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KneadToKnow
04-08-2009, 09:02 AM
Mods: I don't think anything I'm asking here crosses the line. If I'm wrong, please accept my apologies in advance.

I'm downloading something via BitTorrent, and it's my first time. It's a large download comprising many separate elements. It's not this, but if it helps, think of an album with 20 or so tracks.

I started the download Sunday, and it told me to expect it to take about 3 days. So far that's proving an accurate estimate. I've been able to watch as, to my surprise, each "track" seems to be downloading in order and then moving on to the next one. I don't know what I was expecting, exactly, but for some reason that surprised me. Here's the thing, even though each "track" is in a standard format (it's not this, but think MP3), I cannot yet open any of the downloaded tracks.

So here's the question: Is this normal? Is there some final part to the download process that will finalize these "tracks" and let them be used, or is it more likely that I'm downloading 3 days worth of useless?

friedo
04-08-2009, 09:07 AM
What makes you think each track is downloading in sequence? BitTorrent works specifically by downloading chunks in a random order.

Unless you set your client to download the files in a specific order (some clients support this) most of the files will be incomplete until the entire download is finished.

ETA: It occurs to me that you may have been looking at the sizes of the incomplete files on disk. Because BitTorrent clients download random pieces, they have to allocate the full size of the file on disk before the data is actually there, so what you've got is a full-size file mostly full of zeroed data.

KneadToKnow
04-08-2009, 09:39 AM
ETA: It occurs to me that you may have been looking at the sizes of the incomplete files on disk. Because BitTorrent clients download random pieces, they have to allocate the full size of the file on disk before the data is actually there, so what you've got is a full-size file mostly full of zeroed data.

Yep, that is exactly what I'm doing. I open the folder that the files are downloading to and see that file sizes for the first, say, 9 "tracks" are stable and the last 10 are still 0. I can't swear to it, but I thought I was actually seeing the file size for "track" 10 growing as I watched; I could be imagining that. I'll double-check at lunch.

Your explanation clarifies the process greatly, though, and makes me much less nervous that I'm 2-1/2 days into a 3 day long disappointment. Thanks!

Fantome
04-08-2009, 10:04 AM
I don't know how big the file you're downloading is, but three days is way too long. Are you using uTorrent? Try following these (http://forum.utorrent.com/viewtopic.php?id=15992) steps. If you're using a router, find your router on this (http://portforward.com/) list and follow the instructions. You may find that your download time has gone from three days to a few minutes.

KneadToKnow
04-08-2009, 10:07 AM
It's about 22 hours of video as AVIs.

I'll take a look at the links.

tr0psn4j
04-08-2009, 11:39 AM
It downloads random chunks at a time (not technical terms :) ).

if you can get µTorrent (http://www.utorrent.com/) you'll can set priorities for the files within the torrent. If you want to look at one, you can put its priority to high, while disabling the rest. That way that can finish a lot faster. Once it's downloaded, set the priority of one of the disabled files to high and download that individually.

Also, are you getting your full download speed?

friedo
04-08-2009, 01:28 PM
It's about 22 hours of video as AVIs.


Three days is quite reasonable for a torrent that size, depending on the number of available seeds and your connection speed, etc.

Fantome
04-08-2009, 02:02 PM
Three days is quite reasonable for a torrent that size, depending on the number of available seeds and your connection speed, etc.
What download speed do you find quite reasonable? I just started downloading an 82 minute movie in AVI. I was getting a download speed of 95 kB/s, which isn't all that fast. My ETA was at about two hours. Translate my 82 min. into 22 hours, and we're looking at an ETA of about 32 hours. Yes, that's still a day and a third, but I usually get better speeds than 95 kB/s and I have an average broadband connection.

friedo
04-08-2009, 02:21 PM
What download speed do you find quite reasonable? I just started downloading an 82 minute movie in AVI. I was getting a download speed of 95 kB/s, which isn't all that fast. My ETA was at about two hours. Translate my 82 min. into 22 hours, and we're looking at an ETA of about 32 hours. Yes, that's still a day and a third, but I usually get better speeds than 95 kB/s and I have an average broadband connection.

95kb can be quite fast for an old torrent that may have only a few seeds. I've downloaded some that would max out at around 30kb.

For newer torrents with many seeds, I can often get up to around 500kbps for short periods of time.

KneadToKnow
04-08-2009, 02:28 PM
I'll double-check at lunch.

I double-checked. It is definitely downloading bits and pieces to all the files it has touched so far. I noticed the last updated date on some was a couple of hours ago, some late yesterday.

My download speed is nowhere near 95 KB/s, but as I said, this is my first time with BitTorrent, so I really have nothing else to compare it to. I run several computers through a Linksys router and then connect to the tubez through a cable modem. I don't anticipate BitTorrent become a big part of my life, though I confess I do wish I had known about the ability of uTorrent to let me prioritize one "track" out of the whole batch, because that's all I really needed.

Is there a version of uTorrent for Ubuntu?

Thanks, all. Hopefully later today or perhaps tomorrow morning, I'll be basking in the glow of success.

Tool of the Conspiracy
04-08-2009, 02:30 PM
What download speed do you find quite reasonable? I just started downloading an 82 minute movie in AVI. I was getting a download speed of 95 kB/s, which isn't all that fast. My ETA was at about two hours. Translate my 82 min. into 22 hours, and we're looking at an ETA of about 32 hours. Yes, that's still a day and a third, but I usually get better speeds than 95 kB/s and I have an average broadband connection.
It depends on supply and demand. A few days ago, I started downloading a file, and it was coming at a rate that would take two hours. After a half-hour, I realized that I had inadvertently selected the French version. So then I started downloading the English version (without stopping the French), and it finished first.

Markxxx
04-08-2009, 02:31 PM
First of all the speed depends on many things.

If you upload too much, you can jam your download speed. If you upload too little you won't get much to download in return.

How many seeds and peers are there?

This also makes a difference. This is often wrong. If there is one seed and that seed is using inital(super) seeding it makes a difference.

Also the number of seeds is often incorrect. I will upload a torrent and within five minutes it says there are two seeds. This is point blank wrong. This is an original torrent there is no way it can have two seeds.

With torrents that allow you to pick and choose files, it becomes problematic if everyone is picking and choosing.

Suppose you have a torrent with 10 files. If no one chooses to download all ten files you will never have another seed other than the originator of the torrent.

Remember anyone can seed a torrent. "To Seed" simply means uploading part of the file. "A SEED" means you have a complete copy of the torrent.

Also remember the speed you download depends on what others are uploading. Suppose I start a torrent and only allow 1kB/s. Suppose you have a 3mB/s connection. You can't download anymore than 1kB/s because that is all I'm chosing to upload.

It's like being in a traffic jam. I may have an AMC Gremlin and you may have a Porsche that goes 250 miles per hour, but if you're in the Porsche and you're behind the Gremlin and the Gremlin is going 25mph, the Porsche ain't going no faster.

Lastly to remember a lot of torrents get corrupted because people don't know how to create them properly. For instance if you have a music torrent with ten files, you MUST make sure all files in the torrent are "read only." If not then when you start uploading and others start downloading, programs like iTunes automatically add "tags" they get off the Internet.

So let's say Joe starts a music torrent and doesn't mark ALL THE FILES IN IT "read only." Then Jane starts downloading it and she has iTunes. iTunes will assign tags to it, like "Composer," "Year," "Genre" that may not be there. Then Jane's download will share this incorrect file with others and even the original seed. So then his files now have these iTune tags and his torrent is now corrupt and it won't work. If Joe were to "Force Re-Check" it would be incomplete, even though he started it.

Also when you download a torrent you can't touch it. If someone puts a text file like "This is from demonoid" or a text file with the lyrics in the music torrent, if the downloader removes this, he now is uploading corrupted material and it will screw things up.

Bottom line is, if you torrent is reading 97% or more complete for more than say 12 hours, you can almost bet it's corrupted, the original torrent that is

You can't always tell with torrents, I had one open for three months then someone hopped on and in 2 hours it was finished.

TJVM
04-08-2009, 02:35 PM
What download speed do you find quite reasonable? I just started downloading an 82 minute movie in AVI. I was getting a download speed of 95 kB/s, which isn't all that fast. My ETA was at about two hours. Translate my 82 min. into 22 hours, and we're looking at an ETA of about 32 hours. Yes, that's still a day and a third, but I usually get better speeds than 95 kB/s and I have an average broadband connection.
You can't really compare files based only on the video length. Ten minutes of highly compressed video at 320x240 will be much, much smaller (in terms of bytes) than ten minutes of HD video ripped from a DVD.

To the OP: As others suggested, I'd look at your download speed, and see how it compares to your normal (non-bittorrent) download speed. If your torrent download speed is very low, I'd check two things:

First, check and see how many seeders (uploaders) and leechers (downloaders) there are. This information should be available in your bittorrent client. If there are only a few seeders, then the overall speed of the torrent is limited to their collective upload bandwidth (and keep in mind that for many home internet accounts, upload speed is capped significantly lower than download speed). In that case, you just have to wait -- there's no problem on your end, it's just that the data is coming to you slowly.

If your download speed is low and seeders are not scarce, then, as someone upthread suggested, I'd make sure your router and firewall (if you have one) are configured properly. I'm no expert, but in my experience, if your bittorrent client can't make the right connections (both incoming and outgoing), your download rate will be very slow.

Fantome
04-08-2009, 02:36 PM
My download speed is nowhere near 95 KB/s
If you want, you can PM me a link to the download and I'll see what speed I can download it just to compare.

Is there a version of uTorrent for Ubuntu?
Yes (http://news.softpedia.com/news/uTorrent-under-Ubuntu-in-3-Easy-Steps-49037.shtml).

TJVM
04-08-2009, 02:39 PM
Is there a version of uTorrent for Ubuntu?
When I was using Ubuntu, I used the Deluge (http://deluge-torrent.org/) bittorrent client, which has many of the same features of uTorrent, including the ability to prioritize files. I think it's in the repositories.

KneadToKnow
04-08-2009, 02:41 PM
Thanks, Fantome. I'll PM you that info when I get back home this evening.

When I was using Ubuntu, I used the Deluge (http://deluge-torrent.org/) bittorrent client, which has many of the same features of uTorrent, including the ability to prioritize files. I think it's in the repositories.

Cool. Version 8.04 came with two clients, so I just picked one of those. I'll look into that one, too, should I do more Torrenting.

Fantome
04-08-2009, 07:19 PM
Thanks, Fantome. I'll PM you that info when I get back home this evening.
Got it. It's a 7.38 GB download. After exactly 26 minutes, I had downloaded 308 MB which is 3.8% of the total . My average download speed was 202.1 kB/s and my ETA according to uTorrent was one day and 16 hrs. (which I assume is off since 3.8% in 26 minutes leads me to believe from start to finish should take me less than 11 and a half hours).

I performed the speed test here (http://us.mcafee.com/root/speedometer/default.asp) and my download speed was over 2 MBPS (File Size 600.005 KB - Time Elapsed 1.863 seconds).

Reply
04-08-2009, 07:47 PM
Thanks, Fantome. I'll PM you that info when I get back home this evening.



Cool. Version 8.04 came with two clients, so I just picked one of those. I'll look into that one, too, should I do more Torrenting.

By all means go with whichever client you like, but even the official BitTorrent client (from bittorrent.com) supports priorities now. I'd be surprised if the built-in Ubuntu ones didn't (but then again I haven't that thoroughly explored Ubuntu). Have you tried going to a file-list and right-clicking on a file to set its priority?

Also, if you don't want to deal with the port forwarding manual configurations, you can enable UPNP (universal plug and play) on both your router and your BT client and they should then talk to each other to automatically configure the port forwarding for you.

KneadToKnow
04-08-2009, 09:17 PM
Thanks all for the input! Like I said above, I don't expect BitTorrenting to be a big part of my life, but I'll definitely look into tweaking things so that if I do wind up doing this again, it will go smoother.

I'm using Transmission BitTorrent Client, FWIW.

Thanks!

KneadToKnow
04-10-2009, 09:26 AM
Just to follow-up, the download finished some time while I was at work yesterday, and the "track" I needed came out just fine.

I did, for comparison, install Deluge and noodle around with it just a bit, and I found the settings which allow me to specify individual files in a Torrent for priority downloading or, as would have helped me more in this instance, to not be downloaded at all. Interestingly, when I experimented with a download using Deluge, I noticed my download speed was well into the 100 KB/s range, when using Transmission I had never seen it get out of the 30 KB/s range.

Again, my thanks to everybody for your input.

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