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If downloading files in sequence using BT is considered a bad form, how about changing the priority instead?

clip 01.avi (high priority)
clip 02.avi (normal priority)
clip 03.avi (low priority)
clip 04.avi (low)
clip 05.avi (low)

then when clip 01.avi is done, change it to:

clip 01.avi (high priority)
clip 02.avi (high priority)
clip 03.avi (normal priority)
clip 04.avi (low priority)
clip 05.avi (low)

this question is related to

http://superuser.com/questions/61806/is-there-a-bittorrent-client-that-can-download-files-in-sequence

originally, it is that clip 04 and 05 will both be "skipped", and it is said to be a bad for the BT community, so what about setting all files to "download", but change the priority instead? Is it almost equally bad?

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3 Answers 3

Seeing as the idea behind bittorrent is once you're done you continue seeding, the order in which you download is meaningless, just keep seeding once you're done. In most torrents the cloud of peers is large enough that it makes no difference whatsoever you do for the day/week/whatever it takes for you to download everything. Download however you find convenient, just make sure to give something back for those who come later ;)

edit: I think what people assumed you meant in the other post was that once you'd finished part 1 you'd stop seeding, that WOULD be wrong, but downloading the files in the order you intend to use them isn't.

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IMHO this doesn't matter much at all.

Most new content is either a single file or rar'd, in which case there's no point to download in sequence.

But for torrents with multiple independent files, that usually a recap which means the swarm is pretty old and downloading in sequence wouldn't matter much with multiple seeders.

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Honestly, I would just ignore people who say things like that; their argument strikes me as silly. The whole point of bittorrent is to let you download a small number of files, or single files, while they're popular, and while other people are downloading. Fundamentally, in terms of making the maximum number of files available from the maximum number of peers, this is a flawed model. It's a clear distinction from previous systems like edonkey, which encouraged everyone to keep their files, and share them. Since others were doing the same, many more files were available per user, and many of those were more rare files, rather than just the most popular ones.

Basically, Bittorrent is a victim of its own success in this regard. Design a system to distribute popular files, and you're going to find that people don't distribute stuff that's no longer popular with them.

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