July 8, 2007

Search Multiple Torrent Search Engines at once

Posted in Application Launchers, Intermediate at 11:06 pm by gloriouscomputing

Now that you have your shiny new application launcher installed, let’s use a fun hack with it. This works equally well in Launchy and Find And Run Robot.

Before I get started, let me recommend the torrent client uTorrent to you. It only works on Windows, but was designed rather well. The filesize of the program is currently 177kb. It is really fast too. In my experience, it’s been faster than other clients, like Azureus.

If you’re like me, you sometimes have a hard time finding those special legal torrents that you desire. So, you tend to have to search a lot of search engines. uTorrent already helps with that a little bit. It gets you started by having a Firefox-style search bar build in, which is great for searching one engine at a time.
But if you want to search 4 of them, you have to:

  1. Type your search
  2. Hit Enter (First site)
  3. Click the drop down list
  4. Click the next torrent site
  5. Hit Enter (2nd site)
  6. Click the drop down list
  7. Click the next torrent site
  8. Hit Enter (3rd site)
  9. Click the drop down list
  10. Click the next torrent site
  11. Hit Enter (4th site)

Phew! You only had to enter your string once, but that was A LOT of clicking / hitting enter. By this time, your day has ended, and you probably don’t care about whatever you wanted anymore.

Here’s what I have to do to accomplish the same thing (searching 4 different sites):

  1. Type “s “, followed by my search
  2. Press 5 (on the Number Pad)

I say that’s a nice improvement! The key to doing this is a batch file. Once you have the batch file, you just need a really easy way of running it at any time…. like an Application Launcher! 🙂

Here’s the batch file:

@ECHO OFF
ECHO Searching a bunch of torrent index sites…
start “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Firefox.exe” “http://www.mininova.org/search/?search=%1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9”

start “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Firefox.exe” “http://torrentspy.com/search.asp?query=%1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9”

start “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Firefox.exe” “http://thepiratebay.org/search.php?q=%1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9”

start “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Firefox.exe” “http://isohunt.com/torrents/?ihq=%1 %2 %3 %4 %5 %6 %7 %8 %9”

Copy that into Notepad and save it somewhere, like C:\Utilities\multiTorSearch.bat
What this does is pretty basic. It starts Firefox with the parameter of the search engine website. The %1 stuff is the parameter of the batch file, the actual search query.
If your Firefox is set up like mine, this open 4 new tabs in your already open Firefox window. If it doesn’t do that for you, go to Firefox’s Tools->Options->Tabs and select “Open new windows in a new Tab”. Simple.

Now that you have your Batch file, just add it to your Application Launcher.
For Launchy, use the Runny plugin.

  • Press Alt+Space to bring up Launchy
  • Right click, go to Plugins
  • Click on Runny, and then Plugin Options
  • Then just pick what you want to type (“search”, perhaps), and then put your batch file on the right, with the parameter $1

Now for my Find And Run Robot people. The way I did it, was that I added this batch file as just another search engine in the “search” Group, that comes with the program by default. So:

  • Hit Ctrl+Space to bring up FARR
  • Click on the Options button
  • Go to Groups, right click “search”, and go to Edit
  • Add this line in the ‘results’ section: “MultiTorrent $$1 | C:\Utilities\multiTorSearch.bat $$1”

If you’re like me, and would rather just type in “s ” than “search “,
change the ‘Regular Expression’ to “^s (.*)”

The key difference with FARR here is that when you type “s MySearchHere”, you see MultiTorrent Search as one of the options, which you can easily start by hitting the corresponding Number Pad key (no need to hit Enter). If this is not for you, put MultiTorrent as the first choice. That’s the one triggered by hitting Enter. This is usually Google, and that’s the way I personally prefer it.

That’s all for today. Enjoy searching multiple sites at the same time!

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