Popcorn Time's Menu Layout

Until now, finding quality torrents has required a minimum of technological savvy. But Popcorn Time has stretched the appearance and functionality of Netflix overtop of torrents to offer easy access for everyone.

The application uses an attractive (and familiar) layout to simplify the process of using torrents, providing access to HD streaming film and TV in a visual menu-style layout. Much like Netflix, which it clearly apes, Popcorn Time provides a browsing feature. In short an open source app any laymen could learn to use in a matter of minutes. There’s even an adorable pop-corn bucket mascot (Pochoclin!) to get you on their side. Hollywood should pay attention now; simpler torrents is exactly the evolution they’re fighting.

Popcorn Time’s largest advantage over traditional competitors is the sheer depth of catalogue that torrents give. And you are downloading torrents – files are downloading to a “secret file” on your computer as you use Popcorn Time, later to be deleted on restart. You seed out to other users in the cloud, and they to you, and so-on. All in the very zen tradition of the internet. All squarely in a legal grey area (at best).

As PT is regaining traction it is gaining platforms. It’s already available on Windows, Mac, and Linux. There are rumblings of smart TV. The app has inspired imitators, and the team is in a heated feud with Time4Popcorn over allegations of stolen code.

This may not all be legal of course, despite what the developers have said. They’ve claimed before that they checked their projects legality (four times – very thorough!). Of course they then shut down due to legal pressure. And they do provide this handy disclaimer in their FAQ:

Downloading copyrighted material may be illegal in your country. Use at your own risk...”

While we would never endorse use of illegal torrents or recommend the app, the team seems convinced of their new model. The banner on their main page reads:

This Popcorn Time service will never be taken down. Download and enjoy.

Short of ISP interference, of course. But what are the odds of that?