In the BitTorrent scene, giving is just as important as receiving. If you have something you’d like to contribute to your tracker of choice, it’s easy to do if you’re using uTorrent.
In today’s edition of our BitTorrent for Beginners series we’ll show you how to create and share a torrent using uTorrent—be sure to read the first part of the series, where we explain what BitTorrent is and how it all works.
Research Your Tracker
Before you actually create a torrent file, be sure that the files you’re sharing comply with your tracker’s rules. Here are some important points to follow:
- Be sure to read the documentation on your tracker. Some trackers only allow Creative Commons-licensed media, so check to see if yours is before posting it. There are other rules or guidelines for quality of media (mostly videos and music) and proper tagging, so be sure to comply with them. Depending on your tracker, torrents violating these rules could be removed and the user can be banned, so please take your time.
- Go through the rules again. This is also important because you need to get the tracker’s announce URL, which is usually listed alongside the documentation, FAQ, or in the forum’s sticky posts. More information on this below.
- Be prepared to seed! Most trackers expect you to seed at LEAST twice the size of the upload, or for 72 hours, whichever is longer. If you can’t comply with this then wait to post your torrent until you can.
- Look into a license if you’re sharing your own work. Sharing is a great way to get some exposure, but don’t give away your rights as a media creator. Take a look at the Creative Commons Licenses and study a bit so that you can share and still maintain ownership of your creations.
BitTorrent is all about the community, so if you’re not yet a part of one, take some time to search online or ask some of the techies you know. You can also check out our previous article on how to get started downloading torrents for a few places to get started.
How to Create a Torrent
Before you can share a torrent file, you’ll need to make sure to get your tracker’s “announce” URL. This is the address that your tracker uses to announce torrents and keep track of everything, and is usually in the format of:
Aside from the files you’re sharing, this is the second most important piece of information, so be sure it’s accurate or else your torrent won’t work. Once you’ve figured that out, fire up uTorrent and then click on the button that looks like a magic wand, or go to File > Create New Torrent.
You’ll see something like this—click on Add file or Add directory depending on what you’re going to be turning into a torrent. As you can see here, I’ve chosen a directory of high quality wallpapers I created.
Important: Make sure you put in your tracker URL
We can’t emphasize this enough, as most people forget this and wonder why their torrent doesn’t work. This is especially important if you’re on a private tracker, i.e. one you need to be registered for.
You’ll probably want to choose some of the options under the “Other” section:
- Start seeding: Select the Start seeding option when you want to post the torrent as soon as you create it, but you can choose to manually start seeding later if you aren’t uploading your torrent file right away.
- Preserve file order: Choose the Preserve file order option when you have a folder structure that you’d like the torrenters to choose from.
- Private torrent: Be sure to uncheck Private torrent if you’re uploading to a public tracker. More on this in a future lesson.
When you’re ready, click Create and save as… to save your torrent file. That’s it!
Upload Your Torrent File
Now, you can upload this torrent to your tracker, usually with a new forum or blog post with details of what you’re including. Be aware that if you move your source files or close uTorrent, you will not seed, so be sure you don’t do either of these until you fulfill your initial seeding requirements. Again, if there’s any doubt, check the Rules sections of your tracker. Remember, sharing is caring!
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