How to Download Torrents Using RSS Feeds

Bittorrent is a useful tool for downloading large files over the internet. In recent times it has been at the forefront of legal wrangling between major film production and music recording corporations and end-users who use the protocol for illicit purpose. Leaving aside the legal niceties, bittorrent is a robust tool with many uses.

uTorrent is a client that has become the de facto torrent client for Windows. Amongst its many features is a RSS Download tool. This tool allows you to automatically start torrent downloads as they are made available over the RSS feed.

There are many guides on the internet that explain exactly what bittorent is and the best ways to utilise this protocol. So, in this guide I assume that the user is aware of the basic functions of downloading a torrent file.

Get the Feed

The first step is to actually find the RSS feed you want. There are many websites which offer a RSS feed to download torrents.

I am a fan of PBS’s NerdTV, which is freely distributed. The RSS feed for this show, with all the torrent files, can be found here.

nerdtv - rss

Depending on whether you want the MP3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC version, right-click on “Torrent” and select “Copy link address”.

nerdtv - save

As long as the feed contains torrent files, any RSS feed will work.

Adding a Feed to uTorrent

As I mentioned, this guide assumes that you are able to normally download torrent files without any problems. First, launch bittorent and click on the RSS icon along the top toolbar.

utorrent - main

This opens the “Add RSS Feed” dialog.

utorrent - addrss

Paste the copied RSS feed into the “Feed URL” box. Optionally, you can add a “Custom Alias”. This is useful if you have a lot of RSS Feeds.

If you wish to choose the individual files to download (and not have uTorrent do it automatically) select “Do not automatically download all items”. Alternatively, select “Automatically download all items published in feed” to have uTorrent automatically download all the torrent files that appear in the feed. Finally, the option “Use smart episode filter” ensures that only the first version of an episode is downloaded. Often podcasts release a high quality and low quality version and if both versions are in the same feed, you unnecessarily download both. This option ensures that only the first one to appear is downloaded.

Once you are happy with the settings select “OK”.

This is generally sufficient for the feed to populate and start downloading all the torrents. However, if you had selected “Use smart episode filter” it will not download any of the old torrents, instead it will wait for a new torrent to appear. You can always manually download a show by double-clicking it.

utorrent - feeds

Advanced Settings

This, for the most part, is sufficient if you just want to watch all the episodes as they are released. But, what if you added a feed that had a back catalogue of 10 seasons?

Fortunately, uTorrent also provides a fairly robust “advanced options” for its RSS feeds.

To launch this menu click on “Options > RSS Downloader”.

utorrent - rss downloader

The RSS Downloader window has a number of settings allowing you to select the specific episodes of a show you want to download.

utorrent - advanced

That’s it! Post in the comments if you have used uTorrent’s RSS features in any other unique ways.

Image credit: Travelin’ Librarian

Do you like what you read here?

Receive the latest update in your inbox.

Or connect with us: