Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sharing Out-of-Print Content Through File Hosting

This article assumes anyone following this procedure is sharing ONLY out-of-print content that can NOT be bought in your local mom-and-pop retail store or online vendor. Neither the article nor its writer advocates the downloading of copyrighted, in print media of any type because, simply, it is illegal and you can go to jail.

If you aren't able to find the out-of-print media you want after reading Sharing Out-of-Print Content Using BitTorrent, a file hosting server or cyberlocker might be the answer. (Wikipedia goes so far as to call them one-click hosting servers but I click way more than once to get through the process.) Those who upload files to a cyberlocker for storage usually pay for an account; you may upload files for free but it is removed from the server after a short period of time - usually thirty days. Those who download files from a cyberlocker may or may not pay for an account; you are allowed slow downloads without an account but the best downloading features are available only after paying. The following sections have more information.

What is File Hosting?

A file hosting server is hard drive space, connected to the internet, on which users can store files, and from which users can download said files. Individuals and corporations use these cyberlockers for personal or business backup that offers international file access and file distribution. Users can upload files to a cyberlocker and share them publicly or privately by assigning a password to the file. The following list is not exhaustive but contains the names of many cyberlocker companies.

Finding Downloads

Lots of people use cyberlockers for lots of things so it is somewhat of an art to find what you want on them, especially if searching for out-of-print media. Following is a list of shared file search engines. These search engines specialize in crawling large file hosting servers for links.
The unfortunate thing about using a shared file search engine is that often the files are named ambiguously or mysteriously. I recently downloaded files that were named numerically from 1awr.rar until 8hwr.rar. The art of the search enters when you want to find the original posting to which these ambiguous file names belong. The owner of the out-of-print media has often discussed it in a blog or disseminated the links in a forum posting.

Searching for content written up on a blog is often just entering your search terms appended with a popular blog platform name. For example, enter ritchie family all night all right 1983 blogspot if seeking a digital rip of The Ritchie Family's 1983 LP. With this particular search, the first result is a link to a FilesTube page with a download link for the All Night, All Right 12 inch rip. The third and the fourth results are links to entries on Blogspot that had links to a digitized version of this out-of-print disco album and probably a little information about the artist.

You can also register and join forums (bulletin boards) where downloading is discussed and links disseminated. Often within the threads of links to illegal (read copyrighted) downloads there is a lowly thread for out-of-print media or VHSrips (where much of the content is out-of-print). Sometimes you might be able to find forum pages (with download links) without registering as a member of the forum using Google's cache option or just clicking through a returned link; it is easier though to register and have full access by virtue of a profile. Registration is free. These download forums include:

The End

The end of the article anyway. The beginning of a search for the treasures that remain unbelievably and hopelessly out-of-print. Ask if there are any questions. I assume people have their own search tips and tricks.

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