Interview With the Developer of BitRocket

We e-mailed Julian Cain, the developer of BitRocket and he was gracious enough to set aside some time to talk to TorrentFreak about his Mac BitTorrent client that’s been making headlines over the last few days.

bitrocketThe interview:

TorrentFreak: What made you decide to develop BitRocket?

Julian: I wanted to develop a BitTorrent client for Mac OS for a while now. Just before I went to WWDC I had some spare time and started researching my options. Initially I thought using the libTransmission core would be a good base. I worked with that for a week or 2 and realized that it just wasn’t powerful enough for my needs. I have since scrapped all of that and rebuilt the client from scratch based around Rasterbar’s libtorrent core. That is what we see today as BitRocket.

TorrentFreak: Many people criticise libTransmission for being not up to the mark. What didn’t you find good/powerful enough about it?

Julian: It’s a very unfinished and unpolished library. There are some major tracker announce issues which are frowned upon by quite a few tracker site administrators. There is no UDP tracker support, no .torrent creation support, no multi-tracker support, no Kademlia DHT, no Selective Downloading, the list goes on.

TorrentFreak: Even as a beta release BitRocket is being praised for its intuitive user-interface and its many features. What do you think makes BitRocket different and better than any of other clients out there?

Julian: I don’t like to use the term “better”, it’s different that is for sure. BitRocket is not being built to be a slim client such as Mainline or Transmission. It’s out to be an alternative to advanced clients such as Azureus, that is the route I am headed.

TorrentFreak: A few bloggers have written about BitRocket and suggested features like searching without leaving the application. What new features do you plan to implement in upcoming releases?

Julian: I like the idea of searching within-side the application, however the thing that worries me is that it would rely on basically screen-scrapping torrent sites. This is bad because the BitRocket developers would always have to make sure that was working and if it failed because of a simple change to a torrent site then that would require an immediate “patch and release”. Personally I would like to see a DHT layer that allows for distributed horizonless torrent searching, however we have seen this fail with applications such as eXeem, but I believe it can be done effectively. Beyond this at some point most of the Azureus features should be implemented, it’s my role model.

TorrentFreak: Where are you from? Is BitRocket a side-project or are you working full-time on it?

Julian: I currently reside in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. BitRocket is a side project, I work full time on the Mac OS version of Gizmo Project.

TorrentFreak: What’s your standpoint on file-sharing and the BitTorrent protocol?

Julian: Heh, it’s funny especially with Open Source software. Developers are all concerned about their licensing schemes and enforcing them, and on the flip side your building an application that in retrospect goes against licensing all together, for the most part. I fully support file-sharing and the BitTorrent protocol whether it is downloading the latest Ubuntu iso or the hot movie of the summer. Don’t get me wrong I have purchased and and currently own over 200 DVD’s, most of which were bought because I first downloaded the torrent. I think the mpaa needs to rethink their tactics, they still “do not get it”.

Stay tuned for our upcoming review of BitRocket.


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