It isn’t often that a new torrent site comes along and actually manages to impress, but Torrent Butler is certainly one worthy of note. The site offers a wide range of movies, presented in a way that’s quite refreshing and unique. Born out of frustration with “authorized” movie download sites, Torrent Butler may both frighten and inspire the MPAA’s major movie studios.
Torrent Butler is one of those sites that is better explained by visiting, rating than describing it. Essentially it is a huge collection of movie torrents presented in a grid of movie posters. The site lists both regular definition and high definition torrents, and on the film’s detail pages users have access to information about the plot, cast, rating, a trailer and more.
The idea is simple yet innovative, a combination that’s often the key to success. Unlike most torrent search engines, Torrent Butler is focused on browsing and discovering films in an elegant and visually attractive layout, augmented with loads of useful information. Unfortunately for the movie industry, the site is not limited to ‘authorized’ film copies either.
Fascinated by the project that officially launched this week, TorrentFreak got in touch with the brains behind the site to find out what inspired him to develop it. Perhaps shockingly, it turns out he’s a big movie buff who pays for his enjoyment. “I really love movies and watch quite a lot of them. The past few years I’ve actually been renting movies through iTunes,” Torrent Butler’s founder told TorrentFreak.
Being a movie fan nowadays is not easy though, especially outside of the US where most new films are simply unavailable online.
“The problem with iTunes is that for a big movie lover and consumer like me, the number of (decent) movies that are released, is rather limited. I mean most of the ‘new’ releases on iTunes are just old, back-catalog movies, with higher-quality, recent releases popping up only every once in a while, especially in HD,” Torrent Butler’s founder explained.
“So at some point you’ve just seen them all, or all the good ones for that matter. Most of the movies are also only available in the US store, and as I don’t live there and don’t have a US credit card, I have to jump through a lot of hoops to pay iTunes, which is a another major PITA,” he added.
This troublesome experience eventually led Torrent Butler’s founder to switch to torrents instead, simply because the legal alternatives we’re unable to cater to his needs. However, this introduced another problem. Most torrent indexes and meta-search engines are not very well suited for ‘discovering’ movies.
“With torrents the search experience is pretty bad. When you know what movie you’re looking for, it’s fairly easy, but when you want to find out what movies are available it’s just a lot of work. You’re basically spitting through long textual listings, with a lot of repetition and no visual cues whatsoever. The lists are not very inspiring, and when you want to have a look at the trailer you have to do another manual search for it”
“So we fixed that problem and built Torrent Butler,” the site’s founder added.
Torrent Butler’s development took several months and this week it was officially released to the public. The aim of the site is, in part, to show the movie industry what a convenient and attractive movie store should look like.
“I often think why no-one else has built this before, because it’s such a simple and obvious solution,” the site’s founder said. “So I think it’s pretty big, until the studios finally figure out that they should just create something like this themselves. I really don’t mind paying 5 or 6 bucks for a rental, as long as they offer lots of good and fresh content.”
The torrents listed on Torrent Butler are all hosted externally, mostly on The Pirate Bay. New movies are added to the search index on a regular basis and by default they are listed based on popularity. However, the site also offers users the option to browse through the latest added torrents, or high definition releases only. If a high definition download is not yet available users have the option to be notified by email when it is.
In the future Torrent Butler may expand its index and add TV-torrents as well. The site’s founder told us that he is open to feature suggestions from the public. Overall we’re quite impressed with the site’s presentation. If only the movie industry could come up with something like this for the global public.