Popcorn Time, the Netflix of torrents, will be reborn in the browser

Popcorn Time
Popcorn TIme

The story of Popcorn Time, an online streaming app that looks and acts like Netflix but uses torrent links instead of hosted videos, has been a tricky one to follow.

It's been shut down and reborn again more times than you can count thanks to the software being open-source and, after a recent seizure of its main site - popcorntime.io - by the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA), the outlook seemed bleak for the site that stands by the tenets of content being over-priced.

But despite shutting down the website and three lawsuits levied against the app, the MPAA's actions haven't slowed Popcorn Time, which recently unveiled a new browser-based experience called Popcorn Time Online that allows you to watch torrent files of TV shows and movies inside your web browser as opposed to downloading and installing the app.

According to Popcorn Time's blog, the web browser version uses a plug-in called Torrents Time to play and stream more video formats than was possible on the app, as well as the ability to stream the content directly to Chromecast, Airplay and DLNA.

The last time we reported on Popcorn Time was back in 2014, when the site's creators announced that they would shutter the project. Of course, that was before the site went open-source and spread like wildfire on GitHub, attracting the ire of the MPAA.

While the juries will debate the legality of the faux-piracy site, Popcorn Time's creators are hard at work creating a new MPAA-approved version of the site called Project Butter.

We'll keep you posted on the arrival of the squeaky-clean Project Butter as well as the status of Popcorn Time in the coming months.

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.