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What would cause a torrent to lose part of a file?


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Not sure how to even ask this without a fair amount of explaination, but here goes:

I uploaded a torrent last week which has been downloaded like crazy, but there are still no seeders, just me. So I checked the comment section and two people report that the torrent got stuck at 97.8%, which I find interesting since now uTorrent is telling me that I have the same amount downloaded. I CREATED this torrent from scratch and I know that it was 100%. Looking at the Files tab, I see one file as completely red, and there are tiny bits of red at the beginning and end of the rest of the files.

When I rebooted this morning, I checked at my tracker's site to grab a list of my initial seeds and this was one of them so I started uTorrent in order to get that group of torrents going again, and lo and behold this problem child showed to be downloading. After more than a week of heavy downloading all of a sudden part of it is missing!

What gives? Is there some sort of file compression going on? The data files for this torrent are stored in a regular MyDocs folder. The file that is "missing" is a *.m3u file, so to check this, I opened the file with WMP and it loads just fine (meaning, it loads the playlist, displays the tracks and they all play just fine).

I just took a look at the torrent in the jobs list and see seeds 0 (0) and peers (7)32.

Despite the fact that I reputedly have only 97.8% and that it is downloading, the downloading speed is 0.

Should I just remove the torrent from my tracker and re-up a new one or is there some way to repair this?

ETA: Checked the torrent's file properties, and the Modified On and Created On dates are the same, and are equal to the date when I created the folder they are in, so the torrent file has not changed or the modified date would have changed but has not. Clearly though, something has.

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No, Ultima, I never use media player. All I did was to see if it could read the m3u file and it could. I could have used iTunes but just did not want to have to remove the album afterwards. Media player has not been ran for months before I used it to check the problem. The files for this album that I use for listening to are in my iTunes folder and are completely separate duplicate.

So, are you telling me that WMP can PASSIVELY, while it is not running, alter files despite not being the default player on this machine? And that it has done an alteration to a m3u file while my computer was turned off? Not to sound snippy but this does not seem possible. I only launched WMP this one time, AFTER I discovered the problem.

I just don't buy that WMP could do this retroacively since the two people who reported that they had a problem with this file reported it two days ago and WMP was not run until today.

I guess what this means though is that the file somehow got corrupted so I will have to re-up the torrent. It is truly scary if WMP can alter files when a computer is shut down - meaning of course that it looks at them when it boots! I can tag them read only. That may help?

And remember, the Modified On and Created On dates are still the same and are two weeks old yet the torrent was working fine until today.

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Here is what I plan to do.

First search for *.m3u files in my data folder for my torrents, and change properties on those to Read Only.

Secondly, stop creating m3u files in my torrents.

To clarify - it wasn't the date of the .torrent that I spoke of. It was the date of the so-called missing file. Regardless I will change attribute to read only on all my playlist files in that data folder.

Thanks for being so patient with me.

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From now on, use "torrent contents" for files being downloaded/uploaded, "torrent file" (or ".torrent file") for the metadata files so there is no confusion. It's a simple distinction that goes a long way in making communication more smooth :)

Just to be sure... you can have µTorrent always skip M3U files by setting the "Skip Files" field to *.m3u.

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Gotcha on contents v. metadata!

The reason that I created the m3u file in my uploads was for the convenience of the downloader, since I appreciate it when I get on of them - makes for easy addition to iTunes library. So it was a "do unto others" sort of deal. However I am not doing anyone a favor if stupid WMP happens to FU the file if you get my drift here. So, I am not going to create any more of them.

I was just reading a bit of info at my tracker's FAQ in a section about 99% stuck downloads and apparently one reason for this is that some of the stupid crap (my words not theirs LOL) that people add to their torrent contents, such as but not limited to DS_Store, desktop.ini, thumbs.db etc.) are read only files. So I hope my attribute change +readonly did not create MORE problems.

I actually think you might want to include this info in your User Manual for those who are creating torrents - to simply take a look at what is in the folder, so as not not include all that junk. For me, I have enabled Show Hidden Files so I can catch them but it appears that XP does not litter folders with these desktop.ini files nearly as much as Win2K or Win9x did. I have not looked at the 1.8 manual since I have 1.7.7 ;) so it may be there for all I know.

Thanks for an interesting discussion.

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Hey manual writing folks! I was looking for something else and stumbled across this at Apple Support Discussions about WMP - and I was thinking that some of this info was relevant - rather than paraphrasing I will paste it in in its entirety. Incidentally, I made the changes suggested since I had this issue related to m3u files - but like you said, Ultima, this Windows program Media Player sucks. This is how to make it less sucky. (is that a word :P )


Begin Quote:

In Windows Media Player, go to Tools->Options and click the Media Library tab. There's an option called "Update my music files by retrieving missing information from the internet". It has several sub options, one of which is "Override existing information".

If this is on, and the thing is using otherwise default settings, then you run into a bit of an unusual situation. Windows Media Player attempts to be a sort of music categorization program. It will search your My Music directories and add files it finds to it's own library. If this update option is on, then it goes a step further and searches the internet in an attempt to identify your music and get tag information. It's not half bad at it either, but the point is that it does all this silently, in the background, whenever it is running.

And it's deceptively difficult to tell exactly when Windows Media Player is running. If you're watching a video in a browser window using Media Player, well, Media Player is running and doing all this. Tricky business, eh?

Now, iTunes is not immediately impacted by WMP retagging the music files. However, whenever you play a file, view it's artwork, do a Get Info on it, etc, iTunes re-reads the tag of the file and updates itself accordingly. Thus, it *appears* like iTunes is changing the tag info, but what really happened is that WMP changed the tag info and iTunes only noticed the change when you did something to that track in iTunes.

Turn off the "Update" option in WMP and the problem goes away.

end quote


and I will add that yu see changes in your data folders for files you are seeding as well.

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