BitTorrent introduces premium uTorrent “Plus”

December 9, 2011 – 09:21 by in News Print Share No Comment

BitTorrent has released the first premium version of its compact file sharing client, uTorrent.

And so, if you’re happy to accept the $24.95 annual subscription, then you, too, can unlock a pile of high-end additional features.

Integrated BitDefender-based antivirus will scan your downloads for threats.

An integrated HD media player displays videos in their full high-definition glory.

If the file you’ve found isn’t in a convenient format, then uTorrent Plus will quickly transcode it to something else. Initial support for the MPEG-4, H.264, Theora, and VP8 video codecs, and MP3, AAC and AC-3 audio codecs should make it easy to convert the file to something Apple, Android or just generally mobile device-friendly.

And if you’re away from home then you’ll be able to use the uTorrent Remote Web service to remotely access and download any file from your home torrent library (once you’ve set the feature up, anyway).

UTorrent has made its name by being lightweight, focused and free, so it’s hardly surprising that not everyone thinks a relatively bulky commercial version is the way to go. And to some extent we’d have to agree; uTorrent Plus does seem a little on the expensive side.

Still, uTorrent product manager Jordy Berson makes it plain in a company blog post that this isn’t just about the premium version: “At the core of µTorrent Plus is always the foundation: µTorrent. We are just as enthusiastic as ever about developing and growing the free software as well as building upon µTorrent Plus.”

And sure enough, the free uTorrent 3.1 has also been released, extending its abilities with an integrated media player, and drag and drop file shifting to other devices. So there are clearly spin-offs here from the Plus version, but the regular audience isn’t being ignored: the company report, for instance, that its download performance has been optimised.

Elsewhere, the main BitTorrent clients have been updated to match the new uTorrent developments. So a new version of BitTorrent Plus has been released, with all the features mentioned in uTorrent Plus above. And BitTorrent Mainline, the free build, follows uTorrent 3.1 by including an integrated media player and drag-and-drop file shifting to other devices.

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