Xtorrent public beta 1 reviewed

The much hyped Mac BitTorrent client from my friend David Watanabe is now available for download. We first covered it a week ago when it was announced. Even though it's still in testing, we've decided to do a review of it.

The main feature that sets Xtorrent apart from its Mac brethren is the ability to search from within the application. BitRocket, also still in beta, is the only other Mac BT client to offer this feature. There are only two search engines included by default, Google and Yahoo!, but you can easily add more in the preferences pane. I added the site bt.etree.org (legal live recordings) without any problems. All you have to do is go to a BT site, search for something, and then copy the URL you see in the address bar into Xtorrent. For example, I searched for “grateful dead” on bt.etree.org. This is the URL I got: http://bt.etree.org/?search=grateful+dead&cat=0. Just replace grateful+dead with %@ and you’re done!

Another feature unique to Xtorrent is Autodownload. Suppose you have a folder full of .torrents, you can have Xtorrent monitor it and download them all. I have Autodownload monitoring my Desktop. Since that’s my where all my files from Safari are downloaded to, Xtorrent automatically adds them and clears up my Desktop!

The user-interface is beautiful, just like that of Acquisition, David’s P2P application. Other than the UI, there are some other similarities to Acquisition as well. For one, the “Download” and “iTunes” preference panes looks exactly the same. You can have Xtorrent automatically import any video and audio files you download directly into iTunes. This is one feature all of us Acquisition users are already accustomed to and love.

Xtorrent is in its first beta, so don’t fret about any bugs you may come across, instead report them and help get Xtorrent ready for the prime time. The fact is, this hardly seems like beta software. Everything is polished and works well. You can’t expect any less from one of the most talented developers on the Mac platform. Newsfire, Inquisitor, Acquisition, and now Xtorrent is all the proof anyone needs.

Overall, Xtorrent is just a pleasure to use. Everything “just works.”

Stay tuned for an interview with David Watanabe, the developer of Xtorrent.

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