How To Automate & Organize Torrents with Transmission [Mac]

Jeffry Thurana 10-09-2009

How To Automate & Organize Torrents with Transmission [Mac] 00 Transmission LogoThe best things in life are free, but human in general – myself included – have the tendency to take free things for granted. One of the examples of great and free things that I took for granted is the torrent downloader known as Transmission.


I’ve been using Transmission forever. It sits dutifully in the background ready to fetch any torrent downloads that I throw at it. It never complains, it just works; while I never really pay attention to it.

It turns out that Transmission is a torrent downloader that has more convenient features under its hood. All the user has to do is dig a little deeper into its Preferences (Command + Comma). And oh boy, it is rewarding.

Automating The Downloading Tasks

All this time, I stuck with the mundane manual torrenting tasks. Everytime I wanted to download a file via torrent; I would download the torrent file, manually add it to Transmission, wait until the download finishes, then move the file to their respective foldesr: movie files to Movie folder, mp3 files to Music folder, png and jpg files to Picture folder, you get the picture.

After looking into the Preferences options, I realized that I can automate the process using Transmission’s built-in features.


torrent downloader

Our first stop after opening the Preferences is the “Transfer” menu. The “Adding” tab is the place to set the default location of downloaded files. You can also tell Transmission where to put the unfinished downloads and whether Transmission should show the “Adding transfer” option window.

torrent downloader for mac

But the automation magic is in auto-add setting; you can automatically add torrents from a specific folder to the download queue. If you combine this with default download setting from your browser or download manager, you can really simplify your torrent life.


You can take this automation concept further by utilizing the “Groups” feature. Basically, Groups allow users to categorize files based on some specific criteria and set a specific location for each group. Users can save their time considerably because they don’t have to manually move the downloaded file over to a new location.

mac torrent downloader

To set a group, select one color from the available options on the left pane. Rename the label, tick the “Custom Location” checkbox, and set the download location for this group.

The next step is deciding on the filtering criteria for the group. Upon ticking the “Assign group to new transfer based on criteria” checkbox (and later by clicking the “Edit” button), you will see the familiar Finder-like filtering system.


torrent downloads

Click on the “Plus” (+) button on the right to add more rules, and if you want to delete a rule, simply click the “Minus” (-) button.

The last automation option available via Preferences is bandwidth usage automation. If you have an internet connection with a fair-use policy, you can schedule specific transfer speed limits at certain times here. Just tick the checkbox and set the time when speed limit will occur.

torrent downloads


Subscribing to torrent?

For those who love to download TV episodes, it would be nice of you could subscribe to the series so that it will be downloaded automatically without the need to add them manually every time the new episode is out.

Transmission doesn’t have that kind of feature, yet, but that doesn’t mean that users can’t do anything about it. The same result can be obtained by using a help from another application called Automatic which will automatically download RSS items based on a preset criteria.

torrent downloads

If you “subscribe” to the RSS torrent of a series, it will be added automatically to Transmission and downloaded to the specified location. All that’s left to do is to enjoy it.

Do you use the Transmission torrent downloader? Check out other posts How to Access your Torrent Client & Download Torrents Remotely Read More about Transmission Transmission, The Lightweight BitTorrent Client Read More and the comparison to uTorrent Transmission vs uTorrent [Mac Only] Read More . And don’t forget to share your thoughts and opinion using the comment below.

Related topics: BitTorrent, Computer Automation.

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  1. spawnreaper
    February 13, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    I can't find any examples for transfer based criteria.
    If I would want to filter on torrents with "S00E00" in the title so transmission auto assigns TV shows with a label. What character would I use to replace the "0"'s with a random number, (wildcard.)

  2. Javier
    December 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Great post for Transmission newbies! Thanks!

  3. nanette
    September 11, 2009 at 9:57 am

    <a href=

  4. Dr. Phil Good
    September 11, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Just wondering if this works the same in transmission for Linux? Also is there an equivilent RSS downloader?

  5. batteries
    September 11, 2009 at 7:44 am

    I read whole post it seems helpful to me.
    Thanks for the intelligent and nice post.
    Stay connected.

  6. Al
    September 10, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Thanks. Do you know how to set up transmission with a proxy server?

    • Marco
      September 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm

      Why do you need this? Your downloads going to be way slower. If you're doing this to stay anonymous basic proxy server won't help.