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Summary:

uTorrent users are not too thrilled about BitTorrent buying their favorite torrent client, and they are speaking out about it. In a response to Bram Cohen’s message on the uTorrent forums, many expressed dismay, though some were optimistic about the future of their beloved client. BitTorrent’s […]

uTorrent users are not too thrilled about BitTorrent buying their favorite torrent client, and they are speaking out about it. In a response to Bram Cohen’s message on the uTorrent forums, many expressed dismay, though some were optimistic about the future of their beloved client. BitTorrent’s agreements with MPAA and big studios are a cause of much hand wringing on the forums, though it is too early to say how it all shakes out.


uTorrent was created by a Swedish developer, Ludvig (Ludde) Strigeus, and was well known for its lightweight and efficient implementation of the torrent protocol. Our good pal Henri Torstensson has described the client as “exceptionally well-written codebase” and “compelling UI.”

The deal just might be what BitTorrent needed to become the client of choice, to help realize its dreams of becoming a P2P backbone for the legit content. Still it had us wondering what was BitTorrent doing this past year. Its much-awaited store is delayed, and other torrent based clients — uTorrent, Mainline, Azureus and tTransmission — have gained in popularity.

Shouldn’t innovations and lightweight implementations that have come from competitive clients emerged out of BitTorrent? Hopefully, the uTorrent acquisition is a step in the right direction for the San Francisco-based start-up that has raised over $28 million in venture financing.

Found via Clicked.MSNBC

  1. Other torrent based clients like Mainline…?

    Mainline is the ‘official’ bittorrent client. Has always had that name.

    Anyway, while Bram has always had the vision and the genius to design the protocol in the first place, the Mainline UI has until recently always been absolutely hands-down AWFUL. It hasn’t been used by most users for years, not just the last year. Plus the client has been buggy since about version 4 and the DHT has never worked properly.

    Ludde built uTorrent from scratch, deliberately not relying on any libraries to ensure it was the smallest client possible. Since version 1.2 or so, it’s been a joy to use. BitTorrent Inc won’t care much about the piracy fan boys on the utorrent forums. they’ll care about the day to day users they now have access to through the bought client.

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  2. pat, sorry about that. it was way too late at night to be writing. anyway you got a point. i think it is critical move for the company. my point was – what was the reason the company did not develop better clients.

    perhaps they were spending a lot of time developing extensions to the platform for their commercial clients. that makes absolute sense.

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  3. what was the reason the company did not develop better clients.

    I think the main reason is that Bram probably felt that his client was done and complete. You probably have a point that they were looking at commercial extensions like Cache Discovery Protocol rather than focussing on the users. Even so, Mainline hasn’t been a popular choice for more than two years.

    Further points: (i) the Mainline UI needed a lot of work that it’s only received in the last few months (remember, Cohen is a programmer and a linux geek, not a gui designer); (ii) much of the innovation that’s come in bittorrent over the last year has been on items which Cohen didn’t agree with – in particular, protocol encryption to let users get round traffic shaping.

    The BT Inc company has been focussed on exploiting the brand name and trying to strike deals with the big media companies rather than making a good client. They’ve been in real need of content for some time. But I think this deal shows that they really needed more investment in client dev. Take a look at this to get an idea of how a good client would have brought them users anyway…

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  4. Om Bittorrent acquired uTorrent for its small code base so they embed a client into a eeprom .They will embed bittorrent into devices like TVs , set top boxes, routers , cable modems and maybe even cellphones

    And I’m sure device manufacturers would rather deal with code that is written in C++ and assembler like uTorrent is that trying to port Pyton onto a chip.

    The users that are complaining about uTorrent being acquired by Bittorent are worried because many think that Bittorent Inc is owned by the MPAA (which it is not) and the Studios will force Bittorent Inc to put backdoor code so uTorrents users copyright infringement activities can be tracked .

    This is total paranoia on their part and if Bittorrent and if the Studios did place a back-door in a Bittorrent client I’m sure a security researcher would release a public statement about such activity , just as Ed Fenton did with the Sony rootkit scandal .

    Bittorent also may also need a closed secure secure client so they can distribute Hollywood movies in a secure environment so the Studios and Bittorrent Inc can use the DCMA and EULAs when the client or content is compromised

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  5. Oh and Bittorent was probably busy signing deals with the studios and getting a workable p2p demo out to their studio partners

    The studios probably came back to them and said your open source client wont cut it with our legal and security requirements.

    So Bittorent Inc. brought out the closed source competition .

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  6. have you guys seen this? http://www.bittorrent.com/publish.html

    this is a very cool service and makes bittorrent publishing extremely easy. it never has been in the past and allows bittorrent to take on akamai in the server offload arena

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  7. I don’t see the big isseu. Utorrent wil still be small and easy to work with

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