Friday, July 10, 2009

bittorrent bullshit

I'm thinking of switching bittorrent clients. Wikipedia has a comparison of them that's kind of hard to use as it's approximately five million tables on a page and you have to determine the relation of a row of data from one table to the next.

Anyway, here's my story. I currently use Azureus (now called Vuze, whatever) in the classic UI. It has a ton of features, including several which I just don't see the point of.

I've used uTorrent before, and I don't feel inclined to go back to it. Especially not since it sold out to the MAFIAA. There are other, more operational reasons as to why I'm not going back to it. First off, it seemed to blatantly ignore the upload cap I had set. Second, its RSS feed reading/automatic downloading feature only supports simple wildcards as opposed to regular expressions. Regular expressions are approximately 9001% more powerful than simple wildcards and offer much more fine-tuned matching of releases. Perhaps I'll go into the difference at another time.

I will say this now: The RSS bit I mentioned above is really the only thing keeping me on Azureus. After having set it up, I have come to depend on it automatically downloading things for me. It's a pretty nice feeling to wake up, get on the computer, and discover that it's downloaded the latest episode of whatever series I'm watching. To quote Ron Popeil, it's "Set it, and forget it!"

I've been looking at alternatives, but it's tough to find something that fits my basic criteria:
  • Open source (i.e. not uTorrent)
  • Has to play nice in swarms (i.e. not BitComet/BitLord)
  • Freeware (shareware/adware sucks)
  • Available for Windows (otherwise I'd just use rtorrent)
  • Light on resources (number one complaint about Azureus, however Firefox uses way more resources than Azureus does)
  • RSS downloading with regular expression matching is a must
  • Must have the ability to cap upload (most clients do these days)
  • Protocol encryption (most clients have this)
  • Having an indicator of whether or not I've got my NAT set up right would be neat too, but not required.
  • Needs to close when I click the Close button in the upper right corner. None of this "minimize to tray on close" bullshit.
  • Could show time left to a configurable seeding goal
  • Ability to disable automatically updating the client, "anonymous" usage statistics, or other bullshit
Things I don't need:
  • Glitzy user interfaces (i.e. not Vuze)
  • Torrent "labels" (what are these even for? is figuring out what you're downloading by looking at its name really that difficult?)
  • Chat (I've got IRC and Pidgin for that)
  • Built in features that aren't removable such as most of Azureus' plugins (why are they plugins if they're required?)
  • Torrent search engine (I've got google for that)
Of everything I've looked at so far, Deluge appears to be one of the best candidates. Halite looked neat but lacks the critical RSS feed feature (at least, they don't mention it in their feature list). I'm not using the official bittorrent client for obvious reasons (spoiler, it's uTorrent reskinned).

I'm not all that motivated to switch, as Azureus is still 100% functional, and if it ain't broke don't fix it. Yet at the same time I'd like to know what else I could switch to and still use in the way I've become accustomed to using Azureus.

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