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Interpreting MP3 Fiend Verification Logs

To find out exactly what happened when MP3 Fiend probed any of the sites, look at the Verification Log screen for any verified site that suggests it's open to making a connection somehow (see Figure 3.7). The logs help you figure out exactly how.

Figure 3.7 MP3 Fiend verification log. A verification log shows you the exact commands MP3 Fiend hurled at a site and the responses it elicited. Enough information is usually in the log to tell you how to complete a successful connection.

Many FTP sites, particularly ratio and banner sites, are deliberately designed to limit your first attempt to connect with them, but in the process, they provide instructions you can incorporate for a second, usually successful, hookup. You find these instructions in the site's Verification Log. To look at the log for any particular site, first left-click the result in the Verification Screen and then right-click and select View Verification Log. If you want to check another site, be sure to left-click it before right-clicking; otherwise, you'll still get the previous log results. The most likely verification results to have useful information in their logs are Verified, Banner Site, Not Found, and Permission Denied.

Mass Deletions

After testing connections with Verify, you don't have to delete unreachable sites individually. Click anywhere in the list and choose Remove Results/Remove Invalid Files. This quickly cuts the list to fewer than a dozen sites. The only problem with this is that it can delete a few sites it shouldn't. If you want to ensure that you look at the verification logs of every site uncovered in the search, do the following: Left-click any site to select it and then right-click and choose View Verification Log. If the log for that one song doesn't have anything useful, none of the results from that same site will be useful either. With the site still selected, right-click and choose Remove Results/Remove All From This Server. Fiend instantly deletes all the results from that same site. Because the results tend to be from only a few sites, you'll quickly check out all the sites this way. Other filters are available for removing sites, but these two are the most helpful.

When you select View Verification Log, a new window pops up with the results of the FTP exchange between MP3 Fiend and the FTP site. Let's take a look at one of the logs to dredge up some useful information. All the lines preceded with numbers are the site's responses to the Fiend. I'll butt in every so often, in the boldfaced type, to point out what we've learned.

220 WEBWORX Microsoft FTP Service (Version 5.0).

USER anonymous

331 Anonymous access allowed, send identity (e-mail name) as password.

Fiend logs on as "anonymous" and the site asks anonymous to enter an email address for a password.

PASS anon@anon.com

230 Anonymous user logged in.

Fiend gives "anon@anon.com" as a password. The site accepts that password and logs in the anonymous user. You now have the two most vital bits of information you can have: a working user ID and password.

CWD /Music

250 CWD command successful.

The site obeyed MP3 Fiend's command to change the working directory (CWD). A good sign. Some sites lock you into one directory until you've uploaded or gone to a banner site to get the "real" user ID and password.

TYPE A

Fiend tells the computer to display only ASCII (text) characters.

200 Type set to A.

PASV

227 Entering Passive Mode (209,226,84,194,5,232).

Fiend sets up the site to receive more commands.

LIST Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself.mp3

Send125 Data connection already open; transfer starting.

550 Billy: The system cannot find the file specified.

Bad news. The site could not find the song that was spotted during the search. The song might be at the site but has moved to a different directory.

RETR Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself.mp3

Send125 Data connection already open; transfer starting.

MP3 Fiend tries a different location on the site and hits pay dirt.

ABOR

426 Connection closed; transfer aborted.

226 ABOR command successful.

QUIT

Fiend aborts the transfer and quits the site.

This is not bad. We've found Billy Idol's "Dancing with Myself," and it's at a site without banners or ratios. At this point we would use MP3 Fiend's automation features to send all the log information to CuteFTP so you can finally suck down the song.

Some of you might have noticed that MP3 Fiend has a main selection, Download w/Assoc, and there's some mention in the configuration screen of feeding Fiend's results directly to either of two programs that specialize in downloads. These two programs are GetRight and Go!Zilla, the latter of which is on the book's CD-ROM. Doesn't that mean we can do our downloading directly from MP3 Fiend? Would that it were so easy. Although Go!Zilla is a terrific program for downloading from HTTP sites, it sucks when it comes to FTP. The same feature that lets Fiend–and Audiogalaxy–trigger Go!Zilla also lets both work with CuteFTP, which is a much better program for reeling in FTP downloads.

But that's in the next chapter. First, just so you'll understand better the twists and turns that accompany FTP sites, let's look quickly at parts of a few other logs:

220- There is a Byte Ratio on this site!

220- 1:3 here on this site _

220- Please upload 70's crap to me

220- and any ACOUSTIC MUSIC you have!!

You'll have to upload 1MB of music, preferably from the '70s, for every 3MB you want to download.

220- Email: ro6wil55@hotmail.com

220- or ICQ me at 56813472 for leech access

Many sites require a person to contact the site's operator through email or the real-time chat program ICQ to receive leech access, which allows visitors to download anything and everything the site has.

220- Remember all MP3's must be deleted after 24 hours.

This is a lame attempt to pretend laws aren't being broken.

And another

230-this is a lookie account only... so take a look

230-and if you like what you see, get in touch with me

230-and we can talk trades/leeches.

230-this is NOT a ratio site... so don't waste your time...

A look account gives visitors unfettered access to see what songs are at the site, but visitors must contact the site's owner to get download access.

Just about any FTP site that's running and doesn't block you out entirely will at least give you look access to see what it has to offer. And as these examples show, the sites usually display some text message to explain what type of site it is and how to get download access. This most often involves either going to a related HTTP site and clicking on advertising banners so the FTP owner makes a few cents or contacting the site's owner by email or ICQ to get the real passwords.

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