Posted: 15 Feb 2015 01:15 AM PST
When BitTorrent Inc. announced its plan to add advertising to its flagship uTorrent client a small user revolt broke out.
The people complaining were mostly annoyed that there would be no option to disable the ads. Luckily, BitTorrent listened to the feedback and decided that users would indeed get a chance to opt-out from the ads.
Despite the initial complaints, nowadays most users probably aren’t aware of the opt-out settings. uTorrent previously reported that it’s serving billions of ads per month, quite a significant number.
Even for those users who do know, uTorrent doesn’t make it very easy for them to remove the ads. They will have to mess with the advanced settings, search for the relevant variables, and change them one by one.
The developer of the torrent optimized TV-calendar DuckieTV was confronted with this issue a few days ago when he introduced a friend to BitTorrent. After first installing uTorrent, he noticed that the client was littered with ads he disabled himself a long time ago.
“I turned them off for my friend, and decided to try and see if I could automate the process the next day,” Schizoduckie tells TF.
For DuckieTV, the developer previously reverse-engineered BitTorrent’s Torque and BtApp.js tools, which are able to talk to uTorrent via the browser. He therefore decided to see if the same code could also be used to change uTorrent’s settings.
“I remembered that BitTorrent previously ran an experiment with btApp.js that fiddled with settings, so all I needed to do was hook up the settings functionality in my library and set up a page so users can disable ads in one click,” Schizoduckie says.
Fast forward a few hours and “Pimp my uTorrent” was born.
After the “pimping” is done, uTorrent might need to be restarted before the changes are visible. People who are not happy with the result have an option to reverse them with another click.
It can’t get much simpler than that.
Those who are interested in what the tool does can inspect the relevant variables here. A more detailed overview of all ad related settings and how these can be changed is available in the uTorrent forums.