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Walkthrough: BitRocket - a killer new Mac OS X BitTorrent client

BitRocket - a killer new Mac OS X BitTorrent client

Dan Lurie over at TUAW found a review of BitTorrent clients for Mac OS X a few days ago. Apparently, this inspired Clone Software, Ltd. to stop guarding their secret and release BitRocket (which TUAW promptly found) - an OSS torrent client (in beta) for the Mac that indeed rockets past the competition (zing!).


BitRocket excels because it is refreshingly Mac OS X friendly, right down to the UI and design of the app. On the left side is a list for RSS torrent feeds, and at the bottom of that list is a master up/download panel for keeping an eye on just how much is moving in each direction.


In the very top right is a customizable search engine, which by default offers a total of eight engines to search through, as well as a list of previous searches. The one downfall of this panel (hey, it's a 0.1 beta, I gotta knock 'em for something) is that the search is actually kicked out to your default browser; it isn't contained and maintained within BitRocket. With how much of a 'bittorrent command center' this app seems to act like (as you'll see in later screenshots), it would been great to keep everything under one roof where BitRocket can manage the entire search and download process from start to finish. Maybe this will come in a future version, but so far this is the only ding I can find with the app, and that's saying quite a bit for a 0.1 beta release.

In the top center of BitRocket is a list of torrent downloads, and the panel below that list offers five tabs. The first is General (not pictured, because it's so basic), which offers information about the currently selected torrent.

The second tab, called Progress, is a much more in-depth look at how a torrent is progressing, offering an overall progress meter, as well as a graph of which parts of the torrent have been downloaded. This panel also offers an up/down meter for each specific torrent, as opposed to the overall meter mentioned earlier.

The files tab is pretty straight forward - it's a list of all the files included in the torrent. Being that I'm only downloading a simple video, there isn't much else to see here.

The peers tab is stellar, as it offers a play-by-play of how much you're getting and sending, from and to whom, how fast - the whole nine yards.

Last in these tabs but not least is RSS, which might feel a bit disjointed to some users, as it's a list of files available in whichever RSS feed you've selected in the list on the left (which you can see better in the overall screenshot listed earlier in this post). Regardless, this element of finding and managing torrents is one of the reasons why I hope BitRocket is able to incorporate searches into the app itself, so it can handle everything from start to finish.

As a final layer of control and customization, BitRocket allows you to filter your list of torrents with these options at the top of the torrent list. This way, chronic torrenters can keep an eye on specific torrents based on their status.

I admittedly haven't put BitRocket through the test with a dozen torrents just yet, but in my preliminary testing I've found this app to be one of the most feature-packed and stable 'v0.1 beta' apps I've ever used. There is tremendous promise in BitRocket, and I can honestly say the bar has just been raised for all Mac OS X bittorrent clients. If you've been looking for a solid client that plays very well with your Mac, BitRocket's extensive feature list and A+ Mac OS X integration can hardly disappoint.

Tags: bitrocket, bittorrent, client, download, mac, manage, os x, OsX, share, torrent, upload

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