BitTorrent today released the first beta version of the company's upcoming Project Chrysalis software revealing a new interface, social interactivity, as well as a feature previously unseen in any other BitTorrent client: personal content channels.
Channels empower people to send massive files such as smartphone or DV videos, photos and other personal content libraries to friends, family and other groups. Built-in social features encourage interaction among channel members, creating a mini social network centered on a similar interest or event. Beyond the send capability based on the BitTorrent protocol, channels encourage social interaction through real-time commenting.
"Until recently, most of your personal files were small enough to email or post to social networks. Now, it's really easy to shoot HD video with your smartphone or snap high-res photos from a digital SLR. What happens to these giant files? They sit orphaned on your computer, or over-edited to make them small enough to share," said Eric Klinker, chief executive officer at BitTorrent.
"BitTorrent's distributed technology was built to accelerate the transfer of large files," said protocol inventor and BitTorrent Chief Scientist Bram Cohen. "Personal content channels are an ideal use case given the asymmetric nature of bandwidth and the costs of file hosting. The more friends you add to a channel, the faster your files will download."
Personal content channels allow people to privately send large files over the Internet to selected friends and groups of recipients. Commenting features directly in the channel encourage social interactivity.
To get started, a user selects a file and BitTorrent automatically creates a channel. Invitations may be sent directly from inside the channel via email, Facebook or Twitter. Once an invitee has accepted the invitation and joined the channel, they are able to download and comment on any posted files. Channel creators may also upload multiple files to the channel and create a theme. For example, a "soccer parent" might create a team channel and add new videos throughout the soccer season. The number of channels a person may create is virtually unlimited, enabling users to send files selectively.
Additional Project Chrysalis software features include
advanced torrent management capabilities, a redesigned and simplified user interface as well as an App Studio featuring artist-endorsed spotlight films and music.
The Project Chrysalis beta is the first generation of a new BitTorrent software client, intended to replace the BitTorrent Mainline product. In addition to the core features in the beta, future versions of the software will enable people to view any files downloaded over the Internet on any device, including TVs, mobile devices and more.
During beta trials, BitTorrent's personal content channels feature has no file size limits and is free. The beta software is available here
. The beta is English only, and is compatible with Microsoft Windows running Internet Explorer 8.