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14 June 2005

Money, Music, Mixes. So we'll have another swap next month but i'd like to discuss the way
we do it.[More:]

This is going to seem a bit garbled but I'll try my best to clarify as we discuss.

The swap we've just completed cost $30 to host on Streamload which is quite well tailored to our requirements. That was $10 for 10 GB and then, when that got chewed up within two hours(!) it was an additional $20 for 25 GB which is still currently being used up.

I honestly thought 10 GB would be enough but then I was only expecting about ten people to be interested!

So, you might ask entirely reasonably, why the hell aren't we using Bittorrent? When I originally put the idea around of an online mix swap it became apparent very quickly that folk didn't want to have to install additional software or they found it off putting having to start learning some new application. So when I came by Streamload I realised we had a very simple way of doing things, the only down side was cost.

Thankfully some users came to my rescue and we ended up with $38 in the pot. Those of you paying attention now know there's eight bucks left for next months swap! Anyway, thanks to their generosity we've been able to keep this swap simple and accessible to all.

When compared to the CD swap it strikes me that the costs per user (approx 2-3 dollars) is an absolute steal when compared to the price of postage and packaging when sending CDs (which for me is in the region of $15) so it's tempting to say that all of those involved should pay $2 for joining in. My problem with this is two-fold: not everyone can afford it, not everyone is happy to use Paypal. I'd prefer it if those who are happy to contribute put in $4 each (still a steal compared to CDs!) and then we can remain inclusive. Would the people who pay resent this?

So let's say that people pay if they can and the costs for bandwidth aren't covered, what happens then? Firstly I'll know before the swap session is over that we won't have enough bandwidth and will warn in advance. If there still isn't enough money then unfortunately downloads will cease to operate, and if those in the swap want to download mixes then they'll have to pay so more bandwidth can be bought.

I think if I'm upfront about the costs involved and keep everyone up to date on exactly how much we'll need then we can do the next swap very much the same way as this one.

That assumes that everyone was happy with how it worked out this time around. I'd like to hear your input on how you think it went and what elements could be handled differently in future. I'm also interested to hear if you feel happy to pay to keep this show on the road. Thanks.
Thanks for all you've done. I'm sure you've seen how much joy you've brought by the comments on the site.

I'm happy to put in money again in the range of 4-10 dollars. It's exciting to do, cheap at the price, and I don't mind that there are some people who can't pay, as long as those who can do.

I wouldn't be able to do a Torrent based swap just because I only have dial-up at home and cannot download Torrents at work. But, I won't cry (too hard) if that's the way it ends up going.
posted by omiewise 14 June | 11:31
I'd be happy to contribute upfront for the next few rounds, but don't like Paypal, and I think my account is kind of screwed there, so if there is any other way to get you ~USD 10, let me know. Are you in the UK or US? If in the US I can send some cash.
posted by carter 14 June | 11:38
I don't mind learning bittorrent at all, but I don't mind contributing, either. I'd be happy to front for anyone who can't afford it. Just assume that you have $15.00 from me for every swap...the price of one store-bought CD. Cheeeeep.
posted by iconomy 14 June | 11:45
I'm up for the next swap, having missed this one, and would be happy to put in $10-15. I'd also like to know if there is any other way apart from paypal to get you the money.

posted by gaspode 14 June | 11:55
dodgy - I'll happily throw in some coin for expenses. I've spent over $20 in postage alone for several swaps I've been in, so this is way cheaper. You'll see $10 from me in the next day or so (as soon as can figure out why my PayPal password isn't working) and I have no problem ponying up more for another swap. I'd rather take this route than the bittorrent path, but if we go to that it'll just force me to learn another way of doing things.

I think that this has turned out great and I want to do what I can to see that it continues. I'm not even half way through downloading all the mixes, but from what I've already seen and heard this is a pretty cool group to swap with.

ON PREVIEW: yeah, what iconomy said.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 14 June | 11:55
I'm delighted everyone has enjoyed this so much - it makes it all worth while. I've only had time to download a couple of mixes so far but I'm looking forward to hearing them all soon.
posted by dodgygeezer 14 June | 11:59
I think this is the way to do it:
Do everything as before, with Streamload BUT, make it known before hand that there will those fancy Azereus trackerless torrents avaialble.

When the mixes go up, have someone publish the torrent files in the thread. Make it known that the torrent method is prefered, maybe even make people email you for the streamload password.

This way, the torrent-phobic can get the files as before, and the torrent-tastic can get them without putting a hit on the Streamload account.
posted by Capn 14 June | 12:04
torrents plus a few bucks and all inclusive sounds good.
posted by arse_hat 14 June | 12:21
I'm in for the next round and am happy to throw some money in the kitty. Or the rabbit.
posted by papercake 14 June | 12:25
I, for one, welcome our new $4-$10 overlords.
posted by matildaben 14 June | 12:35
I definitely think that a mixture of torrents and direct dl is the way to go...

Thanks dodgygeezer! and all who partcipated, the mixes are great! I thought mine might be too sad, but it was not alone. ;)
posted by Schyler523 14 June | 12:39
No problem with bunging 4$+ into the pot. Even at northern prices, that's only 1.4 pints.

I'm happy to host my mixes (and a.n other on my site. For people with webspace and a hatred of paypal, this could be a way of paying for the bandwidth created by their mixes.
posted by seanyboy 14 June | 12:59
I propose we henceforth refer to dodgygeezer as "Sir Dodgy"!

As far as the money, maybe we can work out a way to cover Sir Dodgy's costs and keep the mix open to everyone? I know we have a lot of students on tight budgets and I don't mind throwing in some extra $ to make it work.
posted by mlis 14 June | 13:08
I'll throw some money in but will have to snailmail it (i have some pounds lying around the house, too).

I'm more than willing to seed any amount of torrents for a week or more (my only prob is creating them). The problem is that we need more than 3 people to commit to seeding them--with torrents it's the more, the merrier.
posted by amberglow 14 June | 13:08
Also, i will not be able to participate for a while, as i will only have two external hard drives and a flash drive and an external DVD/CD burner, but no computer for the time being...i might have access in MO, but it will be spotty...

Anyone that wants some of about 400GB of music/video can email me, I might stop by your city this summer...

doubleplus good to anyone that can help me learn to run firefox from a flash drive...
posted by Schyler523 14 June | 13:16
My mix can be found here. There's about 0.9Gb of bandwidth left on that website, so about 18 of you should be able to download it. I'll be removing it in a day or so, so hurry.
posted by seanyboy 14 June | 13:19
i think someone mentioned running firefox that way in the what do you do at work thread, schyler.
posted by amberglow 14 June | 13:38
Cool, and thanks seanyboy.
posted by jokeefe 14 June | 13:40
I'm happy to pitch in for the next one, and have no problems with Paypal.
posted by jokeefe 14 June | 13:42
I already pitched in, because I won't remember next time (or if I do remember, hey, I'll donate twice).

BTW, if one of you torrent-dudes grabs Seanyboy's before he runs out of bandwidth, can you make a torrent of it and send it to me, just in case he's all out of bandwidth by the time I get home (5 hours from now)?
posted by matildaben 14 June | 14:17
My weekend was summarily eaten and, hence, I didn't get a chance to participate like I'd intended. So not only am I looking forward to next month's, I have no problem chucking in some change.
posted by gramschmidt 14 June | 14:28
I'll gladly pitch in, though I don't really like Paypal, and I'll also torrent, though I don't know how to make one. Has anyone else noticed that Azeureus' decentralized tracker is a lot slower than normal trackers?
posted by muddgirl 14 June | 14:34
Once again you've all blown me away. I'm glad everybody wants to keep everything inclusive and share the sharing!

Naturally I'll be upfront about income and expenditure for those who want to keep track and if we have more than we spend one month then it'll go into the fund for the following month.

The Capn is right about torrents - we need to be more organised on that front. I don't want to get too involved with that side of it but for those that do can I suggest maybe agreeing to use one type of client, and maybe offering a short FAQ for those that are curious. Torrents would be a good way for those that can't contribute cash of helping with bandwidth - "For those about to torrent .. We salute you!"

If you can't use Paypal but would like to pay, it'd help enormously if you could send the cash through a friend that does use Paypal. By keeping it all in one place I can keep track of it more easily. In the meantime, for those who don't let their friends Paypal, I'll try to find an agreeable solution.
posted by dodgygeezer 14 June | 14:39
What is the technical reason for using Azureus's decentralized tracker? What's required to use another kind of tracker? Just an always-on stable-addressed computer, or something more?
posted by kenko 14 June | 14:43
schyler: portable firefox
posted by mr.marx 14 June | 15:02
What's required to use another kind of tracker? Just an always-on stable-addressed computer, or something more?
I think regular trackers live on the websites that you get the torrents from...we're doing it as if our own machines are those websites. I had tried uploading a torrent of my mix to mininova, but kept getting error messages...

Maybe someone can figure out how to use mininova and we can codename our torrents?
posted by amberglow 14 June | 15:21
BTW, if one of you torrent-dudes grabs Seanyboy's before he runs out of bandwidth, can you make a torrent of it and send it to me, just in case he's all out of bandwidth by the time I get home (5 hours from now)?

I'll try it when i get home (prob 6-ish).
posted by amberglow 14 June | 15:24
If you can't use Paypal but would like to pay, it'd help enormously if you could send the cash through a friend that does use Paypal

I will put in $1 in your name in exchange for praise of my mix in the relevant thread(*).
(*) not a legally binding guarantee
posted by Capn 14 June | 15:41
I've e-mailed a torrent of Seanyboy's mix to the people on the swap-list. It'll be awfully slow if I'm the only seeder, so if anyone else has the .zip and want's to help with seeding that would be cool.
posted by nixxon 14 June | 15:42
I don't know enough to not like Paypal, I guess. I'd be happy to send on money that is sent to me. Email in profile for address. I'm pretty trustworthy, I guess.

It looks like maybe seanyboy has removed his mix? I get a 404 error when clicking the link he sent, but I've only just tried it.
posted by omiewise 14 June | 15:43
I still think an easier (and free) way to do this would be to use either gmail or dropload.
posted by brainwidth 14 June | 15:44
email it to me nixxon, and i'll seed as soon as i get home.
posted by amberglow 14 June | 15:44
gmail caps how much you can send at a time per each email, brainwidth--i think it's 10 megs?
posted by amberglow 14 June | 15:45
A thread on AskMe today referred to Hurricane Electric, which provides BitTorrent hosting. The poster said that their cheapest package is $10/month.
posted by matildaben 14 June | 15:46
gmail caps how much you can send at a time per each email, brainwidth--i think it's 10 megs?
Does it really? I hadn't realized that. Well, dropload goes up to 100 mb, and will keep the files on the server for 7 days.
posted by brainwidth 14 June | 15:47
grabbed seanboy's mix just in case, so a copy exists need anyone want it.
honestly cannot afford to contribute money but i haven't had access to the mix swap anyway.
If people decide which type of whatever they are going to use, i'll happily give a responsible person access to my shared music files to disseminate at will--

now if anyone knows about this mystery cd i just got from the UPS man, i'd really like to know
posted by ethylene 14 June | 15:54
With Gmail, you can send and receive messages up to 10 megabytes (MB) in size. However, the precise amount allowable will depend on the attachment.

When you add an attachment, the size of a file may increase because transport encodings are automatically added. (Transport encodings are the information that allows your message to be safely sent and read.)

This means that in some cases, attachments that are 6 to 10MB in size may push the total message size above 10MB. When this happens, Gmail displays a warning that your message exceeds the 10MB limit.
--from here

( i only found out because i was trying to send a large file home thru it, and couldn't)
posted by amberglow 14 June | 15:57
amberglow - do you already have seanyboy's .zip file? If so, you can use the torrent I sent out earlier to help seed it. If not, let me know and I'll try to send the .zip to you via dropload.
posted by nixxon 14 June | 15:58
omiewise: Yeah. I had all sorts of trouble with the domain. I tried to re-upload it this morning, but the DAV upload kept crapping out on me and then deleting the file. The link above is on a different host, so it (should) work. There's still bandwidth available.

Apologies for all the hassle. It's unfair that you guys should get the brunt of something caused by my inability to do something on time.
posted by seanyboy 14 June | 16:16
i have it, nixxon--we're all set.
posted by amberglow 14 June | 16:29
seanyboy-Thanks, I had missed that post. I'm not sure what you're apologizing for, this seems to work fine. Is dodgygeezer letting you into the site to download ours, or do you need me to cut it up and send it to you?
posted by omiewise 14 June | 16:32
nixxon, it doesn't work-- i get Error: Existing Date File Length Too Large--when i try to seed the zip file i downloaded from him last night.
posted by amberglow 14 June | 17:48
C'mon, BitTorrent is dead simple for downloaders. Literally all you have to do is click on the torrent file and pick a folder to save it in -- then hit cancel when you've downloaded it (and ideally, uploaded back at least the filesize). Well, sometimes you have to configure your firewall, too, but only once.

The tricky part is creating the tracker, but that's pretty simple now too -- the new bT beta allows "trackerless" seeding. (Maybe it'll be out of beta by next month.) Even if not, there's stuff like BlogTorrent to make the torrents.

Say, dodgy organizes things again, and someone else steps in to handle the technical side of things. People put their files on Streamload, again, but then ONE person downloads them and seeds them. The downloaders all agree to keep their clients open as long as they can to minimize the seeder's bandwidth needs.

Surely that's got to be less complicated than all this scurrying around and half-measures!

(Oh, I definitely will participate next time; I ran out of time with my mix.)
posted by stilicho 14 June | 17:57
I'm with stilicho - I can't really contribute money, but would be happy to contribute to seeding torrents as long as I have advance notice to have it set up. I can also contribute bandwidth by hosting a couple of mixes if that would help.

A "belt and braces" approach seems to me to be the best way of being as inclusive as possible without putting too much burden financially on anyone.

Schyler, Portable Firefox is the way to go, as linked to by mr.marx. I use this every day at work because of a locked-down computer and it is great. Not only does it allow me to ditch IE without breaking the rules (not allowed to install software), but it preserves my logins etc across different machines by storing the cookies on the flash drive.
posted by dg 14 June | 18:34
sounds like a plan. : >
posted by amberglow 14 June | 18:40
sweet, thanks for the links dg and mr. marx...

dg: kudos for the Cows With Guns song from your mix! I've always loved that song...I got to see Dana Lyons open for Jane Goodall at the Civic Center in Asheville, was much fun...
posted by Schyler523 14 June | 19:48
My upload failed on the last one so I'll be in this one FER SURE. Ready to go, artwork n'all. Will send stuff from Australia to donate to the cause. Have no paypal or the like.
posted by bdave 16 June | 09:41
Bacterial Printing Press || Question: