BitTorrent Torque Labs makes BitTorrent on the Web extensible. (Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

A new way to manage your torrents puts a bit of Torque in your Web browser. Debuting today from the company that makes uTorrent and BitTorrent, the alpha version of BitTorrent Torque creates rudimentary torrent controls in JavaScript that can be run from your HTML5-compliant browser.

In a blog post announcing Torque, BitTorrent developer Patrick Williams explained that Torque works by providing a JavaScript hook to a custom BitTorrent client backend. From there, developers can write apps that use Torque's APIs.

Currently, there are two extensions for Torque. One is Paddle Over, which integrates drag and drop file transfers with social sharing, social networks, and other computers. The other is OneClick, for converting a torrent into a standard in-browser download.

Other Torque extensions previewed but not yet available that hint at what Torque's APIs can do include video streaming, file transcoding, and antivirus scanning.

While Torque is hardly fully functional now, it indicates how quickly Web apps are beginning to take off. Though mobile apps are still on the tip of everybody's tongue, the combination of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript has developed to the point where Web apps can be written in a platform-agnostic way. "Code once, run everywhere," could dramatically cut down on app engineering costs, especially for smaller organizations.

Editor's note: Using P2P and file-sharing software to distribute copyrighted material without authorization is illegal in the United States and many other countries. CBS Interactive does not encourage or condone the illegal duplication or distribution of copyrighted content.