In June we wrote about TorrentRelay, a site which enabled anyone with a web-enabled device to download torrent without a BitTorrent client. A few months later, the site has evolved quite a bit. We take a look at the new site and the range of useful features that were added by the developer.
Mostly written in Perl, TorrentRelay provides any user with a web-enabled browser (including game consoles) with the ability to download torrents without having to install a BitTorrent client. The process itself is quite straightforward, and a brief description is available in our earlier interview with the developer. A more comprehensive guide can be found here.
Since the launch of TorrentRelay, Kevin Kowalewski, the creator of the site, hasn’t been letting the grass grow under his feet. During the last few months, things have certainly moved on, and now TorrentRelay offers lots of brand new features which are mostly unique to a service of this type. We take a look.
One of the new features is ‘Fast Relay’. It allows users to save their files before the torrent has actually finished, with a save link becoming available during the first few minutes of transfer. As the torrent downloads on TorrentRelay, the data is sent directly to a ‘Save As’ dialog on the user’s PC, cutting down on save time. ‘Auto Save’ allows the user to start saving automatically to their default Firefox ‘save’ location. Selective file downloading from within torrents is available.
‘Load Again’, another new feature, makes it possible to easily restart previously loaded torrents, since the service is able to save a list of every other torrent used so far. TorrentRelay now also allows users to receive an email when a torrent has been completed, and the site now displays the combined speed and percentage completed of all active torrents.
Sites like TorrentRelay, or the Imageshack service we reported on earlier, are bandwidth intensive projects and of course, bandwidth costs money. While TorrentRelay continues to offer a free service like Imageshack’s, greater functionality is available to those who can afford a few dollars a month. The free version allows the user to download 3 torrents per day (2 simultaneously), each with a download rate of 500KBps and an upload rate of 250KBps
The ‘Prime’ service, costing $9.99 per month, allows intensive users to customize the experience and get a more feature-rich environment, allowing six active torrents and enhanced torrent transfer speeds. Prime also offers a personalized login which enables users to keep all their settings just the way they like them, regardless of login location. Other features include the ability to keep downloading after closing the browser, seeding to a ratio of 1.5 instead of 1.0, and a nice time-saving automated online RAR extraction.
One of the early applications of TorrentRelay was its Playstation 3 compatibility. Now it’s possible for ‘Prime’ users to stream video (.avi or .wmv) from torrents straight to the console. A video tutorial is available here.
Overall, TorrentRelay seems to be developing into a decent service with some nice features. It’s to be expected that bandwidth intensive users should pay a little for the service, and $9.99 isn’t going to break the bank, but it would be nice if some of the additional functionality of the ‘Prime’ account was available to all users.