Let's say you have all the episodes of FOO series that you downloaded as they were out, so you have like 20 torrents. Now let's say you want to make a bundle torrent with all the files, call it "FOO Season 1", and then send it to someone.

One way would be to create a new torrent with all the episodes, but you would lose all the seeds from the current torrents, and you also couldn't seed people that want to download single episodes.

Is this possible with the BitTorrent protocol?

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    You should probably use a different example since pirating movies / TV shows is illegal – cutrightjm Nov 28 '12 at 1:04
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    It's not pirating if the content is being freely distributed by the creator and owner. – Zequez Nov 28 '12 at 1:16
  • "you also couldn't seed people that want to download single episodes" - People who download single episodes obviously cannot be seeds for your combined torrent, but you having all the episodes can seed to them and they can always pick and choose. Back to your main query however, I don't think the protocol allows it. – Karan Nov 28 '12 at 1:17
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    "You have many cds of a linux distro you downloaded one by one, and want to make a bundle torrent with all the cds and send it to someone" might work as a more acceptable replacement – Journeyman Geek Nov 28 '12 at 2:03

In 2006 BEP 47 Padding files and extended file attributes was published. As soon as torrents contain TTH for every file and info.pieces is not required, one can manipulate files freely. The sample can be viewed here: for any folder the webserver is able to construct both dcls and torrent descriptions.

Unfortunately, this BEP was not widely implemented, so such an easy thing (in more mature p2p protocols like ADC and G2) is still not possible with most BitTorrent clients.

Also, in my practice current "info.files.path" approach is a big waste because nested directory names are repeated way too often. My GreyLink DC++ share has roughly 6800 directories. Its description in dcls format (that is, xml.bz2) is roughly 3.1Mb big. Unpacked XML is 12Mb. Being converted to .torrent format (following BEP 47) it becomes 16Mb big despite XML having TTH in Base32 and torrent having TTH in binary form.

Thus, some kind of nesting would be helpful to avoid repeating path fragments. I guess, there should be another BEP for nesting "info", and this would probably also allow what you want in another way.

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If all of the files aren't in their own folders, just create a new torrent in your torrent file and add each file individually and they'll all be packed into that new torrent. You could still do this if they were in their own folders but it's a little less organized more or less. Don't delete any of your previous .torrent files or change the locations of any of the files or else you'll screw up your previous seeds.

In answer to your question, no you can't do what you're wanting (seed both individual files and the whole thing), not without having a .torrent file for each individual episode and a .torrent file for the whole thing. Keep in mind if you make a torrent with the whole season users can pick and choose which eps they want so in a way it kind of is solving your problem.

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If you want to keep the seeds from the original .torrent files, you'll have to just pack each of the original .torrent files into a new torrent. You wouldn't really need to include the files themselves, just the original .torrent for each file. Then continue to seed each torrent, plus the nested torrent.

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    Is not it too cumbersome - nesting the torrents? Is not it better to pack the .torrent files for example using a zip and send the zip? – pabouk Nov 11 '13 at 10:02

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