FrostWire is a file downloader that uses the BitTorrent network and cloud sources (like YouTube and SoundCloud) to search for and download files directly to your device - computer, phone or tablet.
Because of it's BitTorrent component, it's also sometimes called a BitTorrent client.
NOTE: FrostWire Basic for Android is only a BitTorrent client due to Google Developer Rules
The application has with a build in media browser, allowing you to easily access all your media files: music, pictures, videos etc) & a media player (audio & video on desktop, audio only on android) so you can consume all your media in one place as well.
Let's take each feature and describe is quickly:
Searching and Downloading
FrostWire works on a BitTorrent network and some cloud services.
Here is a great video that explains how BitTorrent works - it's from the creators of the protocol that all the BitTorrent applications, including FrostWire, use.
When you search in FrostWire, the application talks to many different search engines and websites bringing you search results that are relevant to your keyword and mostly organized by the speed and likelihood of successful download. Files that are well seeded will come up top together with cloud sources on desktop and on first announced basis on Android.
In FrostWire settings:
When you download from BitTorrent sources and choose to 'Seed' a file, you choose to let file chunks to be uploaded after your download is fully completed to aid others in faster downloading of that particular file. On Android, you can slect for this function to be available on Wi-Fi only to better manage your data plan. If you choose not to seed, no file chunks will be uploaded after the download has completed. Please keep in mind that it is possible that some chunks might be uploaded during the download itself - this behaviour is built into the transfer protocol and cannot be changed.
Downloading from cloud sources means downloading directly from the servers of the indexed websites and as of now they include SoundCloud, Archive.org and YouTube.
When you go to My Files or My Music on Android or to Library on Desktop you are accessing media files on your device. They are not inside FrostWire - FrostWire only indexes them for you to be able to browse them.
In FrostWire Settings: On Desktop, your default folder is the same folder you are downloading to, but you can change what FrostWire indexes (add or remove folders) by going to Tools > Options > Library.
The Android app indexes all the files on your device. You can perform certain actions on those files - like open them or rename them. You can even delete them from your device entirely if you no longer want them.
When you delete on Android, they will be deleted from your phone, not only from FrostWire, so be careful!
On Android, any audio file can be played with the FrostWire internal player. In addition to regular player functions, it's also gesture based, so you can swipe to the right or to the left to change the song - very useful when running or driving. The Desktop player can handle most video formats in addition to audio with all basic media player features.
In FrostWire Settings: You can choose if you want your downloads to be played with the internal FrostWire player or your system player in Tools > Options > Player