Popcorn Time is a new free app that lets you watch first run movies like Frozen, American Hustle, Gravity, Delivery Man, Captain Philips, Dallas Buyers Club, as well as classics such as Hook and the Bridge on the River Kwai without paying. The app lets viewers watch the films using streaming torrent technology.

Popcorn time

The app is currently in beta and can be run on Linux, OS X 10.7 and Windows 7 and above systems. No special installation is required and the app works in all network configurations.

Streaming torrent technology

One of the Popcorn Time developers explained the team’s streaming torrent technology in a recent interview. “The technology behind the app is very simple. We consume a group of APIs, one for the torrents, another for the movie info, and another for the poster. We also have an API for the subtitles. Everything is automated, we don’t host anything, but take existing information and put it together.”

Quasi-legal status

One can, and movie studios certainly would, argue Popcorn Time is not legal as the app is designed to assist in the pirating of copyrighted material. On the other hand, it’s technically “not illegal” because the developers don’t host any of the copyrighted material and don’t earn any money from the app. However, Tech Crunch’s Matt burns says, “the lawyers will come eventually because Popcorn Time is just that good.”

Pirating made easy

Regardless of its quasi-legal status, Popcorn Time is designed to let people easily watch movies without paying for them, which is generally considered piracy. Furthermore, Popcorn Time uses technology to make piracy much easier than it used to be (not that it was ever that difficult, just time consuming.)

Tech Crunch describes Popcorn Time as “the easiest way to pirate movies yet,” and that is not an inaccurate description, given you can begin watching a movie within 15 seconds of beginning a download. Moreover, if you have a high-speed Internet connection you will typically get a near-perfect picture with little no delay. Burns did note that Popcorn TIme does not yet support advanced audio codecs.