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the [ file ai ] blog » Features

Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Bandwidth Usage & Resume Updates

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Today I released a new and improved version of the fileai.com applet software, adding some major upload bandwidth throttling improvements in addition to greatly reducing the time it takes to resume extremely large (I’m talking larger than 5GB here) transfers.

If any of you have experienced waiting up to a minute or more for extremely large transfers to resume or maybe had your internet connection suffer as a result of simultaneously transferring a large number of files with a large number of people, then this release should fix both of those issues.

And as always, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated. :)

A Word About Transfer Speeds

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Some people are surprised when the files they download using fileai.com don’t come down at the hundreds of kB/s they are used to seeing when downloading things from the web. The reason for this is simple: fileai.com doesn’t involve downloading things from a server, it’s about transferring files peer-to-peer. The person you are downloading from simply cannot upload to you as fast as you can download from them, so it’s simply a case of them being the “weakest link in the chain” when it comes to your transfer.

Most people using broadband these days are in a similar situation: They can download at a much faster rate than they can upload. You can see this for yourself by visiting sites like Speedtest.net that measure your Internet connection and let you know what your maximum upload and download transfer speeds are, like this:

Some people are amazed at how little upload bandwidth they actually have.

The good new is this: Download rates can be improved greatly when, like Bittorrent, more than one person is downloading the same files from the same person at the same time. Multiple downloaders also attempt to connect with and simultaneously upload to and download from one another, increasing everyone’s overall download speed and lightening the load on the original uploader.

So the next time you are annoyed that your transfer is taking so long, don’t blame me.

Blame your friends. :)

New Feature - Transfer Limits

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Yesterday I received an e-mail asking if there was a way to limit the number of times a transfer is downloaded. Their reasoning was:

“Then I can guarantee that somebody will only download one copy of a particular file or I can create an offer where the first 50 people get to download something for free etc.”

Since this was one of the features I had on my short list of TODO items, I figured it would be the next one to be implemented. :)

So now you will see that there is a “Limit the Number of Download Transfers” option available now when you are getting ready to start a “Send Files” transfer. (Naturally you can also limit the number of Uploaded Transfers when you choose to “Receive Files” instead.)

Once that number of transfers has been reached, all further connections will be denied. (Specifically, it’s counting the number of unique computers that have been connected to the transfer, not the actual transfers themselves. The reason for this is just in case someone gets disconnected from the transfer and needs to resume where they left off.)

So give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Thanks! :)

I Love My Beta Testers! (But I Hate Their Routers)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

So two days ago I received an e-mail from one of my invaluable beta testers about an issue they were having transferring a 300MB HD Stock Footage video file to one of their customers: The transfer would stall about 2/3 of the way through, and it couldn’t be resumed.

I spent about half the day trying to track down the issue when I was finally able to re-create the problem by downloading the same file from them: It got more than half of the way through and then just stopped. Basically it looked like their computer got “lost” somehow, and was nowhere to be found.

The thing was, everything looked fine from their end: Their browser window was still open, and they still had Internet connectivity. And oh, the headache I was getting.

Suddenly, I figured out what had happened: Their router had suddenly decided to change their external port - right in the middle of the transfer!

Now, I didn’t know routers could do this. It just doesn’t make sense if you’re communicating with someone and then they suddenly change ports on you. How is the other party supposed to figure this out? Magic?

Well, the good news is that I believe I have made the changes to the applet that will handle this madness these types of situations, so if any of you have had any trouble before making or maintaining connections, give the latest version a try and let’s see how things work out. (Just be sure to let me know how it goes!)

Thanks! :D