How to auto-download torrents via RSS-feeds on a Mac
When it comes to tasks which involve randomly checking the same sources on the internet again and again I’m kind of lazy. There are technologies like RSS for that after all. So since I switched to Mac some time ago there has been one thing that’s been bugging me.
On Windows I was used to let my preferred Torrent application (uTorrent) handle downloading new fan sub releases automatically.
When I switched to Mac OS X I thought that the Mac version would be able to do the same, but I was wrong. After searching and searching I didn’t find a single torrent client for the Mac with a working RSS-download feature.
But there is a solution for that: using a small application called Automatic together with the most popular torrent client for the Mac: Transmission.
So after testing this workaround for a few weeks, I guess it’s time for a tutorial.
First we head over to http://codingcurious.com/automatic/
There is a version 2 available which costs 20 USD. For me needs (and for this tutorial) I will be using Version 1.1.4, available at the bottom-right of the mentioned homepage.
Download the application, unzip it and start the installation by clicking on the file named “Automatic.prefPane”. (I’m using a Virtual Machine here cause I don’t want to mess up my current installation.)
After the installation routine Automatic launches… uhm automatically. ^_^
Be sure to click “Skip This Version” if you want to use the free version in the following update window.
From now on you can launch Automatic from the bottom of your System Preferences Panel (Apple>System Preferences).
Now let’s configure Automatic. In the “General” tab we select the following things:
Refresh Every: I did set this to 15 minutes. This is the time before Automatic checks the rss feeds for new items.
Download to: Now this is important. here you can specify the folder in which Transmission (the torrent client) will later look for new torrent files. Mine is in “/Users/Raffael/Downloads/Torrents” for example.
Make sure to click on the slider at the bottom left side of the General tab to turn Automatic on.
Now switch over to the Subscriptions panel. This is where the real magic happens. Click on the + sign at the bottom to add a new RSS feed.
Here you can add a description (for example “Usagi Drop”).
With the “Filter” options underneath you can filter your RSS results. This comes in handy if some subgroup decides to re-release subs of another group and you want to filter those subs out. For now we don’t enter anything in that box.
In the box “Download to” we select the folder mentioned earlier. (For example “/Users/Raffael/Downloads/Torrents”.)
From the TV options menu I recommend checking the option “Download every episode once”.
Now click on the + sign at the bottom again to add the the actual RSS feeds address.
This is pretty much self explanatory. Enter the URL, add a description, done. Here you can also add a filter. If you click anywhere after entering the URL you should see a preview of the available feed items.
(Note for the tech savvy ones:
You could of course just enter the RSS root URL, add one subscription and filter the items you want, but I think my approach is easier and better to administer.)
A hint for those wondering where you could get an RSS feed for currently airing anime:
Head over to http://www.nyaa.eu/, search for your desired anime (+ subgroup). For example “Commie Usagi Drop”. Click on the RSS button at the top of the page and copy the URl of the following page
NOTE: IF YOU LIKE THE ANIME, BUY IT ONCE IT IS RELEASED. STOP SEEDING AS SOON AS IT IS LICENCED! SUPPORT THE ARTISTS!
Now let’s get back to the feed configuration panel. Click “Ok.
Now you should be back to the “Subscription” options. Check the Feed you have just created at the bottom and click “OK” again.
Now that we are done configuring Automatic it’s time to install Transmission.
Transmission is available over here http://www.transmissionbt.com/download/
The installation process is self explanatory and most Mac users have Transmission already installed anyway.
So I will just explain how to set up Transmission to work together with Automatic:
Open Transmissions preferences and go to “Transfers”.
“Default location” specifies your default download folder.
Check “Start transfers when added”.
Check “Only when adding manually”. If you disabled the “add Windows” option altogether, you can skip this.
At the bottom we navigate to the folder previously chosen in Automatic. This is where Transmission will look for torrent files downloaded by Automatic.
And we are done. From now on Automatic will check the configured RSS feeds for new items (every 15 minutes for example) and Transmission will start to download them automatically.
(You can initiate an instant search by going to Automatics preferences and turn it off and on again. Useful for the first time.)
Hopefully this tutorial helps fellow Mac users to get their anime fan subs in a hassle free way.
And since the summer season did just start : What are you watching / torrenting at the moment? To which shows are you looking forward to?