Tag Archives: downloads

Happy 15th Anniversary, Download.com


Today we have application stores up the ying-yang. But 15 years ago, trying to find applications for your computer was a lot harder. We did have two decent sources: Tucows.com and download.com (a CNet company, now owned by CBS). Since then, these two sources have grown to better catalog Freeware, shareware, and paid applications. This week, we say Happy anniversary to Download.com.

While the domain was registered on February 24, 1996, Download.com will officially launch on October 23rd, 1996 (Reference via CNet article). Since then, the website sees almost 10 million downloads of software a week. The top downloads being AVG and Avast antivirus software. A long cry from Hey, Macaroni (the dancing macaroni meme), WinZip 32 and Duke Nukem 3D – which was the most downloaded in 1996. WinZip is still one of the top 5 download pieces of software on the site.

For 15 years, download.com has kept a great archive of software, weeding out the obsolete, malware producing items. They have been sued for some software downloads, most notably the free music download program LimeWire. While download.com did not promote the download of mp3 music or movies, the peer-to-peer software is another way to download legally shared items. Of course, this has always been the conundrum of file sharing.

In retrospect, TuCows has been in operation since 1994, offering the same services. Other services have come and gone, but download.com has stayed strong. So happy 15 years to a source that I’ve personally used many a time from my IT career.

Firefox 4’s First 48 Hours

Firefox 4 was released a few days ago after what seemed like the most Beta versions a product has ever had (12 + the RC I think it was).  It had a lot to live up to since Firefox 3 is the record holder for the software with the most downloads in the first 24 hours – 8,002,530.  Plus, a week earlier, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 9 and did some strutting about their more-than-just-respectable 2.35 million.

The Mozilla blog just posted an interesting graphic depicting the numbers surrounding Firefox 4’s first 48 hours of life.  Among the numbers was the surprising fact that the high, but not record, download rate on day one (7.1 million) was surpassed on day 2 (8.75 million).  They also put some perspective on those numbers by pointing out such facts as the 48 hour average was 5,503 downloads per minute and the peak was 10,200 per minute.

If you haven’t yet installed it, then you can visit the Firefox download page and perhaps become part of the next Mozilla graphic.  I think they can rest easy that Ed Bott’s dire prediction can be written off for now – both Firefox 4 and IE9 are solid browsers that have a big place in the market.

MP3 Music Downloads – You’re Doing it Wrong

The other day I heard a song on the radio that I wanted to buy. Yes, I know not too many people listen to the radio, but my new used car has a crappy stereo in it that won’t take an auxiliary jack for my iPod, and I don’t have an FM transmitter yet. The new stereo is in the budget, just haven’t done it yet. Anyway, I wrote down the name of the band (Pearl Jam) and the song (Just Breathe) and when I got home, I fired up Amazon and looked for the album and particularly the song in MP3 format.

Usually for the low, low price of ninety-nine cents, I can download a single song from Amazon’s MP3 store, and then toss that song onto my iPod, or onto my media-server PC, and that’s that. I am a fan of Amazon’s MP3’s because of the lack of DRM, and because their customer service is outstanding. One time I had a failed download of an album, and I simply wrote to customer service and they reactivated my purchase for a second download, free of charge. You can’t beat that kind of service, and I tend to reward vendors with great service by my return business.

So, I’m surfing through the albums, and I see I can buy the physical CD (Backspacer, in case you were wondering), an album that was released in November 2009. But I cannot buy and download it in MP3 form. Not any of the singles, nor the whole album. Older Pearl Jam albums are available as MP3’s, but not this one. So, I go over to iTunes, where I’ve never spent a penny to buy any song, and find that I can get the song for $1.49, or the album for $14.99. But if I bought it that way, I’d have to accept their DRM, and keep the song only on iTunes or my iPod, and never be able to use it any other way.

I’m not interested in doing that. I want an MP3 of the single. I don’t want to buy a CD, I don’t want to be locked into anyone’s DRM, I just want this song. I’m sure Pearl Jam, or the record label they publish on, has decided that Backspacer cannot be made available anywhere but on CD or on iTunes. And I find this to be backward and ineffective. I’m not a fan of Pearl Jam’s music most of the time, but here was a song I wanted, that I was willing to pay for, but they weren’t willing to sell me. They lost a sale. And they probably lost other sales as well. Not everyone uses iTunes or wants to. How many others went out looking for that song, especially since it is getting incredible air play now, and found that they could only buy it one way, which may not have been a way they wanted to buy it.

I am disappointed. I suppose at some point the album will become available through Amazon’s MP3 store, but by then, I’ll likely have forgotten about the song or gotten so frustrated with the band’s lack of foresight that I won’t give them any of my hard-earned money.

It is unfortunate that this is how they want to do business. No wonder people go out and pirate music. In ten minutes I could have found this song on a torrent and had it ripped to my iPod, and had it not cost me a thing, and the band would not have benefited from that action. Yet what other choice did the band give its listeners, after they walled themselves into the iTune walled garden?

Makes me wonder if they thought this through, and how long it will take them to release the album through Amazon MP3?

Our CES Coverage Impact Short Tail

I have been getting a lot of e-mail from listeners, podcasters and others asking us what the reach has been so far by the media from CES that we have put online. I normally do not discuss statistics here publicly but wanted to give some insight into the performance of the five Hitachi sponsored video segments that Andy McCaskey and I did.

The top downloaded segment was last Tuesdays shows with the Blooper Reel coming in a close second. if I take and total all five segments we are very close to having 200,000 combined downloads and web based exposures. I expect that number to rise over the next two weeks.

The move to put the videos on Blip.TV was pretty profound in that we saw a dramatic increase in the number of impressions after we pulled down the embedded YouTube clips

This does not even count the audio podcast or any of the other video segments that I have put up and will continue to publish over the next 7 to 10 days. To say I am happy is a understatement.

The goal I set for 2007 was to hit 500,000 downloads in 30 days with all the content, having hit 200,000 impressions with only five segments I am pretty sure we will have no problem blowing out last years exposure. I will measure the long tail on the content and report back in a couple of months and by them I think we will easily hit 6 digits on all the segments combined once it is all online.

U.S. Homeland Security Shuts Down BitTorrent P2P Site

U.S. Homeland Security Shuts Down BitTorrent P2P Site
Ten people suspected of involvement with the EliteTorrents webserver were served warrants by homeland security agents. According to the U.S. government agency, this is the first criminal enforcement action taken against violators of copyright law who use the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file swapping software. The operation, codenamed D-elite, targeted administrators and content providers working through the EliteTorrents website.

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