Bit Torrent is a novel approach to file distribution. Instead of relying
on a busy, slow FTP or website for a bunch of files, Bit Torrent
distributes the transfer of files over a network as large as the amount of
people using it is. Bit Torrent is a refreshing piece of software, as it
forces those who download to upload at the same time in order to continue
spreading the file. On a regular website, in order to get the best speeds,
it was wise not to tell others about the page. With Bit Torrent, YOU
BENEFIT from a larger group of people knowing about a page like this. Bit
Torrent pieces together the file you are downloading, to where the first
part of a file you get may be the last part someone else gets. As you
continue to retrieve the file, Bit Torrent also uploads data to other
users - so the person with 98% of the file done is directed to the people
with the 2% of the file they still need.
Download the version for your operating system. Windows people, get the "windows installer," not the source zip file (unless you want to run a tracker).
This is all you have to do in order to download the files posted. Bit Torrent integrates itself within your browser, so when a link is clicked, you'll be prompted with a location you'd like to save the file at. Select a folder, and Bit Torrent will launch and begin searching for download locations. As it finds other users with the file, it will begin your download. You'll also notice your upload speed rising. This is the advantage of Bit Torrent; in order to download, you must also share.
There's a central "tracker" that's encoded into each .torrent file you run. The file holds the tracker location, the file ID and a few other pieces of information. So to distribute a file, you start a tracker and create a .torrent file with the info in it. Then people run your .torrent file, it tells Bit Torrent to connect to your tracker and your tracker then directs Bit Torrent to where it can get the file from.
As of right now, the band doesn't seem to mind people distributing these shows. At least that's the company line, and we all know those are subject to the whims of the powers the be. Realistically, the people running the trackers are the only people that need to worry, but that's a hypothetical that I doubt we'll have to deal with any time soon (especially since Bit Torrent is such a new tool on the file distribution scene).
If you're looking to download only, and are not concerned with creating .torrent files or starting your own tracker, read no further - the above information is all you need to use Bit Torrent.
At this point, upload the .torrent file to the webspace of your choosing. For the Pearl Jam show torrents, I've set up an account on my ftp which you can store your .torrent files at:
The official BT FAQ is located here: http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/FAQ.html