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BitTorrent Surf browser extension now available in beta

BitTorrent has announced the beta version of Surf, its new web client.

BitTorrent Surf launched in January in alpha mode, allowing users to download content directly from and into their browser.

Now, the updated version is available for Chrome and Firefox. Users can tap the Surf icon in the top right corner of the screen to keep an eye on what's downloading, as well as search for and download files. Surf measures and displays the health of each torrent, so users can select the most high-quality media available.

The beta version introduces a recommendation engine, which prioritises featured content from BitTorrent and its partners. Additionally, the update includes the introduction of a status window, as well as a meter to show the download/upload speed. File size will now be shown in the search results.

Surf's in-browser extension allows for site auto-detection, as well as built-in custom discovery; users can save their favourite sites and create their own engine.

Since the debut of Surf earlier this year, BitTorrent has been testing the feature and gathering user feedback in an effort to "build something sick," the team said in January.

BitTorrent has one more trick up its sleeve. The company also announced that it will debut new music from Pretty Lights producer Derek Vincent Smith — available now as a BitTorrent Bundle, which includes album art and two new singles.

That bundle will be the first thing BitTorrent users see when they search Surf for content from Pretty Lights; a query for similar artists will also offer a recommendation to try the Pretty Lights BitTorrent Bundle.

"It is in early stages, but has great potential," BitTorrent's Christian Averill said in an email. "The aim here is to facilitate discoverability of good content in the BitTorrent ecosystem."

Last month, BitTorrent introduced peer-to-peer live streaming, a new real-time reporting service that "eliminates bandwidth, cost, and infrastructure as broadcast barriers," the company said in its March announcement.

BitTorrent also unveiled Sync, which lets users synchronise personal files across multiple devices, similar to cloud-storage services like Dropbox, Google, and Amazon. The service was in pre-alpha stage in January, while the company searched for volunteers to test it out.

For a look at BitTorrent Surf in action, check out the company's video, below.