I didn’t get to use popcorn time until about two months ago because even though a colleague of mine had mentioned it to me I never looked it up – I was too busy wallowing in the awesomeness of kickass torrents – until the awesome pirate website went offline.
I searched for popcorn time only to find out that the initial official version had been terminated and although I saw three alternatives, I ended up with the question, “which one is the official one”? Becuase that’s the version I want to use. So I took it upon myself to test all of them and share my experience with y’all.
If you’re as confused as I was when you asked yourself the same question (which one is the official one?) then say no more – because this is Popcorn time app review simplified.
First, you should know what popcorn time is and maybe a bit of its history. This is from Wikipedia:
Popcorn Time is a multi-platform, free software BitTorrent client that includes an integrated media player. The applications provide a free alternative to subscription-based video streaming services (such as Netflix). Popcorn Time uses sequential downloading to stream video listed by several torrent websites (although other trackers can be added and used manually).
Following its inception, Popcorn Time quickly received positive media attention, with some comparing the app to Netflix for being easy to use. After this increase in popularity, the program was abruptly taken down by its original developers on March 14, 2014, due to pressure from the MPAA. Since then, the program has been forked several times with several other development teams such as the Butter Project to maintain the program and produce new features. The original Popcorn Time team endorsed the popcorntime.io fork, and picked it as the successor to the official Popcorn Time as of August 2015. In October 2015, the MPAA obtained a court injunction from Canada to stop the Canadian programmers of popcorntime.io, and later obtained the domain name, although the project reappeared on a new website popcorntime.sh.
So, thanks to Wikipedia you now have the background knowledge you may or may not have needed. Let’s get to which app you should choose, and why.
The three main current app websites are popcorntime.sh, popcorntime.to, and popcorntime.ws and they are similar in the following ways:
- They have a clean GUI and provide for a smooth UX.
- They support both streaming and downloads
- They have a handful of options in their settings section
- They are available for the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms
- Their controls are intuitive
- They have inbuilt players
- The .sh and .ws apps have the option to play using the much-loved video player; VLC
Now, let’s get to what differentiate the apps from each other.
- (The Butter Project)
This one is “made with love by a bunch of geeks from all over the world” contributing to work on the Butter project and has a clean interface with tab-type navigation panels for Movies, Series, Anime and Indie. There’s also a handful of options for Genre and Sorting criteria.
Go through the screenshots of the app below, especially to see how the search function works.
- The Popcorn CE Project
This app is also “made with love by a bunch of geeks from all over the world” ad together their fuck is the Popcorn Time CE project. It is a lot like the .sh version with the major difference being the option to make donations to the development team using bitcoin.
Check out the screenshots below:
- The Official Popcorntime Time
This is the cleanest app version available right now and its interface style is different. It only has a tab-style navigation for Movies and TV Shows. The remaining options are hidden in a sliding menu on the left. It also has a glossy effect in the settings menu which you can turn off. Unlike the .sh and .ws forks where you can choose to download movies through the provided magnet links, the movie you choose to watch automatically begins to download as soon as you load them.
See the screenshots below:
Issues & Conclusion:
The .to fork is the version I use because even though its player is buggy sometimes and I have to leave the player on in order to download a movie completely (coupled with the fact that I am restricted to using this same inbuilt player), I believe these issues will be a thing of the past soon.
The app uses the best searching algorithm among the three as you can see in the screenshots: it returned the best results for both my “grave” and “i spit on your grave” searches and it returned them faster than its two counterparts did.
The .to fork version also has an inbuilt VPN service for those who decide to subscribe to it and you are free to turn off the VPN notification warning in the settings menu.
This version is also the one that hosts the popcorn time online service. What more do you need fam?
The good thing is you can stream your movie online (and still have it automatically downloaded) if you don’t want to download any of the apps.
Have you used any of the above-mentioned apps? Or maybe there are some I didn’t consider. Drop your feedback in the comments section down below.
*** Update ***
Watch the Popcorn time video celebrating their 1 year anniversary: