Popular BitTorrent client uTorrent has added a new bit of functionality that'll likely make filesharers very happy indeed. You can begin streaming video before it's finished downloading.

Plenty of people use BitTorrent to watch television shows from the USA that aren't available in the rest of the world. So many, in fact, that the Pirate Bay has a dedicated TV show section. However, normally they have to wait for a download to complete before they're able to watch.

With the new functionality in the most recent uTorrent beta, the viewer can begin watching almost instantly, with the download being weighted to the front so that you get the bits you need in 5 minutes before the bits you need in 45 minutes.

BitTorrent's VP of product management said: "Our hope is to transform getting media using uTorrent from a 'load-wait-watch-tomorrow' to more of a 'point-click-watch' experience". It'll certainly help the client compete with dodgy TV streaming sites.

You can pick which movie player on your computer that you'd like to use in the preferences, though it defaults to the DivX web player. Just click the "play" button next to the download, and when enough has been grabbed it'll go green, ready to start.

Grab the latest beta release from the BitTorrent forums.