By Tom 3/13/02
With the collapse of Morpheus, many individuals are looking for alternative sources of mp3's. As a result, many networks have seen their populations swell.
One community that has benefited from the current upheaval is the Spanish based P2P community called Blubster.
Blubster takes the best qualities that makes a file-sharing community successful and delivers a powerful P2P client. Blubster doesn't have multisource downloading in the traditional swarming sense. Rather, it takes a group of exact files and checks for the fastest and most reliable source, and downloads from a single location (future versions will have swarmed downloads). Additional features like a decentralized network and a Windows XP inspired interface give Blubster all the potential it needs to play an influential role in the P2P community.
Ease of Use:
Blubster is designed to make the P2P experience easy for just about anyone. If you were comfortable using Napster, Blubster should make you feel right at home.
If there's such a thing as a typical P2P client configuration, then Blubster has it. Like BearShare, LimeWire or KaZaA, all search/share options are available through the toolbar, which sits horizontally on top of the client. The user can easily access his/her shared directory or easily configure bandwidth consumption with a few clicks.
Speed of Download:
Like all the P2P networks we test, Blubster was critiqued on a 740K DSL connection. With more popular songs, we were able to take advantage of the intelligent download feature and achieve full download potential. As more people populate this network, it should be easier to take advantage of this feature for less popular files. Although we didn't encounter any problems while downloading, displaying ping speed would help tremendously on future versions.
At the time of this review, Blubster had over 5,000 simultaneous users sharing over 1 million songs. Needless to say, this vast amount of information provides the end user with just about any popular file one could search for. As connectivity problems plague FastTarck, Blubster has proven to be a viable alternative for the files you want. Support for additional file types is still in question for future versions. Blubster's design is directly influenced by its population. If enough enthusiasm is generated for Blubster to include support for all files types, we should see this attribute on future versions.
From the creator of Blubster: "Blubster redraws the supernode concept, by changing it from a digital to an analog switch. I'll explain this. In Fasttrack or Gnutella, a node becomes a supernode in one step, it's like pushing a button and then the node changes all its ways to work within the network. Blubster nodes are all supernodes, but only "as supernodes as they can". That is, your machine will make as much work for the network as it can using reasonable amounts of system resources. So, a modem user with a Dual Pentium III will make good work for the network in processing works, but will not make much data transmissions. A 486 with a T3 line will not process a lot of directives, but will help a lot in data forwarding because it has a good connection."
Blubster takes advantage of decentralization and a strong community to deliver a fulfilling adventure into the P2P world. As Blubster continues to grow, its resourcefulness will benefit, and hopefully we'll see support for all file types in the near future. The P2P community is a constant primordial soup of change; months will go by with one network being on top only to be toppled by another community. If you're looking to find a peaceful network to trade files, Blubster delivers a calm alternative. Check out Blubster here
Tom from Slyck.com is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Tom's insights on other digital music issues can be read on his site and we encourage you to check it out.
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