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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:29 pm 
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I am tempted to start downloading music/film from torrents again due to the availability of some quite rare stuff. There are files available which I cannot always find when scouring forums and blogs for rapidshare.com links ( I have a premium account )

I have always avoided it due to the apparent higher risk of being caught for copyright infringement and our home bt internet connection having restrictions put on it; especially when its a p2p platform.

What are peoples experiences with torrents? Worth the effort?

Cheers in advance :grin:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:51 pm 
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I think you're asking a couple of separate questions. First, is torrenting worth it? I torrent constantly, and have just about everything I could ask for, hundreds of PJ shows for example. But for the most part I don't -

#2 download copyrighted material. I support artists, whether they are musicians or film makers or what ever. I do check out some things occasionally, but only to check something out before buying it. Also, some things are rare and/or out of print. But for the most part I don't want anything to do with the risk or guilt of having a pirated library.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Yeah exactly, I'm the same.

I always make an effort to support the artists and buy what I have tried and liked. I was more sort of asking if using torrent downloading software is from the get go a risky thing to do? There does seem to be a bit of a taboo surrounding torrenting which stops me from using torrents to get out of print/random stuff.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:35 pm 
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A lot of people seem to have gotten the idea that torrent = illegal which is not true

people can and do send legal files via torrents

people can and do send illegal files via email


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:20 pm 
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RichR wrote:
Yeah exactly, I'm the same.

I always make an effort to support the artists and buy what I have tried and liked. I was more sort of asking if using torrent downloading software is from the get go a risky thing to do? There does seem to be a bit of a taboo surrounding torrenting which stops me from using torrents to get out of print/random stuff.

Cheers


There is nothing inherently risky from a technical standpoint about torrenting itself, but the content you end up with could contain malware. I've never gotten a virus from a torrent download, but I suspect a lot depends on what torrent tracker site you use to get the download and what content you're after. For some, like mininova and tpb (which allow any and all content to be tracked) I'd definitely use a good, up to date antivirus and antimalware program to scan it before I look at or run any of the content.

The only other downside to torrenting I'm aware of is some ISPs may penalize (slow down) torrent traffic. There was a case recently with comcast here in the US getting caught doing this, but they have since stopped that. If you go nuts and torrent 24/7 you may get a call from your ISP, but that's more related to you hitting the bandwidth limit of your ISP, not torrenting itself.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:22 pm 
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It also makes a difference which torrent site you use, they have different standards. Dimeadozen has very strict rules and will absolutely not allow any copyrighted material or even anything by an artist who objects. Other sites don't seem to care, and you may wind up with material that isn't what it claims to be, although this hasn't happened to me. Other p2p networks like eMule and Limewire are full of files that claim to be that rare PJ Harvey track but turn out to be ads for one thing or another.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Cheers all really useful stuff this!

Thanks for your help everyone. I think I might just avoid it for now all the same tbh

:)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:53 pm 
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I stay away from torrents for the above reasons myself and prefer to stream movies or I test out an album before hearing it via the artists website. It's just too risky and there is just too much crap out there.

I remember a few years ago, a former co-worker of mine tried to download the latest Photoshop software via torrent. She was very happy to see it loading. Once it finished loading and she installed it though....instead of getting the Photoshop start-up window, she got this logo with a "Spacemonkey" on it. While it was installing itself, we screamed at her to delete it as soon as possible, since all of our work computers were connected. It was quite funny at the time, but still :P

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:50 pm 
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Hi Rich.I think you should really consider torrenting even if it's only on Dimeadozen.This tracker is probably the best of its type out there.So much Polly to be had(and others).I've downloaded around 20 PJ DVDs and counting.It really is as safe as houses.I think it is mainly .exe files that contain viruses and these torrents don't have those.Also the ratio restriction there means people stick around to share unlike a public tracker.Give it a go you wont be disappointed.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:26 pm 
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Cheers I might try that then yeah - sounds good, if people actually seed and its restricted - cant be bad.

:laugh: @ the photoshop business. Thats a proper crap the pants moment on a work network! :laugh:


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:06 am 
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emanedur wrote:
Hi Rich.I think you should really consider torrenting even if it's only on Dimeadozen.This tracker is probably the best of its type out there.So much Polly to be had(and others).I've downloaded around 20 PJ DVDs and counting.It really is as safe as houses.I think it is mainly .exe files that contain viruses and these torrents don't have those.Also the ratio restriction there means people stick around to share unlike a public tracker.Give it a go you wont be disappointed.


I'll 2nd that. If you stick with dimeadozen and other live gig only sites like purelivegigs and zomb you can't go wrong (it is possible to get a dimeadozen login, just be REALLY persistent). There are other live gig sites as well, many specializing in different kinds of music. Dimeadozen is definitely the largest of its kind. The other tip I can offer is to try to download a (new) torrent as soon as possible or you'll find it's hard to maintain your ratio at 1:1 (downloaded bits vs. uploaded bits). The initial frenzy that occurs once it is fully uploaded to at least one person is called the "swarm". A side benefit to downloading during "swarm" time is it will download REALLY fast, generally as fast as your downlink will run (you can forget about using the computer for any internet activity while this is happening since your link will be saturated).

For older torrents, you may have to ask for seeders, either here or on the threads on the tracker site. I've even emailed folks who are listed as downloaders of older torrents and they have seeded for me.

Before torrenting became so popular, live shows were traded by mail. This site:
http://db.etree.org/

still maintains a database of people's collections. There are still traders who don't torrent that you can trade by mail with there or ask them to torrent a show for you. I've had success with both.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:48 pm 
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I rarely mess with copyrights, I'm into supporting the artists. If I do pick up official material it's almost a given that it will be purchased eventually. Or in some cases it's already been purchased in the past on vinyl etc., it's hard to feel guilty about getting digital versions of material I've already paid for once.

Is it worth getting into it for other reasons? you betcha! Lots and lots of great unofficial stuff to be had.

Depending on your usage it's a good idea to keep an eye on your bandwidth limit if you have one. Just got my bill for last month and I did a little over 500gb, so I guess it's safe to say I enjoy it a little. Unfortunately my ISP throttles upload speeds of torrent files so it's difficult to maintain ratios even with a fast connection. Some of the smaller trackers I'm okay or can easily fix it if I'm not but over at Dime I would probably have to stop downloading and spend the next year uploading to break 1.00. Not prepared to do that at the moment :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:34 pm 
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Yes I think thats a good rule of thumb - .FLAC files and .MP3s are safe, but .EXEs files and program installers are dodgy

I know someone who got a dime account over xmas - at the FIRST attempt- it took me about 50 tries a year or two back


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:41 am 
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Pocket Knife is especially adept at getting Dime accounts. We have a couple for you gardeners to use, but you have to keep the ratio up. Nobody has used them in a while. If you're interested, you can PM me.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:32 pm 
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