Thursday, April 07, 2005

File-sharing on mIRC

I was looking through my music collection this morning, and was delighted to find a whole lot of great new music. I'm a fan of all kinds of rock and metal. Recently, I've been feverishly collecting whole new complete albums of several genres, ranging from goth metal to progressive rock, and even some dance and R&B. Truth is, right now, i'm hungry for a decent music repoistory, not the music itself. I hardly have time to really listen to the stuff I've leeched. But I'm hoping that once I've got a few mp3 discs worth of music, I'll hook myself up to my cd player and rock out.
I just wanted to share a few tips on using IRC (internet relay chat) to leech files. IRC is an internet communication service that runs on servers all over the world. Once connected, you can join a channel (chat room), create your own, and get chatting. IRC also allows a whole of manipulation, and so makes word games and interactive topic discussion sessions possible. Plus, IRC can also be used to find and leech files quickly. It takes a little setting up at first, but once you're hooked up, its a breeze.
The following tips may not be universal in reference to every IRC client (IRC chat software that allows you to connect to a server and so on). I use mIRC (win 9x/2k/Me/xp) v6.16, because its fairly simple to figure out, and is also the most widely used client. Follow these steps for a hassle-free leeching experience. Please note, however, that common sense and statutory warnings do apply with regard to virus attacks. So don't leech weird looking files, and don't accept candy from strangers.
  • Download, install and run mIRC. In the dialog that pops up, enter your personal details (real name/username(come up with one)/etc.). Notice the 'Connect to Server' button. You'll have to click it later on. First, pick a server from Connect > Servers. I usually stick to EFnet, Undernet and PhaZeNet for my metal/rock requirements. A random server should be fine.
  • Under Sounds > Requests, check 'Accept Sound Requests', and uncheck 'send !nick file as private message'. This is essential, because otherwise your file requests won't be acknowledged. If you want, change the destination folders for the files you leech.
  • Under DCC, select 'Auto-get file' and check 'minimize'. Under 'if file exists', select 'Resume'. Then go to DCC > Ignore, select 'Method' - Accept Only, and add the following to the list, without quotes: "*.mp3" and "*.rar". The .rar is for when you hit the big leagues and begin downloading whole albums in RAR format (like .zip, but you'll need winrar for those files).
  • Finally, head to Display > Options > Tray, and configure it as you wish. I like my mIRC out of the way, so i keep it minimised in the tray all the time. Once you're done, head back to Connect, and click the 'Connect to Server' button.
  • Now, once you're connected, you'll need to find a channel. Click the fourth button from left on the taskbar, the one that resembles a globe. Under Match text, type a search term, such as 'metal mp3' or 'albums' or something like that, and click 'Get list'. You should see a list of channels that match your search definition. Double-click one of them. If the window yields unsuitable results, try again.
  • Once you've found a channel, you'll see a whirlwind of colour, hear a smorgasbord of whooshing sounds, and feel a blast of hot air that will cause your hair to separate at the roots. Fine, so I'm exaggerating... just checking if you're paying attention. Well, anyways, if there's something you want to find, type @find artist OR @find trackname OR @find album.Soon, you'll begin receiving messages with search results, which look something like !Abe Band - Track_name.mp3 :: INFO :: 4.20 MB. If you want that file, just select and copy !Abe Band - Track_name.mp3 (notice how i left out the :: INFO ::...) and paste it into the main channel window. Soon, you'll begin to receive a file. See where it lands up, and you'll have a file!
  • Sometimes you might want to see what your choices are. Thats when you'll have to head to the channel, and check out who the big kahunas are. They usually havean ! before their usernames. Example: there's a user named !Abe. To get his list of files, type @Abe. You'll receive a text file (which might be zipped) which contains a whole lot of filenames like in the example above. Follow the same guidelines and paste whatever you want into the channel. Leave out the info part to prevent yourself from getting kicked out of the channel.
  • Alternatively, you might want to automate everything by using a script (this is where mIRC scores, it has more scripts coded for it than any other IRC client), such as Autoget, available from Omenscripts. There are others available, which allow you to serve your files as well.
  • Lastly, mIRC may not have every single file on the planet. Thats why I suggest you check out Ares and Limewire, both of which are really good, easy-to-use P2P software. I use them when I feel the need to leech some Remy Shand, DJ Tiesto and N.E.R.D.

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