely that you will be able to stream full HD or higher video, for example, as that requires a very fast internet connection to shoulder the burden. However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule — if you know your Internet can withstand the load, then stream on.
Now you can enjoy your media without waiting.Download μTorrent for free and gain access to a fast, lightweight file sharing system, and upgrade to μTorrent Pro for an ad-free, enhanced experience.
Photo: Flickr/ Ronnie