During the past few months, we featured at least two full alternatives to the now defunct TextBook Torrents tracker; Free The Textbooks and PureTorrents. Unfortunately, one of these sites (Free The Textbooks) hasn’t shown a lot of improvements – FTT seems to have lost some torrents and there are hardly any new torrents being added to the tracker. Performance of PureTorrents on the other hand has been the complete opposite – during the past four months the tracker has added over 7000 torrents and attracted several thousand new members. In addition the site underwent some UI changes and several usability enhancement features too have been added.
When we first reviewed PureTorrents back in April 2009, the site only had 1200 torrents and 175 members. Now in August 2009, it tracks over 8200 active torrents and has a user base in excess of 4200 members. To put it short, PT is one of the largest academic/educational books trackers currently in existence.
Expanding the torrent and users databases is not all what PureTorrents has been doing in the past couple of months. They’ve added several new features too. The somewhat less user-friendly torrent index has got a facelift and now detailed information on each indexed book along with a book cover thumbnail is displayed. In addition, a new version of PTSort (a mod that can automatically extract book information from Amazon) is also due to be introduced soon (preview of this can be seen here).
If you are someone who is worried about having to maintain a mandatory ratio on a torrent site, here is some good news – PureTorrents does not have tough policies on user ratio requirements. Following is quoted from the homepage:
We field a lot of questions from members worried about their ratio. You do not have to worry about your ratio. We understand that as a book site, the chances that other people are going to want the same things as you are relatively small. For the time being, we'd just like to see things better seeded and get some more content.
PureTorrents is without a doubt a great resource for students and professionals looking for electronic versions of educational and academic books (not just text books). Signups are currently open and you may register an account for free.
Site Name: PureTorrents (http://puretorrents.org)
Signup URL: http://puretorrents.org/account-signup.php
IRC Channel: irc://irc.puretorrents.org/PureTorrents