Downloading times have been cut short and shorter, but we are a typically impatient lot. There's been a historical trade-off between streaming your films and series, and mustering up the patience for a decent download. With the ability to stream torrent video in full quality, the gap between these two is ever closing, bringing the best of both worlds.
Right now, uTorrent is one of the most prominent torrent clients that carries video streaming capabilities. Sadly, this is still limited to its Windows client. Users of Mac OS X and Linux are left with few alternatives. That is, except LittleShoot.
LittleShoot requires a small, cross-platform application to be installed as a back-end, but for all intents and purposes, LittleShoot is effectively a BitTorrent client that works directly out of your browser. This carries a number of advantages; not least the cross-platform compatibility when your technology arsenal runs with Mac and Linux, as well as the Windows operating system.
On top of that, LittleShoot is riddled with interesting functionality. One of these features has earned our foremost focus today – torrent video streaming.
Streaming Torrent Video
As mentioned before, streaming video from your torrents is a relatively new niche, and one that has often been limited to Windows users. With the LittleShoot torrent client this is a thing of the past. You'll have your video stream up and running in no time, regardless of your operating platform.
LittleShoot will automatically open torrent links from the most popular torrent websites. Alternatively, you can open an already downloaded torrent file in LittleShoot by opening it through the back-end application.
When enough of the torrent has been downloaded, you can start streaming the video. An important difference with other torrent streaming clients is that it will attempt to open these videos through your browser. Having a decent video client that can also handle in-browser video (like the DivX Player) is strongly advised. After the torrent has finished, the downloaded files will remain on your computer in your Downloads folder.
Searching In LittleShoot
In theory, LittleShoot can keep all your torrent activity in-house. LittleShoot is, above all, aimed at letting people publish their own torrents with other people. All of these files can then be found by using LittleShoot's built-in search.
As you may have realized, LittleShoot is not (yet) one of the big torrenting names. As such, the collection of published material remains relatively small. Some files, especially those that might violate copyright, will not be accessible through the built-in search, but will rather have to be added manually. If these restrictions are for better or worse, I'll leave for you to judge.
Conclusion – Feature Tradeoff
I'll be honest. On each separate platform, there are torrent clients available that are easier to use and have more advanced feature sets. The most important distinction for me is that LittleShoot appears to be one of the only ways to bring torrent streaming to Mac OS X and Linux platforms. For me, that's enough to earn a spot in my Applications folder.
That being said, some features are still clearly lacking. Streaming a single video from a torrent collection is not possible. Deleting a torrent from your queue is also harder than it should be. LittleShoot is, in the end, a tradeoff; important torrent streaming functionality versus an interface that's sometimes lacking.
What do you think? What features of LittleShoot make you want to switch, and what (if anything) keeps you from doing so? Let us hear from you in the comments!