Several Major Suggestions for Network-Aware Download Manager

Author Message
Apostol Apostolov 12/13/2004 02:55 am
Hello,

I`d like first to thank to Alexander for his great work at Mass Downloader, it is an awesome manager with great design and excellent features that supplements my daily Internet life for the last week. But while I`m very happy with it, I would like to file some feature requests that I have found nowhere and that would make Mass Downloader an unique kind of a program. What I ask for, in short, is expanding Mass Downloader from a simple download manager as many others into a network-aware download manager with P2P synchronization. Don`t get startled at the use of the term P2P yet, I`ll explain what I mean below.

In many envinronments (especially countries with less infrastructure, such as mine - Bulgaria) providers offer different speeds for international (usually much slower) and local (usually much faster) Internet space. There are even cases where providers offer separate bandwidth channels between international and local Internet. Some providers also offer lightning fast speeds of transfer between their own users as compared to the speed they connect to the Internet. This have led me to believe, that for such cases a new breed of download managers is required to provide superior experience - download managers that have the ability to contact to each other and synchronize partially downloaded content, thus using the available bandwidth at maximum. Below are the features that could make this possible:

1. Download Random Parts [X KB/MB/GB] - This option forces Mass Downloader to download concurrent channels with random starting point and specified size, instead separating the file into a set number of equal parts and downloading each at once. This is used to generate random amount of downloaded material, that would be more unique for synchronizing with other users than if each user downloaded in exact same way.

2. Multiple URLs (Balance/Random) - This option allows Mass Downloader to use several URLs for a single file instead one. If "Balance" is chosen Mass Downloaded opens equal number of concurrent channels to each URL, if possible. If "Random" is chosen, Mass Downloaded chooses randomly the URL for each concurrent channel.

3. Scan Network/Connect To (IP/IP range/Name/pass) - This option allows Mass Downloader to scan a list of IP or IP ranges for a copy of Mass Downloader running. If such a copy is found, Mass Downloader attempts to connect to it and query for all currently downloading or downloaded files and the file ranges downloaded at the moment. Name and password can be used for security reasons.

4. Serve Content (Currently Downloading/All Downloaded) - This option is the most vital part of the request. It turns Mass Downloader into a content server, allowing other remote copies of Mass Downloader to download partial content from files, that those remote copies are downloading as well at the moment. "Currently Downloading" allows downloading only from files that are being downloaded currently, "All Downloaded" makes all finished files in the queue available as well.

How would this work? User A and User B have each 12kBps connection to Internet and 100Mbps connection in between. User A starts downloading Linux.iso with Random method. His Mass Downloader starts downloading five concurrent channels each with 3MB size, randomly chosen within the file. User B does the same. User A have added the IP address of User B in the Network options dialog so his Mass Downloader tries to connect to User B`s Mass Downloader. When this connection happens, each X seconds the two download managers exchange the download ranges they have downloaded and if some content in one client differs from the other client (which with Random part downloading will always be the case), each Mass Downloader becomes a web server and sends the other client the content as an additional concurrent channel. Because speeds between two users are so fast, each user will download at the theoretical speed of 24kBps. Now imagine if there
Alexander 12/13/2004 06:24 am
Dear Apostol Apostolov,

Thank you very much for your kind words and your suggestions.
You are right, this idea intends not for Mass Downloader but for the new product. As I know, Kazaaa network uses similar principles with some exclusions (like Random Parts, for example.)
We will discuss the possibility to develop this new product.
Thank you.

Best regards,
Alexander Bednyakov
MP Staff

Apostol Apostolov 12/13/2004 07:07 am
Hello Alexander,

Thanks for the quick answer. Considering that the idea is about extending an existing download manager to support synchronized downloads over LAN or WAN, I don`t see why there is need for a separate product. KaZaA is not good comparison because it is a network created to share files, you give people new files (usually illegal). What I suggest is a simple client-server fuctionality allowing two or more Mass Downloader clients ot connect together without centralized server (by checking IPs from a list) and help each other with partial content; they don`t give each other new files, but exchange partial content of a file stored on a web or file server. This is in great benefit for broadband users, as well. If two users with 10mbit/2mbit users download file from server allowing 512kbit speed, they could benefit from exchanging content via the 2mbit upload and thus downloading faster than the maximum set by the server. No other download manager does that! So I think it would be a great functionality for a major new version of MD - Mass Downloader as of now is rather polished product and, frankly, there`s not that much one can do to improve a download manager (for example, 3.0 added only prettified the interface and fixed several bugs). And new versions is what shareware lives on. ;)

> Dear Apostol Apostolov,
> > Thank you very much for your kind words and your suggestions.
> You are right, this idea intends not for Mass Downloader but for the new product. As I know, Kazaaa network uses similar principles with some exclusions (like Random Parts, for example.)
> We will discuss the possibility to develop this new product.
> Thank you.
> > Best regards,
> Alexander Bednyakov
> MP Staff
> >
Alexander 12/13/2004 08:40 am
Thank you for your feedback.
Opening servers at user computers is always the security risk. We do not want to expose to risk our users. So, it is better to create the separate product with these abilities. Users, who will install it will be aware of this feature and will use it intentionally.

Thanks,
Alexander
Apostol Apostolov 12/13/2004 10:28 am
Thanks again for answering so promptly. I understand your concern and why you wouldn`t want to expose unaware end users to security risks. Perhaps the best solution would be a new product within the Mass Downloader product line, which has all the features of Mass Downloader, but includes network-aware synchronization. This could sell at premoum price, of course (and I`m sure I`d outright buy it).
Alexander 12/14/2004 02:51 am
Thank you.
We will discuss this thoroughly.

Sincerely,
Alexander
heath 05/14/2005 12:49 am
> Thank you.
> We will discuss this thoroughly.
> > Sincerely,
> Alexander

I have a feeling that this sugestion is exactly what the world needs. A aware- download manager.
I truley believe that there should be a addon created for mass downloader with all the features that were sugested.
Please think about it, and discuss it over and over because this is what the world needs, im not good at explaining because this is fairly above my knowledge but i still understand what is being sugested. And if it was done mass downloader would pass every other download manager by a far greater distance then ever before. It would be very powerful, faster and especially unique.
The world needs a new generation of download managing. Download managers just support the features that epople expect but no one would expect p2p synchronization and trust me it isnt like p2p clients. It is completley different and you could make security very strong indeed. Maybe when people choose the function they have to enter a password. And each mass downloader sharing and recieving content could open an encrypted connection to the other mass downloaders and they use the passwords provied to do it, but it is encrpted so no third parties could get the passwords and open conections to the pcs running massdownloader.