Generally, and probably for good reason, BitTorrent clients download across all of the file equally based on various other factors. However when downloading some videos I would prefer to get the start of the file first, or the latter third of the file first, etc. Is there a way to do this with any client?
No, there is no way to prioritize an arbitrary part of the file. Years ago, I asked the devs of eMule to implement this feature because sometimes while watching a show, the network cuts off the last minute or I’d miss a few seconds after one of the commercial breaks, and I didn’t want to download an entire episode just to watch a few seconds. They shot the idea down, stating that it would hurt the swarm if people could pick and choose what they get.
It is no different with µTorrent, or any other P2P system that relies on evenly distributing parts of a file among the peers.
The closest thing to this is the ability (usually set to off by default) to prioritize the first and last part of the file which was done specifically so that the file can be verified as genuine and not a fake (because most file-types put the header and meta-data at the beginning and a few put it at the end).
In µTorrent, set the
From the main window, click the detailed info pane. Select the files tab.
Right click on the part of the file you want to increase the priority of, and change the priority from normal to high.
The following is from the bittorrent help manual