What the heck is BitTorrent?

At its most basic, BitTorrent is a technology that allows its users to share files with one another. Torrent technology users can download, or "leech," from one another or can upload, or "seed," to one another.

Here's a useful video I found on YouTube, explaining what a torrent file is. The video also discusses legality and how BitTorrent users are affected by those issuess.

What BitTorrent program should I use?

There's no right or wrong answer to which program one should use, but here are three programs that I recommend trying. Each has its own little quirks, so fiddle around with each and see which design you prefer and which you find easiest to use.

  • BitTorrent
  • The original BitTorrent client. Developed by Bram Cohen in 2001, it is easy to use and has a clean interface (design.) You can't go wrong with the original.

  • UTorrent
  • The "(very) tiny" BitTorrent client, UTorrent claims to be the "world's most popular BitTorrent client." It might be the world's most popular, but it isn't my favorite.

  • Transmission
  • Transmission is my go-to BitTorrent client. I think the interface is simple and clean, but not dumbed down. After giving a few other clients trial runs, I settled down with Transmission and have no regrets.

  • Vuze
  • I recently gave Vuze a try and decided it wasn't for me. Vuze claims to be the "most powerful BitTorrent app[lication] in the world." To me, it was a bit domineering; I had trouble getting it closed and/or out of sight on my computer.

On December 3rd, 2009, I conducted an interview with Melinda "Mindy" McAdams, a professor of journalism at the University of Florida, who sat down with me to discuss the future of New Media technology and its potential impact on the music industry.

Professor McAdams explains her background in New Media technology:

Professor McAdams talks about the danger New Media poses to artists' rights:

Professor McAdams discusses artists' financial concerns in the music business:

Professor McAdams discusses the future of downloading music online: