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Why is utorrent built like this?


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Here are a few things I have noticed, and I wanted to know if there was a reason why it was so.

1. No control over "pieces"

I think this is the largest problem with utorrent (but it is also in other clients). Say I am downloading a torrent with 3 files "File A, File B, and File C", I look in my "parts" section and see several parts for each of these files downloading. Now, I decide halfway into the download that I would like to get "File B" right now first. All I can currently do is set its priority to HIGH and if necessary set "File A and File C" to "normal, low, or skip".

This is not sufficient. This is due to the fact that as I said each file has multiple parts being downloaded, and even if I set "File A' and "File C" to skip, the parts of A and C that are currently downloading will CONTINUE TO DOWNLOAD. This is annoying if the parts are small (say 128-512 kbytes each), and it if VERY TIME CONSUMING if they are large parts (like 4+ MB each).

In addition, there seems to be some coding/programming in utorrent where it tries very hard to not fully download files to 100% when other files are low. utorrent would much rather have 20% of 10 files than 100% of 2 files. I am sure this has to do with torrent health and wanting to spread out the pieces among the users so that sharing can be accomplished easier. I can understand it doing this on regular downloads where you want all the pieces of a torrent, but there should be a way for me to control which piece has priority (not just which file has priority) when I am trying to get one particular file ASAP.

Many times I will need only 1-2 pieces of a file for it to complete. If I keep other files turned on (not skip) it will continue to add new pieces and ignore the 1-2 pieces I need. If I turn all other files to "skip" instead of it completing the file it continues to download all the remaining pieces of other files still in the queue (regardless of their priority) and does not download those last 1-2 pieces until they are the last 2 pieces remaining. Its like the system knows that file is almost completed and deliberately does not complete it. The only way to fix it is to remove the torrent from the list (wasting all of the partial pieces downloaded) and then restart the torrent with ONLY the single file you are trying to download selected, and then wait for it to check the entire torrent before it starts again. Once this is done, the last 1-2 pieces typically take only a few seconds to download proving that it was in no way a bandwidth issue or lack of resources.

I can understand we want to encourage people to stay on torrents and seed, but I do not see the ability to control piece priority to be a serious threat to that goal. I should have the same options for pieces that I do for files (HIGH, NORMAL, LOW, SKIP). I should also be able to type in a piece number to have it downloaded next and be able to see in a file's details which pieces are still missing.

2. Not using all slots or bandwidth when seeding.

This is much simpler to explain, but even more difficult to understand. Earlier today I seeded a file that had 12 peers and only 3 seeds (including me) and I had 15 upload slots, 15 active torrents, and 40+ Kb upload bandwidth, yet only 3 peers linked to me and my bandwidth upload was at a measly 10 Kb. I was not downloading or uploading anything else.

This seems common to me when I seed a file I rarely get enough peers to connect and they rarely take all my set available bandwidth. I have checked my settings and allowed more than enough slots for uploads (even checking add more if bandwidth under 90%) and slots for active torrent is higher as well.

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So you are saying that a torrent with 12 peers and only 3 seeds (me included) and the peers don't want my bandwidth?!?

That seems odd, but it is not just one file but I have seen this happen dozens of times.

Also, I typically have less upload slots active, the 15 was me trying to open up all my slots today to try and get more peers to download from me and it just would not work.

EDIT: I agree that automatic sequential downloading would be bad, but what I was talking about was manual piece control which would be VERY tedious for someone to try and do for entire torrents. Yet, it would be a very convenient feature for someone who comes home and sees a few of his files at 98% and would like to quickly get them to 100% to enjoy them right away. The fix I have for it right now (my removing the torrent and restarting it) has a more detrimental effect to other torrent users (wasted bandwidth, wasted piece parts, time spent offline, etc.) when compared to my request for piece control.

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Thelittlefire, You are mistaken to think that piece control could not be programmed into the software. As I have stated already, I can do piece control myself by removing the torrent, restarting it with only the files I want selected to download, and letting the file check itself and start again. But, this wastes time and partial pieces get deleted.

If you wanted the program to get a specific piece all you would need to do is have the program send to the tracker that the only piece it needs is piece "X", seems simple enough.

It might not be perfect (as you say it is not a pull based system), but there are enough work arounds that could be used to control pieces.

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