One of the reasons for the success of the file sharing application Limewire was that it offered everything that one needed to get started. The program came with built-in options to search for and download files. All you had to do was to key in names that you were interested in, wait for the search results to populate, to start downloading any interesting sounding files with another click.
Frostwire takes that concept and makes it available as a Bittorrent client. While you can use the p2p software like any other Bittorrent client, it is the built-in search that many users will find most useful. The program supports eight different torrent indexers, including The Pirate Bay, Mininova, Isohunt or BTJunkie.
All you need to do is to enter a search term and hit the enter key to search all or only selected torrent indexing sites. Filters allow you to limit the search results, for instance to only display audio or document results, or files with a specific minimum file size.
Results are displayed with their name, number of seeders, total file size, source, creation date and file extension with options to sort by all values. This can be helpful to sort from largest to lowest file size or seeder count for instance.
Once you have selected files you have options to download them all at once to your computer with a click on the download button or by double-clicking individual files. All downloads are added to the transfer display that is displayed beneath the search results. Controls at the bottom of the page are available to pause, resume or cancel file downloads, or to play media type directly in the interface.
All downloads are automatically available in the Library tab. Files are sorted into categories such as programs, images or audio with options to create audio playlists right in the program. A search is also provided to find files faster, which appears to be necessary as it is not possible to display files by download. The explore option, available in the bottom bar and on right-click, lets you open the folder containing the selected file in Windows Explorer.
Frostwire can transfer files to connected phones or tablets, the interface does not seem overly intuitive though. There is also a chat available for users who'd like to chat with the FrostWire community.
The options hold several interesting preferences. Users of Apple's iTunes software can configure Frostwire to automatically import downloaded songs into iTunes. It is furthermore possible to add or remove folders that are included in the library, to configure keywords that should not be displayed in the search results (with an extra option to ignore adult contents), and to change Bittorrent related preferences like the port that is used for all connections.
Users who would like an all-in-one program should take a closer look at Frostwire. Combination of search and downloading makes it much more usable than comparable clients. Features offered by other Bittorrent clients like uTorrent are on the other hand not available. This includes the ability to play media while it is still downloading or a web client to manage downloads remotely.
The program will install the Ask Toolbar and another program during installation if you do not pay attention to the process.
Frostwire is available for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Android 2.1+ operating systems.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.