Hollywood has a pretty tight grip on the business of streaming movies and if you’re someone who’d like to watch the latest blockbusters from the comfort of your own couch, you basically have no option but to wait for the theatrical release, even if you’re willing to pay money to companies such as Netflix. If you are unwilling, there are always the free movie apps.
In my opinion, this is the only reason for the massive popularity of mediums such as bittorrent for pirating movies and music. Downloading a good quality print of a movie from a torrent search engine isn’t rocket science but it’s still something that a lot of non-techies don’t know how to do, and they’d be more than willing to pay a fee to the hollywood studios if they’d let them download and see the movies at home. In the absence of any such option, it is natural for people to resort to piracy.
Note: Depending on where you live, downloading movies via bittorrent may or may not be legal in your country. I don’t claim any responsibility for any trouble you may or may not get into by following the methods outlined in this article. This post is for educational purposes only and you should check your local laws to confirm the legality of watching movies over bittorrent.
With that out of the way, allow me to introduce Popcorn Time, or PT for short. PT is a new open source media player application that uses the bittorrent protocol to seamlessly stream movies to you – almost as easy as streaming a movie from Netflix, as someone put it.
Uses the bittorrent protocol, you say? So, how is it different from downloading a movie and playing it in your favorite media player?
Well, the difference is that the bittorrent protocol, in general, isn’t really designed for streaming so when you’re downloading a file over bittorrent, you will not be able to start playing it immediately. You’ll have to wait till you have the complete file to be able to play it.
Popcorn Time, on the other hand, uses some nifty technology and a bunch of free APIs, to let you start watching movies almost as soon as you hit play. In the background, Popcorn Time downloads the media you’re playing just as you’d if you were downloading it manually, and as soon as the user finishes watching the video, it deletes the file. For the user, this process is seamless.