Thanks to Phersick of TPS
I just found a little app to do this and I figured I’d help the fellow Mac users and write a guide on setting it up. If you guys are using Transmission one thing you probably miss from other clients is RSS auto-downloading. It’s by far the easiest way to snatch torrents (such as TV episodes) that are released weekly or even daily. The biggest plus to this, besides not even having to be at your computer to snatch and start the torrents, is that you join the swarm right at the beginning, meaning that you finish faster and seed more. Using RSS feeds are a super-simple way to boost your ratio off common torrents that can be found on almost any tracker.
Set up Transmission
I’m going to assume you have it set up and working correctly so the only thing we need to do is set up Transmission to auto-start torrents we download, if it’s not set up to do that already of course. To do this, open up Transmission and go to Preferences, and then to the Transfers tab. Make sure the ‘Start transfers when added’ box is checked. At the bottom where it says ‘Auto add’, check the box and point it at a folder, it doesn’t really matter which one you use.
Also, if the ‘Display “adding transfer” options window’ box is checked, make sure to check the ‘Only when adding manually’ box, otherwise your torrent would be downloaded but not started automatically. You don’t have to do this step but then you’d have to manually start the torrent.
Set up ‘Automatic’
Automatic allows you to setup subscriptions for your favorite content provided through RSS feeds. After setup, it works in the background to download the latest files with absolutely no user interaction required! - download it from here.
Install Automatic, and now we’re ready to set up our feeds. [NOTE: Make sure your feed is the ‘direct download’ type, meaning if you click on it, you download a torrent file. If you click on the link and go to the tracker page, this will not work.]
Now that we have Automatic installed, open up System Preferences and open Automatic. It will look something like this:
Where is says ‘Download to’, point it at the folder you chose in Transmission earlier to ‘Auto add’ torrents from. Go to the Subscriptions tab. It will look like this:
Just click the plus sign to bring up the next window, which looks like this:
This is where you ‘filter’ your feed to only download certain torrents, but before we can filter a feed, we need to add a feed, so click on the plus again.
Here is where you add the feed you want to use. In the red box you can ‘pre-filter’ your feed, if you wish. A ‘pre-filter’ would be helpful if you use a tracker that has both HD and SD versions of TV shows, and you don’t want to see both kinds of torrents.
Optional RSS Filters
Here’s how to use ‘pre-filtering’:
If you were to write ‘HDTV.*’ in the box (minus the quotes) you would filter out all torrents that don’t contain ‘HDTV’ in the name. Another use for this is to filter out torrents upped by a specific release group that you want/don’t want. For example, I get House, M.D. episodes from CTU, from Pretome. I’m using the main Pretome feed that shows all torrents, so I want to filter out everything that isn’t a 720p quality release from CTU, so I have the ‘pre-filtering’ set up like this:
Checking the ‘Invert’ box just returns the opposite results, if you were to type ‘HTDV.*’ in the box and check ‘Invert’, none of the torrents listed would have ‘HDTV’ in the name.
Quick Lesson in Regular Expressions
When you’ve added the feed click OK to return to the Filters page. Before we can filter our feed lets learn some handy Regular Expressions (RegEx) that are used to filter them.
Let’s take this torrent name: House.S05E20.720p.HDTV.x264-CTU. If we wanted to pick this out of a crowd of other torrents we’d obviously focus on the name of the show, House. But what if we wanted to be sure we got the 720p version and our tracker also has ‘House.S05E20.HDTV.x264-CTU’? Using simple RegEx we can make sure we only get what we want. Using ‘.*’ (minus the ‘) we can define words to search for. Because there are other words between ‘House’ and ‘720p’ in the name, we need to use ‘.*’. If we were looking for another show with multiple words, say Prison Break, instead of ‘House.*720p’, we’d put “Prison.Break.*720p’. Pretty much if there’s a space, replace it with a . (period) and if there’s a gap between the words you’re looking for use .* (period asterisk). There is a pdf that comes with Automatic that explains RegEx more if you don’t quite understand. Here’s what my filter for 720p episodes of House looks like using RegEx:
Also, if you don’t specify a specific release group in the filters, you will want to check the ‘Download every episode only once’ box, since most shows are released my multiple groups and you probably don’t want every release. Once you have your filter set up, click OK. Go back to the ‘General’ tab and on the bottom left hit Start.
That’s it, you now have automatic RSS feed downloading in Transmission.