Last week we published an article about the Tracker Checker 2 application for PC. On occasion, invite-only private BitTorrent trackers open up their doors for a limited period where people can signup without an invite. However, this involves visiting the site in question at just the right time as registrations are opened – a very hit and miss task. Tracker Checker 2 automated that process but unfortunately, it’s for PC only.
Shortly after we published, we had a contact from Milen Georgiev Dzhumerov, a regular reader of TorrentFreak and Mac software programmer. “When I saw the Tracker Checker I thought it was a great idea – so simple and useful” he said, “I’m waiting to start uni in October, I’ve got nothing better to do except write software! As I am a Mac user, I decided to create a Mac version of the app.”
The application arrives in .DMG format at just 221kb. Full installation instructions are included in the README file but it’s simply a question of dragging the software’s icon (created by YellowIcon) into the ‘Applications’ folder.
Launching is achieved by browsing to the app and double-clicking it. The .DMG file comes with a trackers.xml file (containing the tracker information) and is pre-configured with 67 trackers. Simply navigate to the .DMG, select the trackers.xml and import it.
There are 4 main buttons on the toolbar (created by Matt Ball Design):
Reload – Manually “reloads” all trackers
Add – Adds a new tracker to the list
Remove – Removes the currently selected tracker
Info – Opens the “Tracker Inspector” allowing the modification of tracker properties.
In the lower right corner there is a setting for selecting how many concurrent connections to open when checking the trackers. Tested on an 8mbit down connection, 15-20 connections produced ideal results.
Positive match type in the ‘Inspector’ is defined as marking the tracker as open if the find string is found and negative is just reversing the result of whatever the positive is returning, i.e if it doesn’t find the string you have selected negative, the tracker will be marked as open.
One of the criticisms leveled at the PC version of Tracker Checker 2 was that it checked sites for signups at a too regular interval of just 60 seconds. The Mac version addresses this with the chance for the user to choose the update interval.
Milen goes on to explain that he had another motive to develop the app: “The other reason for doing it was to actually see how good Cocoa stacks up against .NET/Java for simple applications like this one. I wanted to prove to myself that you can write applications in Cocoa rapidly. I would say that the app took me about a day/day and a half of proper work (I’m subtracting the time where I jumped in to play some games or watch a movie). I didn’t encounter any problems when using Apple’s well-designed frameworks and I’m very happy with how it turned out.”
More features are planned for the next release:
– Localization (definitely German + unconfirmed others)
– Growl support
– HTTP authentication and redirection support
Anyone wishing to translate the app, suggest features or report bugs, should get in touch with Milen on [email protected]