Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What's Soulseek

Soulseek is a popular peer-to-peer file sharing program on the Internet. This program is used mainly for sharing music with other users, but different types of files can be shared as well. Since downloading music for free is illegal in many cases, it is highly recommended that you do not partake in it unless the rightsholder has given permission.


Soulseek was created by Nir Arbel, who was one of the main programmers for Napster. The initial release of the first edition was in 2002. It was originally created to help up-and-coming musicians share their own music with other people to help get their name out. It didn't take long until people realized they could share any music files they wanted. Soulseek's popularity quickly grew and the banning of similar programs such as Audiogalaxy helped it grow even faster. Many Audiogalaxy users wished to continue sharing files and went to Soulseek because of the superior features it has when compared to other file sharing programs.


Currently, the only official Soulseek is for Windows operating systems. There are a number of third-party clients for platforms other than Windows that enable users get access to other Soulseek users. Linux users can use a program called PySoulSeek. PySoulSeek can also be run on Mac OS X, but many users experience problems with downloading. Mac users can use a program called Nicotine which runs much more smoothly. When you use these third-party applications, you are more likely to get damaged or corrupt files.

File Searching

Soulseek is unique because you can download entire folders rather than individual files. When finding a particular song you want, you have three options. The first option is simply downloading that particular song. The second option is downloading the entire folder the song is in, which in most cases would be the entire album the song is featured on. The third option is going to the user's library, which contains all the available files they have to share. The library can also be accessed after you have started a download.


Soulseek offers hundreds of different chat rooms that make it easy to find people who may have a particular song or album you want. Simply go into a chat room for the genre you are interested in, tell people what you want, and you will usually get a quick response. There is also an instant messaging feature that enables you to talk to a single person. You can add users to your Favorites List, which makes it easy to chat with them as well as getting quick access to their libraries.


While Soulseek is completely free to use, it does encourage users to donate money. According to the creator, Nir Arbel, the company is heavily in debt but will continue to use their own money to keep Soulseek running for as long as they can. The main benefit from donating money is that they allow you to jump to the front of the line when downloading files. At times, there is a virtual line of over a hundred people waiting to download one file. If you donate money, you will be allowed to move to the front of the line instead of having to wait for all those other people to download the file first.

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