The uTorrent system uses the BitTorrent protocol to download computer files over the Internet. The client program resident on the user's computer is the only software element of the protocol and all tasks required to make a connection with other computers on the network are handled by this program. The environment looks like a file browser and lists active torrents. Each torrent has a reported status and one of these is "Queued."
The BitTorrent protocol creates a system for "file sharing." File sharing is a euphemism for copying files from other private users. The system has no central server or membership control. The protocol works on peer-to-peer architecture, which means that there is no client or server in the network, but each node acts as both. While a user is downloading files from other people, they are also downloading files from that user. Every member is a "peer," acting as both server and client simultaneously.
The BitTorrent system is an open protocol, which means anyone can read the details of the protocol and copy it. This means that several individuals and companies created their own client programs to operate the protocol. The original client is called BitTorrent. It was created by Bram Cohen, who also invented the protocol. One of the earliest independent implementations of the protocol was a client called uTorrent. BitTorrent bought uTorrent and changed its client program to copy that of uTorrent. Both clients still exist. But uTorrent is still the most popular of all BitTorrent clients.
The uTorrent user interface looks like a cross between a browser and a directory listing. In the BitTorrent protocol a file being transferred is called a torrent. Each active torrent is a line in a list. Several columns give information about the torrent and one of these columns is the "Status" column. This tells the user what the file is doing. There are several standard values for this column. "Downloading," "Seeding" (uploading), "Finished," "Paused," "Stopped," "Queued" and "Queued Seed" are the most common values seen in this column.
The "Queued" status means that uTorrent is waiting for another torrent to finish downloading before it starts downloading the queued torrent. The uTorrent client has a maximum number of torrents it will handle at the same time. There is a number for both uploads and downloads and another limit for just downloads. These parameters are set in "Preferences," accessible in the "Options" menu on the menu bar. A Queued Seed is an upload that cannot proceed because the number of active torrents has been reached.
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- BitTorrent: FAQ - BitTorrent Concepts
- "uTorrent User Manual;" Appendix A: The Torrent Interface; Main Window; Torrent Jobs List
- BitTorrent.org: The BitTorrent Protocol Specification; Bram Cohen; 2008
- Slyck: BitTorrent Clients
- "TorrentFreak;" BitTorrent Inc. Buys uTorrent; Ernesto Van Der Sar; Dec. 7, 2006