Have you heard? the (blue) bird is the word

Yep, it’s official. After almost 8 months, I am back on the world’s favorite P2P file-sharing program that every broadband ISP loves to hate (too cool for legit channels and too lazy to master BitTorrent).

I’ve been back for roughly 48 hours and already, I’ve downloaded over 8 gigabytes. Well over 8 gigabytes. And the lion’s share of that came in all day yesterday (Sundays are very convenient). Yesterday I picked up all the latest ambient releases, and today I picked up all the new releases from popular artists. By the end of the day, REM, No Doubt, and Foo Fighters were mine. REM has disappointedly all but abandoned their trademark jangle-pop sound and No Doubt put the same 14 tracks in a different order, but Foo Fighters was well worth waiting for. They’ve strayed from their original roots, but it has been a well-penned evolution. After 6 years of doing a whole lot of nothing, Iio finally released something new as well. All in all, a success! It sure beat responding to the 10th practice email – not that I don’t value them, but occasionally, enough can be enough.

Surprisingly (or maybe not), all my old list-buddies remembered who I was and we picked up where we left off – the chatting, the passing of cheese, the invites to exclusive invite-only VIP chatrooms, the warm welcome-backs, the respectful queuing, and lack of drama.

And yet, this time around, I’m bound and determined to minimize any and all of that said drama. Drama sucks and I didn’t intentionally spark any before, but opening the collection up to anyone and everyone and downloading from those with whom I had very little in common linguistically, well, kind of set the stage for trouble. It had been such a chore to keep up with that P2P program – having to monitor for leechers and make judgment calls (leeching versus sharing is less of a black-and-white issue and more of a continuum), as well as setting download limits, unequal up/download speeds, dealing with people who didn’t share, people who cussed me out, people to messaged me pointlessly, and more. Annoying.

So upon my return, I made a few changes. First, I share list-only. I’m sure that wins me more hostility than sympathy/empathy, but it’s my connection after all and I don’t have the time or desire to babysit. I also find that the program functions better the more I can keep control over the activity. So in the interest of stability (program) and sanity (mine), I share list only.

Where possible, I also download list-only, which means I try to search for the files I’m looking for among the people in my buddy list first. If I’m not successful, THEN I venture outside the buddy list. I’m not trying to be snobby, just trying to stay as familiar as possible. People on my buddy list already know I’m sharing and I don’t have to explain (AGAIN) why they can’t see my files, whereas I start from scratch and risk a ban every time I download from someone I don’t know. (With more than 6 terabytes to browse, I’m surprised anyone can browse me at all, so the fact that people can queue files is encouraging.)

I kept my user info as simple and to-the-point as possible. I kept it as down-to-earth as possible. Hopefully people will get the idea that I’m mature, busy, common-sense, and have little time to police my machine, fill requests, or solve any problems. It’s a controlled anarchy, within my parameters.

So far, it is peaceful and friendly, and hopefully it will stay that way. I didn’t enjoy having to become a hardass and I didn’t enjoy having to referee and explain and everything else. People were mean and/or stupid and I’m glad I haven’t dealt with any of that yet. I probably will run into some of these douchebags eventually, but for right now I’m basking in the music-only-nothing-else vibe I’m putting out that is so far being gracefully returned to me.

Yay for birds 🙂

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