BitTorrent Torque, JavaScript Interface to a torrent client

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 7, 2012
Updated • Dec 2, 2012
File Sharing, Internet

BitTorrent is without doubt the most popular file sharing solution on today's Internet. While other file sharing solutions like Napster, Kazaa, Gnutella or eDonkey were either sued into oblivion, discontinued or turned into a commercial offering, BitTorrent thrived thanks to it not being dependent on a single website, service, tracker or software.

Up until now, a BitTorrent client like uTorrent was needed to download and share files. The situation has become a bit better in recent times with web browsers like Opera implementing the torrent technology into the browser to make it more comfortable for users to download files.

Yesterday BitTorrent  Inc. announced the alpha release of BitTorrent Torque, a JavaScript interface to a torrent client that gives web developers the opportunity to go beyond traditional desktop clients.

Btapp.js provides access to a browser plugin version of uTorrent/BitTorrent via a tree of Backbone Models and Collections. The intent of this project is to allow access to the extensive functionality of a torrent client, from web apps that are as simple as a single Backbone View. Btapp.js takes responsibility for getting the plugin installed as well, so you're free to assume that its available. In addition to the local torrent client, you can also easily access a torrent client anywhere else in the world (assume you either configured it originally or have access to that client's username/password).

The company has released two demonstration applications:

  • One Click is a Chrome plugin that turns torrents into regular browser downloads. For the user on the frontend, it looks like another download in the browser.
  • Paddle Over is a web app that allows you to share torrent files with other users directly on the project website. This is also powered by a browser plugin that needs to be installed.

The Torque Labs website highlights several other tech demos, including the streaming of video torrents directly in the browser or direct sharable links to files on the PC.

Developers find information, including an introduction and getting started guide, here.

Browser plugins need to be installed to get the tech demos to work. The One click app for instance is only available for Chrome, and appears to require a local executable to be loaded as well to work at all. A few questions are left unanswered right now as well.

One of the foundations of Bittorrent is that downloaders are giving back to the community by seeding the files during downloads and afterwards. How will this be handled if users start downloading via a web browser and Torque? Also, will there be options to control and manage the downloads? For instance, can you modify the download or upload speeds (assuming that you are seeding while downloading)?


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. nasher said on March 16, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    dear i wont javascript to my internat explorer

  2. Sid said on October 23, 2012 at 7:54 am

    @pd There is something called web socket now.

  3. Tixati User said on July 10, 2012 at 2:05 am

    If you want to have a good, fast, downloading experience the only client to choose is Tixati.

  4. Govind Choudhary said on July 8, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I installed it successfully on my Win 7 PC running Chrome 19.But dunno how to download torrent files using it.Any info on it?

  5. war59312 said on July 8, 2012 at 1:52 am

    Not working here.

    When I try to install I get:

    Package is invalid. Details: “Line: 14, column: 164, Unexpected token.’.

    Running Chrome 21.0.1180.15 on Windows 7 x64 SP1.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on July 8, 2012 at 8:44 am

      Yeah it only seems to work in the stable build.

      1. war59312 said on July 8, 2012 at 3:44 pm

        Ouch, too bad then, guess I won’t be using it for now.

  6. pd said on July 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    I’m a JavaScript developer and I haven’t got a clue how this works after first reading this article. Is it simply JavaScript code that downloads and installs a torrent-capable browser plugin?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.