User Info for my P2Peeps: January 2014 edition

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Hi!  Chances are, you’ve surfed on into this page after viewing my user info on [Insert name of P2P filesharing program with the distinct Avian Logo here].  If that’s the case, welcome, and thanks for reading this.  (If you’ve checked out this post as a result of following my blog and clicking on the notification, you are even cooler, and thank you as well!)

I realize it’s been almost 2 years since my last post on this subject, and enough has changed since then that I felt the need to post an update.

Not everything has changed.  I’m still sharing a lot of files.  As a result, I’m still really tough to “browse”.  As has been the predominant phenomenon since its inception, this particular P2P has inconsistent browsing capability, and the ability to successfully pull up one’s shared collection goes down as the size of their collection goes UP.

Now more than ever, each browsing attempt runs the risk of crashing the P2P program, where it stays crashed and dormant (and non-operational) until I can find a big enough chunk of time (usually 10 minutes or so) to get it back up and running again.  Although 10 minutes should seem like a completely doable enough chunk of time to obtain, it’s becoming increasingly harder for me as I get busier and busier.  This means that if you’re the lucky browser who crashes my P2P, it might be a while before I’m back up and running again.  It might be a couple hours; it might be a couple of weeks.

Thus, if you’re among the 99% who have a tough time pulling up my shared collection, try one more time to browse me.  If that still doesn’t yield anything, please wait a few hours.  The difference between success and failure in browsing someone could be due to many factors, including the load on the P2P system, or even the overall internet user load at either end of the connection (yours or mine).  Or maybe it’s the wind.  Sheesh, ya never know.

Occasionally, someone will flex their technical prowess muscles by smugly suggesting that I be sure all my ports are open.  I take equal satisfaction in informing these socially-inept nerds that according to the P2P client itself, all of my ports are properly open and forwarded and all that.

Next item – I’m using the QT for Mac version of this P2P program.  It accomplishes the same goals as the original client, but the interface is quite different.  The features vary slightly (the QT clients have some features that the original client doesn’t, and vice versa), and many of the shared/in-common features can still be tricky because they may be located in entirely different places within the program.

I’ve learned the QT client as best I can thus far.  I think I’m fairly proficient, although I’m by no means an expert.  I’m also not a computer geek in the slightest (the last OS I really new how to administrate–from an administrator level–was Windows 3.1, in about 1998), and I don’t plan to update my computer skills much in the near future.  I surf the web, play Solitaire, download music, check email, conduct research, run my business, and create word processing documents and visual presentations for talks I give.  That’s about the extent of my computer usage, and I certainly don’t have a clue about any technical admin aspects, nor do I really want one at this time.

Thus, if there’s something (other than firewall hole-punching) that requires some computer know-how, please understand–and accept–that it’s probably not going to get done.  I’m going to be lost; please don’t bother to try and talk me through it.  I have little time and even less patience.

Next order of business – this is more of a judgment call – but those of you who limit queued downloads to like 10 files?  Bullshit.  As a rule, I only queue one CD (or about 20 tracks) at a time until I know it’s OK to do otherwise.  But for me to queue a single 15-track CD only to be told that my last 3 files are marked in red with “too many files”, that’s plain pathetic.  Please grow a pair.

Other users who can go jump in (preferably very deep) lakes are those who pretend to share but then set their configurations to “0 uploads allowed”, people who ban without warning and without giving a reason, and people who seemingly delete your downloads with no warning or reason (as evidenced by all “0”s where the “place in line” number should be.

Next topic – download/upload speeds – I do set a max upload speed, but that’s just to leave enough bandwidth left over to increase the odds of successfully browsing me.  It came as a suggestion years ago from someone who knows more than I do, and I’m not sure how much it has actually helped, but I’ve kept it in place because I’m superstitious that way.  Worry not, it is still quite a decent upload speed.  If my upload speed randomly dips to a very low level, or if for some reason your downloads fail, please know that I had nothing to do with it on my end.  I do not further curtail download speeds, nor do I delete/cancel anyone’s queued downloads.  I’m not a hosebeast.

Next subject – yes, I share list-only.  Yes, that probably makes me a douche on some level.  But if you’re on my list, you can see my files.  If you are on said list, please take a big gander at the sheer volume of the shares; if I shared openly with everyone, I guarantee you would not be able to download any time soon; the line would be too long.  Next, take a look at the prevalence of various artists in those shares who have threatened to sue their fans for file-sharing; if just anyone could see my files, this means that my shares would be wide-open and visible to the all the law enforcement/recording industry’s powers-that-be, also.  I might or might not get in serious trouble; a risk I’m not willing to take.  Be glad I might be sharing what I might be sharing in the first place, and please don’t try to pass judgment on my situation.  You might not have a lot to lose by sharing openly, but I sure as hell do (my own business, several state licenses, etc) and I worked too damn hard for them, too.

I also share list-only because I prefer not to receive pleas from people who want me to start their download, or other messages with equally pointless content.  I also don’t want to find myself babysitting my queue, ensuring that everyone in said queue is sharing, etc.  My “ban” list has exactly zero people in it, and I like it that way.

I’ve shared openly with everyone in the past, and it sucked.  When dealing with the lowest common denominator, I actually got fairly bitter and frustrated with something that was supposed to be a fun hobby.  When it stops being fun, you either have to figure out a sane solution, or leave.  I didn’t want to leave.  My solution was to go list only.  Please respect that, because the alternative was for me–and my shares–to leave this network.

Last topic – I’ve gotten some feedback about how I’m tough to browse.  I empathize with that, and I wish it weren’t the case.  Some users have boldly given some unsolicited advice about how I should trim the number of files I’m sharing in order to make their browsing experience easier.

That’s all well and good, but implementing that requires lots of serious judgment calls.  Which material stays?  Which material gets the axe?  Which users would be favored in the process?  Which users would get alienated?  How many comments/complaints would I receive from those who relied on me as their main go-to source for a particular genre that suddenly got the chopping block?

In response to this dilemma, one might suggest that instead of eliminating whole genres at a time, that I trim a little from each genre.  If you’re currently browsing me, please note that each album gets its own folder, the sum of which serve as subfolders for a larger genre folder.  There are more than 30 main genre folders (60+ total, if you count the new arrivals that are yet unsorted), and there can be as many as over 1000 individual album subfolders in a single genre folder.  Trimming even a small percentage of the albums from each genre would require that I click on each separate album subfolder that I want to share/eliminate.  Talk about a nightmare.  Let’s just say that I will end up on Mars before I would ever trim some albums from the shares.

One might further suggest, if they don’t know what’s good for them, that I create a separate folders for music that is shared vs music that is not, which would make setting up the shared collection easier.

However, although that could certainly be a workable solution for some fellow Birdies out there, it would again require me to decide which individual albums get moved.  And then, that makes it hard for me from a personal standpoint, because if I’m looking for a Queensryche album, I have to ask myself–did it end up in the “shared” folder, or the “unshared” folder?  Yikes.

In short, I’m sharing a lot.  That’s because I like to share.  I also don’t have any particular downloading rules like number of albums one can queue at once, or what people have to be sharing, or anything like that.  The side-effect of sharing a lot means that certain headaches have to be endured.  Please deal with them and enjoy the tunes.  🙂

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