Friday, April 14, 2006

Why I Stopped Worrying About Missing My Favorite TV Shows

I tell people that I sometimes miss an episode of a favorite TV show and turn to the net to download it and watch it. Invaluable for shows that have an ongoing plot line.

The first thing they ask is: "How do you do that?" I tell them, and the next thing they say is: "Show me..."

The latest file sharing technology is called BitTorrent. Here's what you need:

DISCLAIMER: This list is purely for informational and educational purposes. I am not encouraging anyone to use P2P technology for unlawful purposes. Pay for what you use. Big Brother is watching!

1. A BitTorrent Client. The best is
Azureus. (Look for the download link under latest release.)

2. Azureus is a Java-dependent program. So, you need the latest Java Virtual Machine Run Time Engine. The download link is right at the top.

3. Most video files that are shared are in DivX format. So, you'll need the latest DivX CODEC for Windows Media Player installed. It also comes with it's own player that is pretty good too.

4. It doesn't matter what order you installed any of the first 3 items in. But once you have that all done, you;re ready to find some files. To do that you'll need a search tool. (That's not built-into Azureus) Here are a couple of good sites: www.torrentspy.com www.tvtorrent.info

5. Azureus may need some tweaking if you're behind a router/firewall on your network. That's a much larger discussion, and way too time-consuming. To read up on optimizing Azureus, go to their faq.

6. Some people are worried that the MPAA and content producers like Time Warner's HBO unit are monitoring these networks and set to sue downloaders. Some beleive that using a program like PeerGuardian can protect you from being detected by those monitoring the P2P networks.

Well, that's it. Play around. Have fun. Don't steal music or movies or any other copyrighted material. That's bad.

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