Torrent Swapper

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Torrent Swapper, dubbed the ’social bittorent client’, is an open source torrent client that aims to use and manage the interconnected networks which underlie P2P torrent downloads in two distinct ways (1) by using these as a recommendation engine, and (2) by making it possible for users to designate other peers as ’friends’ and to use each other’s unused upload capacity.

Other features include the ability to view what others are downloading and their city-level location.

By now everyone is familiar with the concept popularized by Amazon.com whereby an item of interest is connected to other items through the “customers who bought this also bought” recommendation engine.

Torrent Swapper is a bittorrent client that has taken that concept and implemented it on torrent downloads (i.e. people who downloaded this also downloaded). Here are more notes on this program:

The pros:

  • The user interface: is nice, clean and straightforward.
  • The recommendation engine: works fairly well. However, I am not sure about the extent of value-added that the recommendation engines provide (see ’cons’ Torrent Swapper world map representationsection below).
  • Torrent Search: pressing a ’search’ button on the main interface opens a torrent search ’portal’ which can be used to search Google, Torrent Spy, Torrentz.com, BT Bot, and ISO Hunt. Simple but handy, I thought, especially for Torrent novices.
  • Adding friends: is done easily (click a button on the main interface to start the process). It promises up to 100% speed increases, but I have not tested it successfully myself (I’m not much of a torrent user, I’m afraid). Personally I’m a bit skeptical.
  • Low resource utilization: around 10 megs in memory only.

The cons:

  • It is impossible to mask your IP address as you may be able to do in other torrent clients. This is because doing so would defeat the community purpose of this program (not necessarily a ’con’, but something to consider).
  • Although the recommendations work well, I am not sure of their added value. There are many other more sophisticated recommendation engines out there, such as Amazon itself. For music, there are dozens that will invariably deliver better results (w.g. Last.FM, Slacker, Pandora). There is also no guarantee that the recommendations as gleamed from the behavior of others will not include fake torrents.Torrent Swapper will, however, confirm what you already know, that people download a lot of porn.
  • The program can be a bit slow and or unresponsive at times, but I suspect these are issues that will become apparent and dealt with in subsequent versions. Program seems to take a long time for download onset.

The verdict: an interesting and original program that can potentially be developed and tweaked in the long run to possibly become indispensable. It is also a very good choice as a simple, user friendly and free torrent client, especially for new users who might like its ’search’ option and straightforward simplicity. To compare Torrent Swapper versus other torrent clients see this torrent comparison table on Wikipedia.

Version tested: 1.0.0

Compatibility: Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista.

Go to the program page to get the latest version (approx 4.8 megs).