The final build of uTorrent 2.0 may not be out yet, but that hasn’t stopped the developers from beginning work on future builds. They have already released multiple alpha builds of uTorrent 2.1 (codenamed Falcon). Falcon will be a major update for uTorrent and will include both visible and under the hood changes.
The biggest attraction of uTorrent 2.1 is support for video streaming. Video streaming will allow you to begin watching videos without waiting for it to be completely downloaded. In fact if your connection is fast enough, you would be able to instantly begin watching the video. This will be similar to the experience provided by online video services like YouTube.
Simon Morris (VP of Marketing and Product at BitTorrent) commented that, “Our hope is to transform getting media using uTorrent from a ‘load-wait-watch-tomorrow’ to more of a ‘point-click-watch’ experience.”
Although uTorrent didn’t explain how the new feature works, it probably uses a sequential download scheme. In sequential download mode a client gives preference to pieces with lower sequence numbers (rather than giving preference to availability). This can reduce download speed, but allows an audio or video file to be previewed before the download has been completed. Many rival clients like BitComet have had this feature for a long time. For playback uTorrent can use its own online player or your favourite local media player.
Falcon will also introduce a new zero-configuration, secure web UI which will allow you to access uTorrent from other terminals or from your smartphone. The new “Access Anywhere” feature will utilize end to end encryption to enhance security and privacy. Another notable addition is support for DNA – a free content delivery service run by BitTorrent. uTorrent 2.1 also features a refreshed UI with brand new icons. Other features which are currently being worked upon include, optional file security preferences and browser integration. A beta release is expected during the first quarter of 2010. If you are feeling adventurous you can download the alpha build from here.