It's something of a mystery why there aren't a ton of ways of playing videos straight from the torrent files, but now there is a simple procedure that will make your day.
A PinguyOS developer, Antoni Norman, published a short and very simple way of making VLC play the stream videos straight from the torrent, without having to actually download the file with a third-party BitTorrent client.
You might have caught wind of the scandal surrounding the Popcorn Time Torrent Streaming website, which allowed its users to play any video they chose, straight from the torrent file. If you think about it, the torrent files have been here for a long time and it's a wonder this hasn't been accomplished until now on a wider scale.
Sure enough, there are a number of other online solutions out there, and the uTorrent application on the Windows platform already has the Stream feature. It might be present in some of the BitTorrent clients on the Linux platform, but it hasn't been advertised. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have seen the Stream feature in any P2P clients on Linux.
The installation procedure explained by the PinguyOS developer is very simple and users only have to run a few commands in a terminal. Unfortunately, this only works for Ubuntu-based systems that can add a PPA. You will need to be root in order for this to work. Open a terminal and enter the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:chris-lea/node.js
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nodejs wget vlc
sudo npm install -g peerflix
chmod +x Torrent-Video-Player
sudo mv Torrent-Video-Player /usr/bin
After you finish entering the commands, you can open a Firefox instance (or restart if it's already opened) and hit the download button for a video torrent file. You will be prompted with the regular save dialog. Choose Open With and then the Others category. Navigate to the usr > bin and select the Torrent-Video-Player binary.
A small terminal window should appear with the stats for the incoming torrent file, followed by the opening of VLC. Be patient; depending on your download speed, peering, and other factors, it might take a few seconds until the video file actually starts to play. The seek function also works, but it's not instantaneous, as you might expect.
Keep in mind that downloading video files protected by copyright laws is illegal, just like downloading them with a regular P2P client.