Popcorn Time lets you stream movies via torrents on your Linux desktop
In today's open source roundup: Popcorn Time brings streaming movies via torrents to Linux. Plus: A review of Linux Mint Debian Edition 201403, and should you recommend Linux to friends?
Gizmodo reports that a new open source application called Popcorn Time lets you stream movies via torrents in Linux, as well as Windows and OS X. This is the first time I've ever heard of an application that could actually stream movies from torrents, I'm sure the movie industry isn't going to be happy about it.
Too impatient to wait for a torrent to download? Then maybe you should check out Popcorn Time—an app that lets you stream torrents to your computer.
Currently in beta, the app lets you search the web's torrents to watch 'em immediately. It chooses the best version, and there are no usage restrictions at all.
I suspect that Popcorn Time is going to be a very popular desktop movie application. Like it or not, there are a lot of people out there who get movies from torrents, and they are bound to find Popcorn Time at some point or another.
You should know a few things about it before downloading it, however. The Popcorn Time FAQ points out that there might be legal issues with watching movies via streaming torrents. That is something to be aware of before using Popcorn Time since the movie industry takes a dim view of anyone who views its content without paying for it.
The FAQ also notes that you are seeding movies while watching them. So bear that in mind as you consider the possible legal ramifications of watching copyrighted movie content. You aren't just leeching, you are actively sharing the film as you watch it. This may also have bandwidth ramifications if you are using a metered Internet connection.
One truly odd part of the FAQ was the part about what happens to movies after the user is done watching them. Apparently they are "buried in a secret folder somewhere on your drive until you restart your computer. Then it will be gone for good." I'm not sure how happy that will make Popcorn Time users, their movies vanish when they restart their computers.
Then again the whole point of Popcorn Time is to stream movies, not build a downloaded collection of them. So maybe it won't matter to Popcorn Time users if their movies disappear after a computer reboot. They can also just stream the movie again later if they want.
If you're hoping that you can get Popcorn Time for Android, iOS or other platforms then you'll be disappointed to find out that the developers have no plans to make the app for anything but the desktop.
Linux Mint Debian Edition 201403 review
LinuxBSDos has a review of Linux Mint Debian Edition 201403, and finds that the installer still needs a lot of work.
...the weakest aspect of Linux Mint Debian Edition 201403, as I noted at the beginning of this article, is the installer. Aside from support for UEFI firmware and GPT partitions, it has barely improved since its first release. And the more I think about Linux Mint Debian Edition as a desktop operating system, the less I see a need for its existence, especially given that Linux Mint is active and very popular and offers just about the same tools as Linux Mint Debian.
This is definitely not a distribution I’ll recommend to a new user. If that describes you and you are looking for a desktop Linux distribution that just works and has a good graphical installation program, try any edition of Linux Mint.
Image credit: LinuxBSDos
I have a soft spot for Linux Mint Debian Edition, I've always liked it. It's one of my favorite desktop distributions, and I find myself using it more often than other distros. It combines Debian with the best of Linux Mint.
However, I understand the critical comments by the reviewer about the installer. It really is the onion-in-the-ointment for newer users. An automated partitioning tool would help encourage the use of Linux Mint Debian Edition.
As I noted in a recent roundup, Linux Mint Debian Edition might need more users to survive over the long haul.
Should you recommend Linux to friends?
LinuxInsider examines whether or not it is a good idea to recommend Linux to friends.
It's a natural human tendency to want to share a good thing with the people you care about, and Linux is certainly no exception. It can be downright painful, in fact, for FOSS fans to sit by and watch their friends and loved ones suffer in the clutches of other operating systems.
Even so, is it always a good idea to recommend Linux to others? At least one longtime Linux aficionado and blogger isn't so sure, and he recently laid out his thinking.
It's a good question since recommendations for anything can sometimes backfire if a friend takes your advice and then has a bad experience. I try to bear in mind who the person is, how they use their computer, and their level of technology experience and competence before making any recommendation to use Linux.
Some folks either aren't interested in the power and control that Linux provides, or they aren't ready or willing to accept the responsibility that goes along with those things. For them something like a Mac complete with Apple Care might be a better bet, and it saves me the headache of trying to be their Linux tech support department.
On the other hand, friends who are good candidates for Linux should definitely get a recommendation to learn about Linux. I generally encourage them to install VirtualBox on their current operating system, and then experiment with different distributions before deciding to make the switch to Linux.
VirtualBox also lets them see different distros with different desktop environments. Once they find one they like, they can then take the next steps to replace their current operating system with their preferred Linux distro.
What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.