I wanted to start a discussion/debate basically along the lines of RapidShare vs. private torrenting, BUT with the following parameters. Look at the following comparison:
- A quality MP3-only music tracker, using either TBDev or gazelle (or whatever), and using the standard ratio system.
- The SAME exact MP3 site (using TBDev or gazelle codebase), BUT instead of torrents, you have RS links. So you still have EVERYTHING that a quality private tracker offers, the organized indexing, strict moderation for quality, search functions etc, BUT you have the links where maybe the torrent desrciption would be.
- Assume all users use RapidShare premium, NOT the crappy free method which is slow and annoying.
- Assume all users download with something like JDownloader or cryptload, with auto-unrarring.
Which would you prefer? Firstly, let me assure you, I'm a private torrenter of the highest degree (like, really...) BUT I also upload content to RS myself (as well as uploading to trackers), so I know both systems very well. And in this case, my preference is RS. I say THIS CASE, because I don't believe RS works for large files - they have a daily limit of 2GB or 15GB maximum "accumulated" quota, and for anything much more than MP3 sharing or maybe software apps, or casual XviD movie downloading, it's not really practical in the long run. It used to be, until they suddenly lowered the limit last October.
There is so much dislike for RS in the torrent community, but I've come to realise that the RS experience, as long as you use the right tools and the best ways to use RS, coupled with a private indexing site as good as your average torrent site, with a forum, IRC, site donations, you can get something actually better than torrenting.
The biggest advantages of RS, I find, are:
- no need for seedbox. If you ARE a seedbox user, RS premium account is way cheaper.
- For uploaders of content, way more efficient with bandwidth. No need to constantly seed stuff, and in that way you can also upload things quicker, and not have to delay releasing multiple things at once.
- For everyone else - also way more efficient with bandwidth, no need to EVER upload a thing.
- No ratio worries. How much time and effort (and even money!) do we spend on things ONLY to do with ratio. seedboxes included.
- Safer. Sure, it's not as safe as usenet, but it's still a notch safer than torrenting, even private torrenting. I've stopped downloading 0-day movies from sites like TL now, and even ScT I'm not trusting. It's either RS, usenet, or much smaller trackers for me now.
- Speeds (for RS premium) are very good, and consistently close to 2MB/s. Beats many poorly seeded torrents on so many trackers.
- It's just as convenient, if not more, when you use JDownloader and auto-unrar. I find the experience becomes very much like the torrenting experience, it's elegant, convenient, and RAR links are no longer something that conjures up pain in your mind (i.e., the thought of having to individually download the RARs from your browser and then manually unrar them).
And, my counter arguments against common "cons" of RS, are:
- Con: "links can get reported and deleted" - well, there's ways to greatly minimize this - you name the RARs to something inconspicuous, and also putting encrypted passwords on the RARs. Even so, sometimes they get deleted, BUT compare the chore (and bandwidth usage) of occasionally re-uploading some files, to "100%, all the time, seeding" the files. It still is better.
- Con: "you have to pay, that's crap" - ok, well this is fine and valid, but SERIOUSLY, I'm comparing private torrenting with RS use here. So, seedbox users, please leave the room. People who donate to trackers for P2L, P2I, and all the other common reasons for donating, please leave the room. People who have upraded their ISP plan JUST so they can get a better upload speed or more bandwidth usage so that they can buffer their accounts, please leave the room. People who buy invites from ebay, please leave the room (ok jk jk). Alright, are there now many private torrenters left in the room? Probably still a fair amount of us, but C'MON, 55 euro a year? For all the above advantages of RS stated above, it is worth it. If you would use RS enough, it is worth it.
- And I will also get people who say "I just don't believe in centralized sharing" or "Rapidshare is evil" or "I don't trust rapidshare" or "I believe in free, unrestricted sharing" whatever. Do note, that this debate is ONLY about which file sharing system is superior, not the ideologies behind it. Sigh...
So, if I was to start up a private MP3 sharing community, I would do it the RS way, not torrents.
Which would you prefer? Let's hear some more thoughts....
EDIT: thought of another pro for RS: the files, if never reported, last forever, effortlessly. Pwns for retention, no need for re-seed/re-seed requests. And also, another con: RS could get shut down some time, since it's centralized. Well, it's a valid con, but how likely is it to happen? They take down every file reported, and they're not there explicitly for the piracy...