Trigger Torrent Downloads by email in Mac OSX with Dropbox and IFTTT

This is a nifty little recipe for triggering a torrent download using Dropbox, Transmission and IFTTT on Mac OSX.

It’s useful if you find a torrent you want to download but you’re not at your computer. Combined with the new Power Nap feature which can keep one eye open on your apps in the background even when your Mac is asleep, this formula for Transmission Remote downloads is a great little Mac trick.

1.Set Up Transmission to Watch A Dropbox Folder

Enable Transmission Watch Folders

This will allow Transmission to keep an eye on a folder that you specify. When a new torrent file is added to the folder you choose, Transmission will automatically start downloading the torrent.

  • Open Transmission Preferences
  • Click ‘Transfers’ and select ‘Adding’
  • Enable ‘Start transfers when added’

This means that the transfer will download as soon as you add the torrent file, without the need to confirm the location or any other settings.

Tip: It’s useful to set up some filters for different file types. e.g. I have a rule that automatically stores any file with an avi extension in the Movies directly on my secondary drive. I also have my torrent files set to delete after completion, so the Torrents folder stays nice and clean.

If you need a Dropbox account, you can create a free account here:

Enable ‘Auto Add’

This will allow Transmission monitor a folder that you specify. If a torrent file is added to this folder, Transmission will automatically start downloading the file (assuming the computer is a) powered on and b) connected to the internet).

I created a folder called ‘Torrents’ in my Dropbox folder and set Transmission to watch it. Now, no matter where I am I can upload a torrent file to Dropbox and my computer at home will start the transfer.

Tip: You might want to set a threshold for seeding if bandwidth is an issue. I have mine set to 1:1. Sharing is caring after all.

 

2. Email files to Dropbox using IFTTT

  • For this to work, you will need an account with IFTTT. You can create one here – www.ifttt.com

Once your account is open, you will need to enable Dropbox as a ‘Channel.’ Click on Channels, then select Dropbox and complete the authentication process.

Once authentication is done, select this recipe  – https://ifttt.com/recipes/68867 – and add it to your Recipes.

Now, whenever you send an email to triggers@ifttt.com with the tag #dropbox in the subject line, it will add whatever file you have attached to the Torrents directory in your Dropbox account (or any other directory you choose for that matter).

And since Transmission is watching this folder, it will start the download for you.

 

Email files to Dropbox IFTTT recipe

 

 

I know that if you’re attaching a file to your dropbox, you may as well just log in to Dropbox and upload it that way, but I like doing it this way for two reasons

  1. It’s cool, and it got me thinking of other ways I can use this (e.g. I have a nifty recipe which allows me to email in any audio file and Dropbox will convert it to an MP3. Way cool)
  2. You might not always want to log in to my Dropbox account, e.g. if you are at work. But you could, for argument’s sake have a rule that forwards any mail from your work with the tag #dropbox to triggers@ifttt.com. So that way you can DL a torrent file at the office, mail it to yourself and kick off the torrent back home, without even having to open your personal email account.