I received lots (for this blog) of reader appreciation for BitTorrent Best Way to Download Files (October 30, 2005). And to reward yon loyal band here’s more Torrent stuff.
uTorrent is a free, frequently updated, Windows torrent download client. It’s very compact (115 kb) when compared to ‘big boys’ like the Java-based Azureus, BitTorrent and BitComet. Yet offers the same feature set. Even as its memory footprint remains low (under 7 MB) even when downloading multiple torrents. Its fast becoming my default Windows BitTorrent client. It supports the DHT network and allows trackerless torrents.
It also offers detailed scheduling by a specific day of the week and hour. For example when using a dial-up connection that has a free data transfer period (typically Midnight to 6:30 AM). You can limit uTorrent transfer rates to a low 1 kbps until just after midnight. Then allow unlimited bandwidth until 6:29 AM. Before dropping the transfer rates back to 1 kbps or less.
uTorrent can also offer a separate upload rate when there are no active downloads. This network-friendly setting allows you to seed recently-downloaded files. uTorrent supports the trackerless DHT network. And offers per-file download priorities including selectable download priorities (low-normal-high). But you need to add the Torrent to the active transfer queue before you can block specific files. I much prefer BitComet’s interactive approach that displays both the Torrent download destination, download status (start now, schedule) and the list of files.
But excluding this, uTorrent information-wise is no slouch. The multi-tabbed view displays Torrent download details. As well as the peers (including seeds) connected. With your individual transfer rate from each peer. Other tabs display the piece transfer status. List of files being download. And its in this pane that you can set the per-file transfer priority as well as choose to skip specific files. There’s also a speed graph. And a log file window that you need to right-click in to enable verbose reporting including per-piece status and DHT dumps.
There’s also built-in search (opens in the default Web browser) that uses several popular Torrent search engines. As well as Google. And you can add more engines. You can also create your own Torrents. There’s also includes an auto-update feature. And not only downloads its tiny (typically 30-35 kB) updates but installs them and restarts. You can download and apply updates even with active torrent transfers.
As proof of its efficiency and speed, a 1.2 GB (legal) Linux operating system torrent I’d semi-given up on as for nearly 3 weeks was downloaded almost immediately by uTorrent. The transfer had stalled out at 98.7% done. Except that as this was an ISO file, until I downloaded it in full I couldn’t burn a bootable CD-R from it. Before using uTorrent, I’d tried unsuccessfully with BitComet (on Windows) and Azureus (on Linux).
And to playback all those MP3s. And some MP4 and MPC files. I used to use the free Coolplayer that combines a tiny system footprint with an 8-band equalizer. And an internal, very responsive sound output control. Plus support for skins. Unfortunately development seems have stalled for a while. And several plugins too are on longer available.
And then I chanced upon the also-free XMPlay that supports formats as diverse as OGG, MP3, WMA, WAV, CDA, MO3, IT, XM, S3M, MTM, MOD and UMX. And can support more using a range of freely available add-ins. It also supports most Winamp DSP plugins. As well as skins. There’s a separate BassMOD version for Linux, Mac OSX and PocketPC users
This is a feature-rich player with integrated sound shaping including both a 5-band equalizer, as well as reverb, and surround sound. And a very interesting dynamic limiter that boosts quiet passages and limits loud ones. Initially it seems a bit odd but the setting is perfect for background music. You can even see the limiter decreasing and increasing the track volume in real-time. XMPlay supports 32/24-bit/multi-channel output along with volume boost.
What really interested me in this player is its ability (via plug-ins) to support MPx archived files. Imagine storing your music collection in Zip, ARC, RAR, LHA, PP and 7z compressed files. And being able to listen to the archive file contents automatically without needing to decompress the files as is needed with other players including the Winamp. Read the details here and download a copy too. There’s a separate Guide site that offers add-on and plug-in collections.
And finally here’s news of a new Firefox 1.5 browser exploit. A web page with a very long page title like the Proof of Concept that uses 2.5 million characters. The concept page causes the browser to stop responding. The Mozilla Foundation recommends a restart before manually deleting the page from the browser cache. Or emptying the entire cache. If that too doesn’t work, manually delete history.dat file.
That’s it for this week. More later. Until then stay safe!