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A few notes on the upcoming changes to uTorrent


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Hello Everyone,

In a few weeks we are going to release a new version of µTorrent. This update includes improvements and changes that we think you are going to like. We always appreciate our forum users for their dedication, feedback and candor. We want to keep investing in to this community by keeping an open and honest channel of communication.

Moving on:

First, we added bug fixes, performance enhancements and user-requested features. Torrents with many files load faster and magnet links preload content in the add-torrent dialogue. We also improved the speed of torrents over network shares and added several improvements to streaming playback. There’s plenty more and you can read the full change-log at the usual spot.

The next major change you will see is a fresh approach to creating a no-nonsense and free torrenting experience. You are all very familiar with how we have paid the bills so far. These new changes mark our next step towards finding that difficult balance between keeping our lights on and providing a positive user experience. This new build will display a featured torrent at the top of your torrent list. This featured torrent space will be used to offer a variety of different types of content. We are working towards bringing you offers that are relevant to you. This means films, games, music, software...basically anything that you will find interesting. We may not get it right on the first try but we will continue to improve our efforts based on your feedback.

We are also leveraging these offers to directly benefit the artist community including filmmakers, recording artists, game developers and more. We are going to show the world what all of you here already know: that torrenting can be used for good.

Let us know your comments and thoughts in this thread. We are listening, and we value your feedback.

The µTorrent Team

PS: We have included an FAQ below that will hopefully answer a few questions you might have:

µTorrent Offers Q&A

What is changing with µTorrent offers?

- One additional offer location: A narrow rectangle just below the toolbar within the µTorrent UI will present relevant offers to users.

- Better-targeted offer types: We will pursue making offers that are targeted and interesting to our users.

What type of offers will you show?

- The first offer type will inform users of our own new products, features and services.

- The second offer type will come from our offer partners, whose offerings include things such as games, security products and privacy services.

- The final offer type will feature independent artists, such as musicians and film makers.

Can I turn in-client offers off?

Currently you’ll be able to skip offers of no interest to you by clicking an x within the ad, which will advance you to the next offer. There is no way to turn in-client offers off*. We will pay attention to feedback, and may change this in the future.

*Note that users of µTorrent Plus will not be served offers in the client. We are looking into other offer-free alternatives for users as well.

Why are you making this change?

1. It starts with our business model which is familiar to everyone: We provide our users with free software from which they get outstanding value, and we keep our lights on through advertising.

2. Given this, we want to make sure our offers are more relevant and valuable to you, our users.

How does this change my privacy?

It doesn’t affect your privacy. Of course, you’ll want to confirm this for yourself. We encourage you to view all client-to-server communication via a program like wireshark. Like any software, µTorrent has always communicated to a server to check for software updates; now it will also check for offer updates. No personally identifiable information is passed during this communication.

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How will you "pursue making offers that are targeted and interesting to our users"?

Behavior based advertising? Because that sounds all sorts of not-good.

Not the way you're thinking, that's for sure. :) This is a really good question. The answer, if I'm reading you correctly, is simple: We will NOT suddenly be aware of your identity and your activity because, as you know, that's now even how our technology works. So you won't be getting even close to the types of personalized offers you get from Web sites that track your browsing history.

BUT, that doesn't mean we can't know anything. For example, even at a general level we know our torrent users are more interested in learning about downloads of emerging artists, new free games, or a really good, free security solution than they are about the wide range of offers one might encounter elsewhere on the Web. And as we release offers to users, we'll find out which are generally popular and which aren't and improve. Through means like these, we hope to make ads more relevant and interesting over time.

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My 10 ('offer-ware' related...) commandments

1. Do not permanently steal the user's precious screen real-estate longer than you absolutely need to

2. Let the user control (reject/cancel) each ad, if not globally, at least after they show up

3. Do not annoy the user, by showing any specific "offer" more than once. Remove it completely after the user wasn't interested/"closed" it or has already "click-visited" it

4. Do not nag the user, and for any new session/run – do not re-display offers that have been already displayed

5. Do not condition any of the software functionality/performance by the user responses to the offers

6. Do not invade user privacy by collecting any stats related of the user system itself, or his offer-related operations

7. Do not trick the user, and state clearly how to avoid installing any *optional*-bars/software

8. Do not offer to install any add-on-software that cannot be easily removed\uninstalled by the user later

9. Do not allow the "offer system" to add/modify any of the user system's data in a way that cannot be easily un-done when/if he chooses to uninstall the application (like registry, user-HD data). Cookies/registry settings/history – should all be offered to be erased when uninstalling.

10. Keep to a reasonable ad-show-view-time. If you do not, the user will not show up himself any more and go away to greener ad-free pastures… This is not the only client out there in the wild…

^ Just a few 2 cents worth of principles that I 'd like uTorrent to possibly follow ... :)

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This new build will display a featured torrent at the top of your torrent list. This featured torrent space will be used to offer a variety of different types of content.

I'm not a mind reader but I don't think this is going to fly!

Most people that download/upload using uTorrent know what and when they want beforehand.

You may as well not add this feature to save the devs time and effort.

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Most people that download/upload using uTorrent know what and when they want beforehand.

Well, I guess the clicks by those 5% that do not ( ~5,000,000 ?... ) - can make BT inc the cash needed to pay for their office lights... :P

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This new build will display a featured torrent at the top of your torrent list. This featured torrent space will be used to offer a variety of different types of content.

Maybe the devs should consider adding that feature to the sidebar since there won't be a turn it off/hide option.

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If you include ANY ads - I don't care WHAT type, or whether I can change preferences - I will stick with an older build. PERIOD.

You HAVE your "paid' client (that does *nothing* for the experienced user) - stick with that. The "little" client is FAST becoming USELESS bloatware.

Not to mention the fact that SOMEONE will come up with a way to block any annoying ads.

You want to put out a "middle" version that includes that crap, fine - DON'T SCREW UP WHAT WAS ONCE THE *BEST* CLIENT AROUND!!!

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I understand the need for ads. No problem. I just hope they're not going to be more sex ads like download sites. Definitely NOT kid friendly. You men out there should be insulted. As they say nothing in this world is free. A few ads is a small price to pay for all that you get. Suck it up folks, everyone has to pay the bills. :D

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Suck it up folks, everyone has to pay the bills

I thought that was one of the reasons for the paid version of Utorrent unless that didn't fly too well!!!

Could this be the beginning of the end of the free version!..

Put us out of our misery and just do it then!

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Linked to by torrentfreak: http://torrentfreak.com/utorrent-becomes-ad-supported-to-rake-in-millions-120810/

This is also why the majority of utorrent users never upgraded past 2.2.1 thanks to sites that offer older software downloads (google)

2.2.1 was the greatest version, tiny, fast, no bloat, no malware browser toolbars and was the last of the great open source feel of the client.

now it's bought out, sold out, jumped the shark and is even serving malware laden ads, already reports on slashdot of ads clicked installing dns redirects in browsers.

Thanks for utorrent 2.2.1 but this new hot mess will only be the downfall I fear.

if utorrent 2.2.1 ever stops working will just move over to one of the smaller than utorrent open source clients listed here on wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_BitTorrent_clients

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If what Torrentfreak.com listed is true with your annual income and you want to make this ad supported using the excuse of "keeping the lights on" i can't help but end up saying - Huh ?

Your premium version pays for your lights. Considering the wide variety of available client software out there and still being made for both windows and linux users i'm amazed uTorrent would get so greedy that they'd use a tactical move like this. This is something the telecom industry would do to milk their customers.

Now uTorrent is turning the page to this in it's future? I am not a premium subscriber, but i've been a loyal uTorrent user since the very beginning. Mac, Windows and Ubuntu. I will absolutely stop using it as well if this goes forward.

You say you listen to your userbase well start listening. uTorrent was successful because it was not bloated (that's out the window), It was a no bs software (That's out the window) and like google as an example became famous because of their simplistic search engine.

Now uTorrent gets greedy, see's dollar signs because of it's monopolistic user share and thinks of shoving ads without an option to turn off down their loyal users throats. It really is true that you cannot trust any business. The fact that you rake it the money you do for a single piece of software that was created years ago you should be happy, but you want more.

This software isn't intense enough, advanced enough to warrant the greed. It's not an operating system, it's a very basic, ad free, non bloated piece of software (or it once was)

uTorrent staff, admin, owners - Making this change is the wrong move. Your premium service is/was the right move to keep your lights on. You currently also earn extra off your toolbar of which i find a crappy way to invade a consumers browser. Ad revenue inside the software is only adding fuel to the fire.

I'll also stick to 2.2.1 until it stops working at any time and move to an alternative software if this happens.

It's so funny these days if you really think about it. Greed really is the #1 way of people these days. uTorrent earned it's fame from simplicity and look at it now as it's massively bloated compared to 2006. Notice how google still looks the same? That's because it works.

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It sounds to me like this change will make you hugely profitable compared to what you are now. In principle I'm all for this, and wish you all the luck in the world. But what would encourage me, and make me more than willing to put up with any amount of ads, and even potentially go out of my way to promote you to friends etc., is if you made it clear that you would use these new profits to support the bittorrent community, and pro-openness/piracy movements generally.

I think we need a company with some clout, that is willing to use that clout to improve matters for bittorrent users, and people who run trackers etc.

It seem to me anti-piracy groups are really working hard to tighten the screws on filesharing and piracy, and there's a lot of basically harmless people out there getting screwed over at the moment (Richard O'Dwyer in the UK being the prime example). There's nodoubt more to come in the near future.

What I would love to hear from you is that you will make use of your new proffits to promote and support bittorrent trackers, and pro-piracy groups, and maybe if things go really well, getting involved in lobbying for legal changes. All of this would be in your company's long term interests after all, and the world just might become a better place as a result.

If you wish to become a hugely profitable company just so you and your shareholders can have more money, then I dont really care too much whether you succeed,and I'll have no qualms about bypassing any ads you choose to show me.

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uTorrent has become so depressingly ironic, what was once "Micro" is now becoming a bloated and agitating scam program. Now that we get to put ads on the list of reason not to use this dying product a large quantity of people might simply set it down and walk away.

P.S: I look forward to finding a way of ripping every ad out of your program and providing other users simple means to do the same.

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I have a feeling that somewhere along the line Bittorrent Inc. forgot what made this particular software good and so popular. People that were turned off by all those 'all-in-one' solutions or just plain crappy clients found their needs perfectly satisfied by uTorrent. I can't speak for everyone, obviously, but let me make a guess that almost all users uTorrent aquired were drawn in because of its simplicity, speed and reliability.

Once upon a time uTorrent was free, minimalistic but had enough power to get the job done, i.e. download data. For me personaly it had almost everything, except maybe simple search or some kind of filtering. Today we have extensions (that can't do anything), streaming (which is weird at best) and ratings/comments (who uses them?). I don't know who asked for all this stuff, probably same people who want torrent-specific chat implemented. And now we get ads, because company "can't keep the lights on".

I don't want my bittorrent client to play videos, I have a separate program for that. I don't need my bittorrent client to rate stuff, ratings already implemented on the websites that distribute torrents. I don't want my bittorrent client to recommend me anything that "I might like", I'm perfectly capable of finding everything I need on the Internet myself. I don't use my bittorrent client to socialize, there are million of programs specificly for communicating. I use bittorrent client to download files.

Bittorrent client doesn't have to be all-purpose blender that can mircowave food, vaccum my aparment, and iron my pants. It just has to efficiently download files.

uTorrent became unusable for me since version 3 came out. All those pointless features, unneeded UI changes, and bugs that still plague 3.2 and 3.3. Things were getting worse slowly but steadily for a long time now.

Please, PLEASE, do not turn once good software into whatever you trying to make for a last year and a half. Please do not make another ICQ.

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