Looking to bring its file sharing protocol to the masses, BitTorrent today announced a full-fledged torrent client that runs right inside your web browser and makes it easier to discover and download content. BitTorrent Surf is currently available as an alpha version on the Chrome Web Store, but the company says they will eventually release an add-on for Firefox and support other browsers too.
The app sits at the top of your browser window alongside the URL bar. Clicking on the BitTorrent Surf icon reveals a drop-down dashboard with controls to pause and resume transfers, check on torrents’ health and ETAs at a glance, and the option to fire up a search for a specific torrent.
By default the extension is designed to use search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing by adding the word "torrent" to queries, but users have the option to add their favorite torrent sites. The integrated search function auto-detects when you’re browsing a known torrent search site (like Mininova in the demo video), and alerts you that it can be added to the built-in search tool to create your own combined engine of sorts.
Surf isn’t the first in-browser torrent downloading solution, but it’s the first from BitTorrent itself and looks like it could be one of the simplest yet. That said, the company was keen to point out that the extension is still in its early stages. "Your feedback and input will help us build something sick," the announcement reads.