The user is always right

Le client est roi. The Transdroid userbase is still growing on a daily basis, having thousands of active installs on Android devices all over the world. But since there is always room for improvement, I regularly get new feature requests in the issue tracker. Although not all of them can be implemented, I am still trying to build in as much as possible. Most of the updates since my last ‘features’ blog post actually came from user requests. Here are the ones that made it to the new version:

  • rTorrent support (request 7)
  • Search term history (requested in a Market comment)
  • Starting and stopping of torrents, supported by uTorrent and rTorrent (request 11)
  • .torrent file uploads (currently only for Transmission) to handle password-protected torrent sites (request 29)
  • French and Italian translations (want to help? mail me a translated strings.xml)
  • Reverse sort order (requested in a Market comment)

Any requests yourself? Just submit them to the issue tracker! More to come.

Android remote torrent client comparison

UPDATE: I updated the feature table to reflect newer versions of the applications. (24 August 2010)

For some time now, there are four apps on the market that allow you to control your active torrents remotely. So how does Transdroid relate to its three competitors? Droiddog released a nice video review on all four. He tells only about the basic features, but thinks Transdroid and Torrent-Fu are the winners.

What he didn’t cover was the difference in features that the apps have. I have made a little feature comparison table for that. Hope I didn’t leave out any (let me know).

Transdroid Torrent-Fu BarTor Torrent Droid
Website here here here here
Price Free (FOSS) Free $1.49 £1.00
Client support
Multiple profiles Yes Yes No Yes
uTorrent/BitTorrent Yes Yes Yes Yes
Transmission Yes Yes No No
Vuze/Azereus Yes No Yes Yes
KTorrent Yes No Yes No
rTorrent Yes No No No
Deluge Yes (1.2+) No No No
Torrentflux-b4rt Yes No No No
Searching and adding
In-app search Yes Yes Yes No
Torrent sites 9 2 1 Browser-only
Barcode scanning Yes Yes Yes Yes
Add via browser Yes Yes Yes Yes
Add local .torrent Yes No No Yes
Management
In-app listing Yes Yes No No
In-app management Yes Yes No Web-UI
Individual files Yes No No No
RSS feeds Yes No No No
Widget Yes No No No
Alarm service Yes No No No

Troubleshooting

Setting up a torrent application to be able to connect to from outside your network can be a bit hard. That’s why often users get stuck at successfully connecting to their servers or home computers using Transdroid. Here is a little step-by-step help for anyone that has troubles:

You need one of the supported torrent application running on your server or home computer, with the web interface enabled. Remember the port number that you fill in here; you use it later to open the port on your router and to fill in in the Transdroid application.

Connection diagram between Transdroid and your torrent app
If Transdroid doesn’t work (‘error in parsing of server response’, for example), try these steps:

  • Enable the web UI in the preferences window of your torrent application. Make sure you use a username and password, you set a listening port (this number you will need later) and do NOT set IP filtering on. For uTorrent and BitTorrent set the listening port to 8080, for Tranmission leave it at 9091, for Deluge leave it at 8112, rTorrent normally uses port 80.
  • Check if the web UI works on your local machine. For uTorrent and BitTorrent use http://localhost:8080/gui, for Transmission use http://localhost:9091/transmission/web/, for Deluge use http://localhost:8112/, for rTorrent use the wTorrent web front-end. If this link does not work, go back and check the settings.
  • Get the internal IP of your computer running the torrent application. On Windows, you can find it by looking at the properties of the network connection or by running ipconfig.exe in a command prompt. On Ubuntu, right-click the network manager applet and choose connection details, or by running ifconfig in a terminal windows.
  • Open port 8080, 9091, 8112 or 80 (or whatever you’ve set) on your router/ADSL modem. You can use the instruction from the portforward.com website. Of course you map this port to your server, using the IP you just retrieved.
  • Now get your external IP address by surfing to whatismyip.com, again from your local machine. Write down this number. It is you public IP address on the web.
  • In Transdroid, fill in the external IP address you just looked up, the port number, username and password. Make sure you are NOT connected to the local WiFi network. It should now connect.
  • If it does not. Connect your Android device to the local WiFi network and use the internal IP address of the computer running your torrent app instead of the external IP address. If this does work, you haven’t set up the port forwarding correctly.

Good luck.

Fresh Deluge and BitTorrent support

The new Transdroid has just been released to the market, with quite a few new features. Most exiting, I think, is support for two new torrent applications: Deluge 1.2 and BitTorrent 6.

Deluge is a pretty popular cross-platform torrent app that includes a pretty neat web interface. Apparently they had some troubles with the remote API, but these will be fixed from version 1.2 on. This is actually still in development, but for anyone that can’t wait, Transdroid supports your favourite client now as well!

BitTorrent is the name of the original protocol client and has just seen a switch in focus. From version 6 onwards it basically is a re-branded version of µTorrent. Well, since µTorrent was already supported, BitTorrent 6 is now as well. So if you use this client, Transdroid can provide you with a nice remote client for Android.

Planned for the near future is to add rTorrent support, which is mainly used on headless boxes. But already included in this update are some minor new features:

  • Optional auto refresh with settable interval (5 seconds to 1 hour)
  • Option to show only the actively downloading torrents in the list
  • When removing a torrent, you now have the option to remove any downloaded data as well
  • Localisation: besides English it currently only includes Dutch

Yet another step towards maturing the applicaiton. Do you want to help with the project? It would be very nice if you could translate a single .xml file in your language. Just send it to me by mail so I can include in the next release.

Installation and usage screencast

Even though I believe the Transdroid is pretty self-explanatory, it might be nice to see the installation and usage process in action. The next video shows how easy it is to install Transdroid on your own Android device and shows some basic features of the app as well. (When the cursor is out of the visible area, I’m hitting the menu or Back button.)

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/4537781 w=320&h=480]

Maybe this helps some people out or convinces you to give the app a try.