iSwipe 1.6

 

Quick description

iSwipe searches AND downloads from the Web, and the FTP, Hotline, Carracho(*), OpenNapster, Gnutella, eDonkey, FastTrack (Kazaa/Grokster), BitTorrent and Ares networks.

It includes a download manager, featuring retries and resumable downloads.

It also features AutoSearch , which maintains a list of those elusive files that you want and can never find online, doggedly retries them everytime you use iSwipe until they are complete.

Important Notice

HillmanMinx Software does not condone or encourage any form of copyright infringement. iSwipe simply endeavours to search and download files from the internet, many of which are copyright free and legally downloadable. We do not maintain any lists of files, or store any content on our servers, create or maintain any file sharing networks. iSwipe simply connects to and downloads from whatever networks are available. If you inadvertenty download copyrighted files to which you suspect you are not entitled, you must delete them immediately. You must not make copyrighted data available for upload.

Introduction

There are literally billions of files available for download on the 'internet'. However, most are not on the 'web', as such, but on various kinds of other networks. Some networks are server based like Hotline and Carracho, some are distributed, like Gnutella, and some are hybrids like OpenNapster and FastTrack.

Let iSwipe do the hard work and search and download from all of them (even at the same time)!

How to Use

Launch iSwipe. It connects to the various networks automatically.

 

The icons at the top of the window represent the status of the various networks. They are in colour if available, and greyed out otherwise. After a few minutes, most of them should be lit:

 

Simple Searching

Wait a few minutes for best results, to allow iSwipe to establish good connections the the various servers. The longer iSwipe is connected, the more files will be located.

The number of accessible files are showin the Statistics Panel, and the total available is shown in the information panel.

 

 

Simply enter a few search terms in the Search Panel, select a category from the pop up list, and click the "search" button.

You can use the NOT logical operator to aid file searching eg. search for

jewel kiss flame not live not unplugged

Results will be returned in the Search Panel.

 

Selecting files to download

Inspect the results presented in the Search panel. Identical files are grouped together, and the most popular files are at the top of the list. If you choose the most popular version of a file, you are more likely to get a well-encoded music file, and reduce the time taken for its download. Double-click a single file or range of files (holding down the SHIFT key), and they will be transferred to the download panel (they will become bold to show they have been transferred). View the Downloads Panel by clicking the Downloads Tab.

Downloading

In the Download Panel, the coloured indicator shows the status of the download: grey for queued, amber for those which are being attempted, red for an error, blue for downloading and green for done.

The download panel shows only one entry for each unique, identical file. The Active column will contain a number like "3/10" which means 3 segments are active out of a total of 10 copies (Active counter not currently implemented for all networks)

The size of the file will be indicated, together with the network(s) on which it is located .

If the file is currently downloading, the current amount downloaded, together with the download rate and expected time of arrival (ETA) of the download is given.

Failed downloads will automatically be retried and resumed until complete.

When complete, the finished file will appear in the Downloads folder.

You can preview music and videos by clicking the Preview button ( not fully implemented)

Downloads are not only resumable, but for OpenNapster, Gnutella, HTTP, FTP, iTunes and ShadowFT downloads are not only resumable from any location or network, and saved between sessions, but they also support "swarming". This means you can be getting the first quarter of a file from one person on Napster at 5K/s, the second quarter from someone else on Napster at 10K/s, the third quarter from a third person on Gnutella at 15K/s, and the final quarter from a fourth person on FastTrack at 10K/s, ALL AT THE SAME TIME, for an effective download speed for that file of 40K/s (assuming you are not on a modem...) !!

Sharing

Simply click the sharing checkbox in the Sharing Panel. In MacOS 8/9 sharing is done via Gnutella, and in Mac OSX via giFT.

AutoSearching

This is a powerful facility for automatically finding and downloading those hard to get files. Once again it searches all selected networks.

You can get to the AutoSearch panel by clicking the AutoSearch tab.

 

 

Instead of manually searching for a file repeatedly, possibly over several days, simply select the category and searchterms in the same way as in the Search Panel, and then add it to the list of AutoSearch items. Add as many items to the list as you want.

If you are looking for a complete album of music, just click "Add album", and iSwipe will get the tracknames and fill them into the AutoSearch queue.

Now turn on the AutoSearch queue by clicking the start button.

iSwipe will now:

Summary of Panel Functions in Main Window

Search Panel

This is where you enter in your search requests manually, and tell iSwipe to start searching.

Results from all of the various servers and networks are reported here. Suitable hits are selected and added to the the Download panel.

Double click or drag your selection to add to download window.

Explanation of Hit List Headings

Name: remote name of file
Size: size of file
Bitrate: Encoding bitrate (Music files only)
Sec: Length of track (Music files only)
Speed: Connection speed of remote server
Server: Name of server on which file is located
Owner:nickname of owner of file

Tip: Hold down option key whilst clicking to view the URL.

Download Panel

This is where downloads are managed. Search hits added to this list will be attempted automatically.

By default, the summary information for each unique file is shown. If you click the "Show Details checkbox, you will see more information including all segments for each unique file.

Enabling 'AutoClear' will automatically remove failed downloads, timeouts and missing files.

Explanation of Download Status

Queued: File is queued locally by iSwipe, and will be attempted when there is a download slot free.

Checking: obtaining further information from server about the file's location (Napster only)

Connecting: making a connection to server

Connected: successfully conncted to server

Client Replied: remote client has replied.

Downloading: data is currently being downloaded.

Done: file has successfuly downloaded, and should now be in the download folder

Remotely Queued: file is queued remotely on a Hotline server. Depending on how busy the server is, it could stay there for minutes or hours before download commences. (Hotline only)

Error - Timeout: server did not reply or send data within a certain time interval

Error - Busy: server or client is currently busy

Error - File Missing: requested file is missing

Error - Disconnected: this file's server has disconnected you for some reason (usually for not sharing any/enough)

Explanation of Download Window Headings

Name: Remote name of file

Received: total amount of data received so far for this file

Size: total size of file

Speed: current speed of download

%: percentage of download completed

Status: current status of download

Tries: total number of attempts to get this file

Network: the Network that the file is located on

ETA: the estimated time until the download completes

 

Statistics Panel

Lets you see how many files, servers and users are visible to iSwipe, and see what iSwipe's status is. It tells you the total amount of data downloaded for the session, the number of active downloads, the number of successful downloads and uploads for this session, and the amount of download bandwidth currently in use.

AutoSearch Panel

<< more text here>>

Preferences Window

Here you set various preferences. You can also monitor the status of the various networks in more detail.

General Tab

Nickname: Choose something unique! Used for OpenNapster and Hotline

Web proxy: Simple web proxy (assumes port is 8080)

FTP Proxy: Simple FTP proxy

Play sound: Plays a sound when a download is successfully completed

Show Splash Window: Show the "About" window on startup

Perform Firwall test: Probe certain ports to see if we are behind a firewall. Useful if you are having trouble downloading files.

Download Folder: Set the folder where all of your downloads go (Desktop by default)

 

 

Max AutoAttempts: Maximum number of searches to be made for a particular file when autosearching

Search Timeout: Searching times out after this number of seconds (in case some search engines don't respond)

Max Download Tries: Maximum number of times to attempt download of a file which is in the download queue

Autosearch Interval: Time between successive cycles of the AutoSearch requests list

Max Active DL's: Maximium number of active downloads allowed (total of all Hotline, Napster, Gnutella etc). Useful to set to eg. 1 or 2 for slow connections

Session Data Limit: Hard limit on amount of data downloaded in a given iSwipe session, in case your internet service provider has prescribed a daily limit

Minimum Linespeed: Specify minimum linespeed of remote client/server, if available

Collect Network Stats: select this to display addition network information, such as number of users, servers and files currently online.

Search Tab

Search Networks: Searches only those Networks selected here

Exclude: Any words or terms enterted here act will exclude any search results from being returned

OpenNap Tab

Max Hits Per Server: The maximum number of search results returned by each Napster server (max value allowed is 100)

Port: The port that iSwipe listens on for reverse connections (6699 is default).

Autoconnect at Startup: Connect to OpenNapster servers at launch time

Show Server Messages: Show messages from Napster servers in separate window

Min Bitrate: Don't return search results if song as a bitrate less than or equal to this value

Max Bitrate: Don't return search results if song as a bitrate equal or greater than this value

Gnutella Tab

Choose the number of connections you wish to have. More connections = more files, but slows down your computer and increases your background network usage.

ShadowFT tab

 

iTunes Tab

 

giFT Tab

Control the giFT plugin from here.

MLDonkey Tab

Control the giFT plugin from here.

BitTorrent Tab

 

Shared Tab

Shared Folder: Set the folder whose contents you wish to share.

Register Tab

Enter you registration number if you have one. Whilst iSwipe is completely free to use, it will occasionally expire and require you to download the latest version, unless you have a registration number. In addition, from time to time some new features may only be available to registered users (eg to keep the load down on my servers when downloading plugins).

 

"The State of the Networks"

The current support for the various protocols is as follows:

AUDIOGALAXY

Audiogalaxy service is dead.

Future: will reconsider support if it comes back.

CARRACHO (non-linked servers)

This network holds a lot of Mac stuff. iSwipe has always supported searches of the Carracho server descriptions, but there is still no Carracho file search engine. Furthermore, the protocol is closed, and not currently possible to implement.

Future: mainwain watching brief. Should a search engine be developed, and the proto become open, I will implement it.

HOTLINE (non-linked servers)

Two search engines are known and supported, but iSwipe is limited by the accuracy of the results they returns. Perhaps only 10-20% of search results can be successfully attempted, and often you are left in a long queue of users: sometimes for hours or days.

Future: maintain

OPENNAPSTER (linked servers)

Used to be one of the most useful and functional part of iSwipe. Usually 8-10 servers can be connected to within a short period, and often more than 20 Million files are accessible, although lately, fewer and fewer servers are returning useful hits. iSwipe is limited by the available nature of the remote peers, and many attempted downloads fail. However, enough are successful for this network to be useful.

Future: maintain

GNUTELLA (decentralised network)

The global gnutella network often contains over 200,000 users. The average number of files shared by each is about 350, making potentially over 70 Million files available. However, typically only about 10% are allowing incoming connections, which drastically reduces the number of available files. Additionally, it is important to realise that no one Gnutella client has access to the whole network. Some search engines try to index the Gnutella network, and iSwipe currently supports one of these. This allows searching and download from the Gnutella network without actually running the server.

iSwipe also functions as a full Gnutella client/server, and allows connection to the local Gnutella network. It is compatible with most v0.6 clients, eg. BearShare, LimeWire, Morpheus, Gnucleus and gtek, and has backward v0.4 compatibility for example MacTella. You can also share your own files back onto the network using Gnutella.

Gnutella is intrinsically limited to a relatively low local number of users. From my experience, even on 512K ADSL connection, typically only 1000-2000 users and fewer than a million files are really accessible. In addition, searches are slow compared to OpenNapster, and use much more network bandwidth.

Future: maintain

FASTRACK NETWORK (KAZAA/GROKSTER) (Distributed with central servers)

This network uses the proprietary FastTrack protocol, which is very powerful and scalable. It is now available on OSX via the MLDonkey and giFT plugins. There are typically 700 Million files reported as available. The number and availability of files on FT is certainly much higher than any other network.

Whilst full FT access if not available for MacOS 8/9 users, using a brute force scanning method, it is possible to locate FT clients on the internet, and build up your own local database of available files.

"Out of the box" iSwipe knows about a hundred or so active clients, which should yield over 10 Thousand files (> 50GB) within a few minutes.

In scanning mode, iSwipe can search subnets on the internet which have 0.1% to 1% of computers running FastTrack clients. In this way it is possble to slowly build more a larger list of known clients.

Since the database is held locally, it is NEVER going to rival the number of files on OpenNap, since (a) it would take a very long time to build up such a list and (b) it is impossible to quickly scan through the huge file that would be needed for every search request.

On the upside, the FT clients that are listed are much more likely to deliver a file that OpenNap clients, and so it is a fairly reliable source of downloads.

Access to FT is uncertain though, even for OSX users, since it is a proprietry network, and a change of encryption (which happened late in 2002) could lock out all non-Kazaa users once again.

Future: Support through plugins for OSX.

OPENFT (distributed clients and servers)

This could be the future for P2P. OpenFT is similar to FastTrack: it takes the best features of a server-based Napster-style service, and adds the distributed decentralised nature of Gnutella. It also has self-organising features, and has the potential to grow and support millions of users.

Currently only has 100+ Thousand files, but high availability.

Future : support through giFT plugin.

EDONKEY:

Similar to OpenNapster, a semi-decentralised network. Supported through the MLDonkey plugin. Typically several million files online, but availability not as good as FT.

Future: support through MLDonkey plugin

 

BITTORRENT:

The BitTorrent network is currently very healthy, with large numbers of files available.

BitTorrent is a protocol optimised for speed, and is intended for large downloads. To use it you search for and select files in the normal way using TWO inbuilt search engines (or you can drop a torrent URL, or a torrent file onto the download window).

You are strongly advised to turn all other networks off (eg OpenNap, Gnutella, giFT, MLDonkey). BT is designed to saturate your upload and download channels, and often stops most other internet activity from working (eg. Web browser or Mail requests may "time out")

You are currently limited to one BT download at once using the inbuilt BT engine, but can have several downloads going concurrently using the BT feature of the MLDonkey plugin (in OSX).

iSwipe has built-in support for BitTorrent for Classic and OSX and additionally for OSX users using the MLDOnkey plugin.

Future: support for Classic and OSX

Summary

OpenFT has the potential to make all of the other networks obsolete, since it will be much bigger and support all file formats (music, video software etc).

Meanwhile, iSwipe will continue to improve. I am aware of many bugs still, and I am endeavouring to squash them, as well as add new features, make general improvements, and add new networks like OpenFT when they become available.

Cost

iSwipe is DonateWare. If you find it useful, please consider a small donation. I have commercial website to maintain, dual Macs to test on, and ADSL network access to pay for:-) !

Contact

www.hillmanminx.com/contact.html

Copyright (c) 2002-2005 HillmanMinx Software