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BitTorrent Releases µTorrent Plus, First Paid Version of Client

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They expect BitTorrent users to pay?

BitTorrent has released µTorrent Plus, the first paid version of its compact torrent-downloading client. µTorrent Plus costs $24.95, and that's not a one-time fee; that's an annual subscription.

Selling anything to BitTorrent users would seem to be an uphill battle. For their money, users get four features that make downloading files easier and safer. File conversion is part of the client, so downloaded files can be converted to play on Apple, Android, Xbox 360, and PlayStation devices. µTorrent Plus includes the MPEG-4, H.264, Theora, and VP8 video codecs, as well as MP3, AAC, and AC-3 audio codecs.

Subscribers also get built-in antivirus scanning (powered by BitDefender), an integrated HD player, and remote access to stored files.

To be fair, this isn't the first time BitTorrent has offered a premium client. It already offers a paid version of its BitTorrent Mainline client, which also goes for $24.95 per year. BitTorrent is releasing a new version of the paid Mainline client with the same features added to the µTorrent Plus client. Both clients work with Windows 7, XP, and Vista operating systems.

BitTorrent fans shouldn't worry that this signals the end to free clients: 

"µTorrent Plus was conceived as a way to offer users added convenience and new features to fit their ever-widening digital lifestyle," says Jordy Berson, director of product management for µTorrent. "And while we're very excited to release this first premium version, we want to assure all the µTorrent fans that we remain wholly committed and enthusiastic about developing and improving our flagship free µTorrent software."

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