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hid.imTorrents are one of the greatest branches of file sharing today, but they can be quite a bother at times as well. When using torrents, aside from your webbrowser, you’ll need a torrent file and a separate application.

In the end, all of this is superfluous next to the vast advantages, but sometimes we still dream about torrent files – or the rest of the internet – being more flexible.

If you’re looking for added flexibility, or simply secrecy for your torrents, do read on.

With, you can encode your torrents to an image file – this allows you to hide torrent files inside pictures beyond recognition. Simply surf to the website, upload your torrent file and wait for your png. You can save the image to your harddisk, or temporarily reach them on the website.

The png file will look like a rectangle of electronic noise, as you can see below (ubuntu-9.04-desktop-amd64.iso.torrent).



So what’s the use of this technology? Besides being able to  ‘hide’ your torrent files inside pictures, which will be increasingly difficult once this technology gets more well known, TorrentFreak puts it on ease of use.

That’s right, with your torrent file in picture format, you can simply upload it to otherwise restricted forums, mail them to your friends, or embed them in a MakeUseOf article. Exactly how many people will need it remains the question, but it’s a beautiful concept, and I can imagine a multitude of situations in which it’d be useful.

Decoding your Torrents

Obviously, you can’t just open the png files in your local torrent client, they’ll need to be decoded first. There are two ways to do this.

The easiest, perhaps, is by using the bookmarklet which you can find on the webpage. For those of you that don’t know, a bookmarklet is a bookmark that executes a small piece of JavaScript in your browser. Once you activate your bookmarklet, you can simply click on the image for a download link to appear, as demonstrated in the screenshot below.

The bookmarklet works on Safari, Firefox, but not yet on Chrome. Internet Explorer is not specified, but you could give it a shot.

An alternative – for Firefox users, that is – to the bookmarklet is the add-on. With this one installed, you can simply right-click on your torrent pictures, and save them to your computer. Less work, but only if you’re using Firefox.

Have a Go

Below we’ve included a sample coded torrent. The torrent file in question is, of course, 100% legal. Its identity, however, remains unknown. Install the Firefox add-on or bookmarklet, and see if you can decode the torrent.


Do you think you know which torrent it is? Tip: its got to do with a popular MakeUseOf subject.

What do you think about Advancement of the century, or useless technology? Let us know what you think – or how you plan to use it – in the comments section below. Share your ideas with us, and your fellow MakeUseOf readers!

There are plenty more cool torrent articles. Read how to download torrents with your console and mobile Download Torrents To Your Console Or Your Mobile Phone Download Torrents To Your Console Or Your Mobile Phone Read More , or how to download them on a Windows computer without using a client Download Torrents Without A Client Via Torrent2Exe [Windows] Download Torrents Without A Client Via Torrent2Exe [Windows] Read More . Check out other torrent related articles – I bet there’s plenty of stuff you haven’t heard about!

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  1. Versatile
    August 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I like the concept, but it will never become useful. It is just a novelty concept.

  2. Nura
    August 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    I think, in case I need to hide a file, I can just rename a file - change the file extension to .jpg or whatever and it's done. Why people need this at all?
    Explain me, I don't understand.

  3. Simon Slangen
    August 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Of course steganography isn't the main purpose, it just creates a format that's way easier to handle.

  4. j0nny
    August 14, 2009 at 11:54 am

    This is an awesome concept, the only problem is now everyone will know that a png file that looks like a rectangle of electronic noise will have a 99.9% chance of being a torrent file. Now making any image file a torrent file using this technology, that would be brilliant!

  5. Sun M
    August 14, 2009 at 11:51 am

    See Steganography.

    Anyway I've read about this before and my opinion is still the same: this can never be successful because the more people know about it, the more this supposed 'secrecy' disappears, which kinda defeats the purpose. And we need a perfectly normal image, not a torrent file I can spot from 10m away.

    The thing is, we already have a perfect way to hide our files, not just torrent files. Called combining a JPEG file and a .rar/.zip file, and it works on both Windows and Linux. MUCH more versatile, nearly impossible to detect (just needs some social work), and incredibly simple.

    Verdict: useless. Friggin' useless.