Surf’s up at the Chrome Web Store. BitTorrent has announced an extension called Surf to Chrome that allows users to discover and download torrents directly from the Google browser. A Firefox version is supposed to be in the works too, in addition to other browsers.
The extension that has been in the works for over six months now will help users search and discover torrents directly from within Chrome. Surf will use search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! by adding ‘torrent’ to the end of your search queries. Users can also add their favourite sites to the extension.
BitTorrent with Surf expects to advance and simplify content discovery by bringing the ability to discover media right from the browser. Once users have found content, Surf will help measure and display the health of the torrent file in order to help users select the best quality media. Users can even manage their downloads from within the browser.
The extension in Chrome Store lists the following features:
- Search: Quickly find torrents across multiple search sites, automatically detect search sites, and add your favourite sites to create a search custom engine.
- Download: Get media from sites like the Internet Archive directly from your search results in one click, manage downloads and notifications from your browser while you surf, and use file health estimates to help you select the best quality media to download.
- Play: Just push play.
The integrated search function helps users auto-detect and provides for custom discovery. Users can create a combined engine by saving their favourite sites.
BitTorrent has been trying to change its image by distancing itself from piracy completely. The company came up with a unique way to announce that it had nothing to do with piracy. The website has the question ‘Does BitTorrent=Privacy?’ and in large letters, the word ‘No’.
“We hear this question all the time,” BitTorrent Inc. CEO Eric Klinker says. “We hear we’ve killed film, the radio star, and the content industry. We hear we’re the web’s dark matter, and the Internet’s seedy underbelly. We are not.”
BitTorrent says it had actually started the technology to make sharing files over the Internet easier. The company says the technology itself is neutral and is good for content creators.
“We are scientists, engineers, developers and designers committed to building a better Internet. We are photographers, musicians, writers and gamers. We came to work here because we wanted to change the way the Internet works for us. How it works for all of us.”
“We do not endorse piracy. We do not encourage it. We don’t point to piracy sites. We don’t host any infringing content,” the CEO says.
On the other hand, while Hollywood has been known to be the biggest critic of BitTorrent, employees of major studio companies were found pirating using the client. According to Torrent Freak, data has been revealed that employees at studios such as Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox are openly pirating movies, games and other forms of entertainment while at work.
While the good versus evil of BitTorrent battle rages on, the company has made the alpha version of their content discovery extension on Google Chrome called Surf available. Download it from here.