Most large torrent files (8-20 gb) take quite a while to download. Is there software for Mac OS X that allows me to watch them while downloading?
The torrent client
Previously I used BitThief. It is developed by a technology institute in Zurich. It didn’t have a polished GUI and took a little bit too much CPU while downloading.
The new client I found thanks to @diimdeep. It is called qbittorrent and it is awesome.
You can see that while downloading it downloads as a normal torrent client – the parts are downloaded randomly:
But there is an option:
After that we can see that the rest of the file is being downloaded sequentially (blue – downloaded, green – requested):
The connection speed
How can we tell if the speed is good enough? By the estimated time of arrival (ETA):
If the movie is 1.5 hours and the ETA is 17 minutes, then the speed is sufficient.
The player is and always has been mplayer. I use MplayerX because it comes with a nice OSX gui. Download and associate movie files with mplayer (avi, mkg):
The final step is to to play the file after the downloading started:
Yes. There are three requirements:
# 3 is trivial. Although you could cope with slower connection, if you download enough buffer for playback.
# 1 is somewhat trivial. VLC can start the playback of a file if the file's headers are downloaded (first pieces of the file). Seeking is a bit limited and I don't remember correctly if VLC stops when encountering a (too long) gaps in video. On Windows I've used GOM Player, which was more laid-back with missing frames.
# 2 is counter-intuitive. While many clients allow you to prioritise the files, prioritising pieces is less common. This is simply because torrents are designed to transfer big sets of data fast. A large reason why torrents are faster or more efficient than an ordered transfer of a file is due to the fact that torrents pick the easy fruits - whatever parts of the file are available from the least loaded / closest source are what get downloaded first. Statistically, you should expect to be missing key parts of the beginning of the video until the transfer is almost complete.
The speed is achieved by initially splitting the file(s) to pieces, sending the pieces to the clients in the network and then all the clients will share and merge the different pieces. The operation is best described with an animation found in BitTorrent's Wikipedia article.
Unfortunately I can't recommend any torrent clients that give you the option to prioritise the pieces—if there even are any—as I've never really had the need.
Also note that BitTorrent isn't exactly designed for playback while downloading (QED), but for just sharing data. You might get better luck with on–demand video rental services available in your area, which usually use software and protocols specifically designed for HD-playback over the net.
Sadly that leaves out lots of great indie content. Maybe the best way to deal with the issue is to gain patience or plan more ahead :-)
No, because Torrent download files in chunks and not sequentially, so you cannot be sure to download the various pieces of the file in the required order to view it.
You can try a specialized Torrent client (like Miro), but I do not believe if will works.
currently, there are only window and Linux clients that support this feature
q torrent - windows - linux
utorrent 2.1 alpha build - you need videolan
utorrent 3.1 you need to install Videolan or mpcstar
deluge - Linux and windows, Probably Mac you need the Pieces Plug-in,and VLC
Video Tyrant - you need java installed, with vlc
bit-comet 1.32 - windows - works with vlc or mpcstar
NextSharePc European Union project, AKA known as P2p http://trial.p2p-
next.org/ - windows - Linux unsure about mac
http://www.tribler.org/trac - windows , linux , unsure about mac
last one, is of course vuze 5.1 whatever version it is. you need to pay for
the streaming feature.
thats about it.
my recommendations are, bit-comet for private torrent trackers, you can change the user agent in the options which allows you to download from them.
the best public client is Video Tyrant, as it never buffers the video. bit-comet works also really good on public trackers.
streaming 20gbs on a home broadband is impossible, i can guarantee you this your going to experience buffering every 12 seconds you need either 100mbit or 50mbit home connection.
you should download 10mbit per /sec to be able to stream HD torrents.
thats about it.
There is a program called Vuze that is available but requires a yearly subscription of $25 for streaming while still downloading.