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Automatically download torrents with uTorrent and RSS feeds

This week's series of tips is all about downloading files via BitTorrent. We'll highlight ways in which to torrent more efficiently, obtain higher download speeds, and generally make the whole process easier. For more tech tips, check our Tips index.

If you've decided that text-based console torrenting isn't for you, the next best solution is automating your torrent downloads with RSS. Most big-name BitTorrent clients support RSS feeds, but for this tip we'll focus on uTorrent.

First, your favorite torrent source needs to actually have RSS feeds. The Pirate Bay has them, and Torrent Reactor has per-category and per-genre feeds. For TV shows, you can't go wrong with EZRSS. Once you have the URLs for an RSS feed or two, open up uTorrent, click Feeds on the left bar, and then the Add RSS Feed button. Paste the URL in, give it a name, and make sure "Do not automatically download all items" is selected. Do the same for all of the RSS feeds that you want to use.

Now it's time for the fun bit! You have to create filters that parse each of the RSS feeds for the torrents that you want to download. Hit Options > RSS Downloader (or Ctrl+R). In general, you type the name of what you want to automatically download into the Filter text box, such as "Heroes" or "Ubuntu". Rather than walk you through the entire process, the uTorrent site has a good tutorial that you can follow -- and EZRSS's guide is excellent, too. Once you've set up some filters, they become active immediately -- and if you've set them up correctly, you can minimize uTorrent and never manually add torrents ever again!

Finally Mac users, if you're using Transmission (which you should be!), check out this guide on setting up RSS feed automation.

Tags: apps, automation, bittorrent, ezrss, p2p, rss, the pirate bay, ThePirateBay, tips, torrent, torrent reactor, torrenting, TorrentReactor