It's been weeks since I'd intended to write an article comparing all the p2p clients for the masses to read, appreciate and use for their own evil purposes. But the grim fact is that this is the death of the great p2p age.
Everyone has heard of Napster; the first p2p client to get a whole bunch of media recognition after some very angry men went public with their mistrust. Well, unfortunately, Napster is with us no more.
Those poor buggers filed for bankruptcy a while back. I hold Metallica personally responsible, so read the rest of this article cautiously, as nobody wants a cranky metal band on their doorstep threatening to break knees and take firstborns for pirating their second rate music.
Audiogalaxy was the next greatest thing in my life after Naptster and really did make the act of piracy much easier. Comprised of personal client and vast VAST database, I'd oft go to bed and have entire albums waiting for me in the morning as though the Magical Bootleg Fairies had come to visit my hard drive. But alas, Audiogalaxy has vanished like Napster, last night's burritos, and Jimmy Hoffa.
Meanwhile, all over the place, clients built specifically for the gnutella network are springing up left right and centre like mushrooms in a whole field of.. well.. mushrooms.. Searching for "mp3+trading" on Download.com turned up many thousands of links; too numerous to download and understand.
This has left the entire internet community (people like us) to jump from client to client to find the best way to obtain songs & albums without shelling out the cash. We have been divided, but we have not been conquered.
Now let's get one thing straight: I like my music weird. Indeed, many stores, even the weird ones in the city, aren't able to comprehend the nature of this. I am thus forced to the internet to either order thru one of many companies, or haggle with the swine on Ebay. I've been burned on Ebay once already, so I'm reluctant to go back. The only other alternative is to find my music from someone who has ripped it all up and has no morals about making artists starve.
I have spent some time looking into many clients and ways to obtain music short of paying for it, but I cannot possibly use and evaluate every single one because new ones come out every single day so don't go whining about me to your friends, because I'm overly sensitive and will possibly cry.
Some clients are able to provide vast amount titles, but for my crappy 56dialup, they often timeout. Winmx; I'm looking at you here...But at least it doesn't have BONZI BUDDY. One false click on Kazaa or Morpheus and that annoying little purple ape will be dancing around on your desktop like a drunken bastard. Yet Kazaa of late has been heaping upon me Duckman episodes too numerous to name. Morpheus is a little slow to respond to anything, while Blubster & Limewire eat up muchas ram.
This leaves Newsgroups, FTP sites and IRC for downloading songs. I am filled with fear at downloading songs from IRC. I'm afraid of viruses, and the other users don't seem to like me much either. I had to ask around what a N00b was. I have been 0WNZ0R3D many times. But it's also an easy thing to do, once you get used to it. Newsgroups on the other hand add crazy news headers to the file size, which is important to know if you have some kind of bandwidth restriction, and have a limited selection of material. Nothing terribly obscure to be found. And FTP sites. The hardest thing about this is actually locating a server which has the songs you're looking for. Sometimes you'll have to read a sponsor's ad to find the password in a certain paragraph which is annoying, but it gets the job done.
The solution to this unhappiness is simple. Download all the p2p clients you can and use each while the getting is good. Then, simply use the next. In any sequence. If you're game, download an IRC client and join any channel with MP3z in the channel name
ACHTUNG: remember, it's illegal to bootleg. You're depriving artists of money. Some artists actually have an ounce of creativity and i know some might object to payment on artistic grounds; ie. "Do it for the love of making music". This is all well and good, but remember, these artists need to pay bills for recording and mixing and hiring goons to hit you while crowd-surfing at concerts and so on. It'd be nice if they didn't end up financially backward; they can't make music if they're living in a cardboard box. My suggestion to you all is: If you like it; buy it. If not, email the artist and let them know how they can improve. They love that.
And always scan your harddrive regularly for viruses. Nobody likes being all crudded up with diseased files. Maybe use one of the clients providing software trading facilities for a virus scanner. The one I use (I don't think I'm allowed to use names) updates itself every Friday for new virus definitions, and scans my drive for viruses every odd numbered day.
My own Axis of Evil Trading Favourites: (in magical random order)
www.download.com (for more P2P, FTP, IRC and NEWSgroup clients)
The power is in your hands, children. Use it wisely; play nice together and share with one another.
Published on Wednesday, 2 October 2002
By Jimmy Weasel
Making meals for the world to enjoy.