Either uTorrent developers are moving faster than they can actually release their software, or they’ve taken a page out of Google Chrome’s playbook. With uTorrent 2.0 barely out and uTorrent 2.1 in the works but still labeled as an alpha, the developers decided to skip ahead and have launched the first uTorrent 3.0 alpha, build 20228. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the development builds of uTorrent, this won’t be a major update. One big change, though, is that the Falcon 2.1 alpha has been merged with the standard uTorrent 2.1 builds.
“The Falcon 2.1 and standard 2.1 alphas have now been merged into a single build!... As before, this is not feature complete, but many exciting new features have been added to this version: a new, encrypted webUI that doesn't require port forwarding (tentatively called Falcon); many improvements to the standard WebUI backend; streaming; and a new, optional (non-default) simplified UI,” the release announcement on the uTorrent forums read.
Project Falcon explores several advanced features for inclusion in the main uTorrent builds. The most exciting one is the streaming capability, which enables users to start watching a video before the file has been completely downloaded.
Normally, you wouldn’t be able to do this with BitTorrent, since different chunks of a file are downloaded in random order, part of the reason why the protocol is so fast. uTorrent gets around this by building a buffer of sorts, downloading some chunks in order, and then using a streaming server to send the video to any player capable of receiving streaming video.
The other big feature in Falcon and the uTorrent 3.0 alpha is the new webUI. The new web interface uses an encrypted connection and doesn’t require port forwarding anymore. This makes it trivial to set up and secure to use.
The very latest build, uTorret 3.0 alpha 20228, apart from the new 3.0 label, comes with some bug fixes but few new features or changes. The only new feature is the possibility to disable UDP trackers. You can read the entire changelog here.
uTorrent 3.0 alpha 20228 is available for download here.
uTorrent 2.0.3 Beta and uTorrent 2.0.2 are available for download here.