The folks behind the cross-platform, open source Bittorrent client Transmission have just released version 1.80 of their application. The release features a few dozen bug fixes as well as 44 enhancements based on user requests, and one of the most notable new features is that Transmission now supports magnet links.

Magnet links are basically URLs for files that are distributed via P2P. Programs like Edonkey2000 used to have their own, proprietary linking scheme, and magnet links were meant to provide a more standardized scheme for linking to P2P resources. Some of the first programs to support magnet links were Gnutella clients like Limewire and Shareaza, but the idea of these types of links has become more popular with Bittorrent developers as well in recent months.

Magnet links got a big push when The Pirate Bay started to support them last November. The folks from TPB declared in a blog post that magnet links were a step towards a more decentralized Bittorrent environment that doesn't need any torrent files or trackers anymore.

Technically, that's true - a Bittorrent client can just use magnet links to get content from a DHT network without first querying a tracker, and one of the other features added to Transmission 1.80 is the support for such trackerless torrents. However, most magnet links featured on The Pirate Bay still list a Bittorrent tracker.

Still the feature will help to make using Bittorrent an even more seamless experience. Transmission users can now simply click on a magnet link instead of downloading a torrent file first to start a download.

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