PopcornTime is a video streaming service that resembles the likes of Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, but for torrents, and has now been given Chromecast support.
March 2014 brought the release of PopcornTime to the world, revolutionizing the industry by offering an impossibly vast library of movies available for instant streaming at no cost whatsoever. It works by collecting torrents from around the Internet and presenting them in a clean, categorized and searchable interface. The program buffers the movie via the torrent seeds themselves, eliminating the need for actually downloading the file. The whole process simplifies and improves security over the previous system of scouring the Internet for safe and suitable torrent files before having to wait for them to download.
Only a week after its release the project was taken down, the creators explaining: “Our experiment has put us at the doors of endless debates about piracy and copyright, legal threats and the shady machinery that makes us feel in danger for doing what we love. And that’s not a battle we want a place in.”
But the downtime was short-lived, as two teams of developers took over the project until eventually merging together again. The new website promises that “This PopcornTime service will never be taken down. Download and enjoy.” It appears that it is going stronger than ever, and they will remain stalwart in the face of legal pressure.
Image via torrentfreak
The developers are committed to the program’s success, and see it as part of a larger movement to shift the power away from greedy Hollywood professionals and into the hands of consumers. They have made it available in every country, even “the two without Internet access,” and added VPN support so that users could enjoy the service with complete anonymity.
Chromecast is the latest addition to the product which makes it even easier to use, as there is no longer a need for an HDMI cable. Perhaps the future will bring more features, such as a suggestion system similar to the one found in Netflix and a more complex rating network. The code is completely open source, so it’s safe to assume great improvements will come soon.
Legal issues are inevitable for something as groundbreaking as PopcornTime, but now that the cat is out of the bag there is no way of preventing the immense changes the film industry is about to go through.
Edited by Maurice Nagle