In-browser P2P LittleShoot now supports torrents

LittleShoot brings torrents and file publishing to your browser with a cross-program browser plug-in that looks simple enough for almost anybody to use.

Amidst the crowd of peer-to-peer file-sharing options comes an attempt to return file-sharing to its utilitarian roots and away from legal quagmires by emphasizing file-publishing. Free and open-source, LittleShoot is the brainchild of Adam Fisk, a LimeWire developer who wants LittleShoot to be "like Google for files instead of Web pages."

LittleShoot manages torrents as well as scouring the Web for most major file formats.

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

Where most P2P programs are standalone clients, LittleShoot is a browser plug-in like QuickTime or Shockwave that should work with all major browsers. It utilizes an AJAX-based interface at LittleShoot.org to search, publish, and download files. Once you've downloaded and installed the plug-in, it will take you to the LittleShoot.org search page unless you opt out. From there, entering any search term will return results with hits from YouTube, IsoHunt, Flickr, Yahoo, and LimeWire. A SafeSearch option attempts to restrict inappropriate content.

The most recent version introduces torrent-handling abilities. Check out any torrent site, download the torrent, and LittleShoot will automatically start downloading it. LittleShoot lacks advanced features like throttling, but for a basic set-it-and-forget-it torrent client, it's not too shabby. Helpful links on the side make it easy to Twitter or Facebook the torrent, and a drop-down menu gives you access to dozens more sharing options.

Non-torrent files found by LittleShoot will open in a new window, but can't be downloaded directly.

Unfortunately, the publishing option wasn't working when I tested it. When you click "Browse," you can search your hard drive for files to share. Once you've chosen a file, you can tag it--however, the JPG and WMV files I tried to upload didn't work. Even with these drawbacks, LittleShoot looks like an interesting attempt to demystify file-sharing by making it more accessible than it's been so far.

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