TED: find and download your favorite TV shows


TED (Torrent Episode Downloader) is a free tool that can find episodes of almost any TV show for downloading using a torrent client. It’s database of torrent sources is updated periodically to include new shows, and the program allows users to search for and add any shows that are not listed.

This is an extremely useful and impressive tool that can make the process of finding and downloading your favorite shows very easy; TED brings an easy to use iTunes-store like interface to the world of torrent TV shows.

This program is particularly suited for average users who (a) do not want to wade through torrent search sites and get bombarded with dubious ads and popups, (b) do not have the time or inclination to be searching for torrent sources needed for downloading, and (c) would like a reliable and easy way to find just the episodes that they want to watch. Here are more notes on this program:

  • TED screenshotShows in the database: you can choose from dozens of shows that are listed (I counted 191, and more shows are being added continuously). For each entry TED will download information from the net about the show including an overall rating, etc. (see first screenshot above). A search box is provided that makes it very easy to filter the list by keyword and quickly find what you’re looking for. Despite the expansive list I was struck with the number of shows I could think of that were NOT there (although these can be added by the user – see “adding to the list” below).
  • Episode selection: you can choose whether you would like (a) a specific (custom) episode that you are looking for, (b) the last aired show, or (c) to put in a request for TED to look out for the upcoming show. The program will display a list of available episodes as well as a gauge that indicates the “availability” (i.e. likelihood and/or speed of downloading).
  • Torrent client: you will need a torrent client to download; TED will NOT download anything without one. I recommend uTorrent.
  • Adding to the list: if you do not find the show you want listed you can easily add it yourself. All you need to do is simply type in the name of the show and (optionally) choose the season and episode number you want, if any, and TED will generate a list of feed sources for you. I successfully added “Clone Wars 2008” and “Man vs. Wild” (as an experiment for research purposes of couse; I didn’t actually download ;) ).
  • Filtering: you can filter the files that TED will list by size of the found file, no. of seeders, or keywords (for example “xvid”,”2008″, or”ipod” in the torrent).
  • Scheduling: imagine coming home from work to find that TED had initiated the download of the latest episode of the show(s) on your list. By default TED uses an online resource (EPguides) to determine when an episode will air and therefore when to start looking for it (the period it will wait between lookups is user defined). Or you can use a rules-based scheduler to tell TED exactly when to go out and search for new episodes (e.g. if you know the show will air on a certain day you might set TED to go out and look for it on or after that day). Scheduling assumes that the program will be running in the background, which is a good segue for the next point.
  • Resource consumption: approx 35 megs in memory, which is more than I would have thought, and would certainly give me second thoughts about having it run in the background while I’m using the computer.
  • Sources: part of the genius of this program is that it circumvents the need for finding torrents on the internet by the user (after investigating I found that TED seems to be looking for torrents using the RSS feeds from four torrent sites: btjunkie, tvrss.net, mininova, and xtvi). In the off-case that you would want to add custom source(s) for a show on your list you can do that easily (in the form of a URL that contains a keyword query of the new site’s RSS feed).
  • Is it legal?: downloading these shows is mostly probably not legal. Freewaregenius does not condone any illegal use of this program

Wish list (or how this program can be even better):

  • Simplifying the user interface: for example adding “select from available episodes” to the right click menu on the user’s list of shows. It didn’t seem quite intuitive to have to go inside each entry using “edit” in order to find previous episodes that can be downloaded.

The verdict: if you are serious about finding and downloading your favorite TV shows TED may just be exactly what you’ve been looking for. This program is well suited for recurring downloads rather than a one-time deal, and has the potential to be very useful, especially, for example, on a machine that sits mostly idle where the scheduler can find and download new episodes of your favorite TV shows on its own.

The other added benefit, of course, is not having to deal with Torrent sites and search engines (TED is the sort of program you can recommend to your technology-challenged sister who lives abroad and wants to keep abreast with the latest episodes of her favorite TV shows). There is also an element of discovery while browsing the dozens of available shows that is very gratifying.

Version Tested: 0.95

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, or Linux with Java5+ and a Torrent client.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 1.32 megs).