Xtorrent, the new BitTorrent client for Mac OS X, just rolled out of the beta phase. In September, we reviewed the first public beta, which initially looked like a promising application. However, issues like the problematic libtransmission library, and the intrusive shareware policy make this client a lot less attractive.
The first major drawback of Xtorrent is that it is not free, which is extremely unusual and awkward for a BitTorrent client. In addition, Xtorrent has a very intrusive shareware policy. If you do not register the application, a floating window that you cannot close gets stuck on your screen, and searches randomly start to fail. To make things even worse, it seems like the application throttles the available bandwidth to 10kbps after an hour of usage.
The second drawback is that Xtorrent’s core is made up of the libtransmission library. This library is known to hammer trackers, and is banned from an increasing number of them, which makes Xtorrent useless for members of Oink, for example.
If you decide to buy Xtorrent you’re mostly paying for the (stunningly) beautiful user-interface, not because its download speeds are the best or because it is the lightest BitTorrent client available for the Mac. Azureus still leads by a wide margin in download speeds, and Transmission is hands down the lightest BitTorrent client for the Mac.
Xtorrent looks good, it integrates well with iTunes, has iPod support and subscribes to RSS feeds. But to be completely honest, it just doesn’t seem like it’s worth the money. Perhaps that’s just because I’m a Windows user. Paying for software just isn’t in my blood.