Rox Player streams torrents, IPTV, DHT, and other online video in real time

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Streaming internet video straight into a desktop player is not new, but if you ever thought about streaming torrents in real time then we’ve got great news: Rox is a free media player that can make this as easy as clicking a link.

In addition to streaming torrent, Rox can stream many other online videos straight into your desktop, including  IPTV, DHT, P2P,protocols, as well as any video that you can find a link for. It can also play any local video you have, supports every conceivable format, and has self-contained codecs so you do not have to install any filters or decoders on your system.

First off, a disclaimer: this review will largely revolve around the prospect of streaming torrents, because I use them, because I think they are more popular (and more interesting) than some of the other supported protocols, and because I am not too familiar with the others.

Rox Player Screenshot1

There were several questions that I wanted to look into:

(1) How well does it work?: will streaming be comfortable to watch, or will it be so stop-and-go as to be unwatchable

The answer: it depends on (a) the torrent that you choose to watch, and (b) your internet connection.  Either way you will likely need to wait for a few minutes once you add the torrent while the player downloads enough of your initial video to make it watchable. Unlike a torrent downloader, Rox will download bits of your video in sequence in order to make streaming it possible, rather than the random-seeming bits and pieces that you see in a torrent client.

By chance the first thing I tested was a documentary that, well, was never going to be a very popular torrent, and it turned out to be unwatchable. Next, I experimented with a fairly popular TV series and a new animated feature, and for those I can report that once the initial 5 minutes or so of downloading was done, they were both quite watchable on a not-very-fast connection. Glitches and interruptions were still present, but tolerable.

(2) How easy to load torrents?

The answer: supereasy. Copy a magnet torrent and paste it into the box, or drag and drop a downloaded torrent file into the program interface.

Rox Player Screenshot2 - adding magnet link

(3) Will it stream torrents that consist of RAR’d archives? (which are very common in the torrent world).

The answer: apparently not. My attempted at streaming a video which I knew to be RAR’s only succeeded in playing the sample video, which wasn’t.

(4) Will it stream the main feature or be confused with the ‘Sample’ videos: as these sample videos are often packed into torrent archives.

If the player finds multiple videos in the torrent you are trying to stream, it will list them for you and ask you to choose. Problem solved.

The verdict:

A great program overall that not only streams torrents and other internet video, but can function as your main media/video player if you like, and does a great job at that. Torrents and torrent technology has succeeded and is definitely here to stay, and Rox Player is in my view the right program at the right time.

But there are a number of things that can make this program even better:

  • The ability to save the internet video you are streaming. Would be useful for when you’ve watched a part of the video and would like to pick it up later on. It would be nice if they had Rox Player plugins for uTorrent or other major torrent players that let you stream whatever you happen to be downloading.
  • A portable version: to be on par with Freewaregenius favorites such as VLC or PotPlayer.
  • Support for RAR’d torrents: which I imagine would be a bit of a technical headache, but is probably doable.
  • (Optional) a browser plugin for Chrome, which would allow me to watch streaming torrent using my Chromecast.

Another cool feature worth mentioning: Rox architecture allows for creating plugins for the program. And although there were no plugins at the time of this writing, developers are encouraged to create their own, which means that ideas such as the ones above and others may be easy to add to the program in the future,

Get Rox Player here (Windows).


 
 
 
  • Cerberus_tm

    Good find! It seems very flexible, and it makes sense to start downloading streamable torrents from the beginning, instead of random pieces.

    I have one remark: while Utorrent normally does the latter, you can press the “stream” button to make it download from the beginning and it will stream the film to whatever your default player is (VLC). It works very well, and it can take only half a minute to begin if it’s a popular torrent. And you can also seek in VLC, that is, you can click somewhere halfway in the film, and it will start streaming from there (it will need to rebuffer from that point, of course, which will take anything between 5 and 20+ seconds depending on the torrent).

    So how well does this work compared to Utorrent? Does the fact that it starts downloading from the beginning by default make streaming quicker to begin? And can you skip to some part halfway through the video while streaming?

  • Gallicka

    I use ‘Popcorn Time’. It streams torrents too and works really well!

    https://popcorntime.io/