Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The New Napster?

During a management lecture last week, we were told that in no way whatsoever should anyone contemplate using the Internet to find resources for essay research. Initially I was shocked, as I have found the Internet an integral part of the research process for all my previous essays at uni. It was then explained that the problem with the Internet was that the majority of students could not tell a legitimate resource from “total crap” and it was leading to many student basing their essays on resources that were “total crap” and thus producing essays of similar nature. This is obviously an issue that arises from the nature of the net and its ability to give ‘anyone and everyone’ the power to publish their own ideas regardless of legitimacy or quality. Obviously this is an issue that will have to be tackled in the future as the Internet goes from strength to strength and becomes the center of our everyday lives. Interestingly this problem also plagues the area of file sharing programs, for which I will devote the rest of the blog.

For many, their first experience of the file-sharing world came in the form of Napster. It was the industry standard on which we could all rely, then it went legit. The market was then flooded with many programs, leaving the user to the nightmare of wading through the sea of lackluster programs to find the best. Nabeel mentioned in his lecture on music that his file sharing program of choice was Limewire, and this seems to be the closest to winning the spot of the true 'Napster predecessor’. I have been through the trials and tribulations of using programs such as Kazaa, Morpheus and BearShare, but Limewire comes out the clear winner for various reasons. Firstly it includes no spyware or adware at all. A natural positive side effect of this is that as the Limewire.com website claims it's "the fastest file sharing program on the planet' for the very reason that it doesn't have all the extra baggage (adware and spyware) to slow it down. More importantly corrupt files are virtually non-existent on Limewire. Meaning that your time can be efficiently used actually downloading files rather than having to hunt down a clean file among the sea of corrupt ones, which seem to have been flooded onto the other networks by the recording industry. All in all, an ‘absolutely fantastic’ program. For the budget conscious the free version does the job fine
(http://www.limewire.com/english/content/download.shtml) or if you want some extra features shelling out $18.88 US will get you the more advanced ‘Limewire Pro’.

btw. If you feel that you would like the extra features but your wallet says no, there's an easy way to get round this. Download the free version, run it and do a program search for 'Limewire'. Up will pop a list of the LimewirePro install program on the hard drives of other uses that have paid for it, download one of these, uninstall the free version and install the pro version, and your away! - All the added benefits without the cost. If your feeling bad about ripping off Limewire, here’s a little ‘food for thought’. In effect all you are doing is ripping off an organization that makes a living out of helping others rip off the film, television and music industries! Not so bad after all.

Happy sharing,

Alisdair Hungerford-Morgan


At 10:44 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

There are a few programs now that don't have spyware, I had been using a version of Kazzaa Lite for awhile but have found Shareaza to be quite a good program, it has very extensive help sections on the website www.shareaza.com. Also one of my friends swears by DC++ although I never had the patience to work out how to use it. BitTorrent is also a popular new method of 'sharing'. You're right that there is a good deal of programs to wade through it's just a matter to looking to find something spyware free to suit your needs. Shareaza is quite good as you can connect to both Gnuettla(sp?)1&2 and edonkey clients.

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Personally, I think your management lecturers have got it wrong. The Internet is such a vital resource now that they should be focusing on teaching students how to use it carefully and appropriately, not banning them from it. How does that prepare students for life in the 21st century?!

At 4:53 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

*Bangs head on desk*

Yes. The internet is verboten for research. Of course. It's not like, as Luke says, they could provide really obvious guides to what is and what is not likely to be a site worth using...

I came up against this last semester where in several cases there were complaints that students were only able to find information for their essays online, 'Which they weren't allowed to use.'

The mind boggles. Luddites! Technophobes!

I'll go through a short-list of what makes websites acceptable next week, since it's come up here. Just to make sure that nobody in 203 gets the idea that they can't cite net-references in a paper about new media.

In terms of filesharing, there are a number of different things out there, as Jennifer says. An amusing progression from my perspective has been

Kazaa --> Kazaa Lite (A pirate program to the Kazaa network without the spyware of Kazaa, and which then became a paid service so you were paying for a lack of spyware) --> Kazaa Revolution (A pirate program to log you into the Kazaa Lite network without paying.)

So you have pirate versions of filesharing programs, and pirate versions of pirated filesharing programs.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Mike B said...

Im using Limewire as well and the difference is clear-cut, from other competitors such as Kazza. My cousin suggetsed limewire to me and I haven't looked back since. You are correct in saying that there is no spyware at all and thats one of the reasons why I like it so much. Also that it does contain high quality files which is also another great reason why limewire is so good.

At 10:28 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Kevin - what are you doing blogging at 4.53am?!!

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

4:53 AM? Ah yes.

Due to the cold and a profoundly adverse reaction to some decongestants, I haven't slept since last we talked on Monday.

To be honest, I'm surprised my nocturnal contributions to this blog are as coherent as they seem to have been.


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