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1.6 Million PCs Track Popular P2P Clients 191

Hodejo1 writes "'Big announcements' are often backed up by a dubiously small data set or not backed up at all. Big Champagne, PC Pitstop and Digital Music News joined forces to analyze 1,661,688 PCs to track 152 unique P2P clients quarterly from September 2006 to September 2007. The result is a definitive list of the most popular P2P software in use. Topping the list by a healthy margin is LimeWire. 'In September of 2007 LimeWire was found on 17.8% of all the PCs polled that month. With regards to market share — counting only those users with at least one P2P application on their systems — LimeWire held a 36.4% share, meaning one out of three P2P users has LimeWire on their system. These numbers are up slightly from September 2006 when LimeWire held a market share of 34.1%'. Meanwhile, uTorrent has made huge gains during this period soaring into second place and posing a genuine challenge to LimeWire."
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1.6 Million PCs Track Popular P2P Clients

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @01:56PM (#23093428)
    from the article:

    "this technology is so easy a grandmother could use it"

    As a 48 yo grandmother, and C programmer, I find that offensive.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:06PM (#23093568)
      You still program in C? Holy crap, you ARE old!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by _bug_ ( 112702 )
        That's like saying "You still use a manual gearbox? Holy crap, you ARE old!"

        Sure, there are easier-to-use alternatives, but the connoisseur is more refined in her choices.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by sm62704 ( 957197 )
      You got modded "funny".

      Damned kids!
    • I was over fixing a computer for a 70 year old woman and she has an autocad-like program that connects to her automated sweing machine to stich patterns. I thought that was pretty awesome too lol. But btw, upgrade to C#!
      • Re:Sexist comment (Score:5, Interesting)

        by rueger ( 210566 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @06:32PM (#23096684) Homepage
        Did she mention that there are a whole army of grandmothers out there trading copyrighted sewing machine embroidery patterns by e-mail? Disney has in fact busted a few of them from time to time.

        My ex-mother-in law collected 500+ 3 1/2" floppies full of designs before we bought her a CD burner. No-one has enough grandhildren to use that many designs!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Snowmit ( 704081 )
          I'm about to get myself thoroughly modded -1 Offtopic but this is the coolest craziest thing I've read all day.

          I *love* that there is a secret underground network of grandmothers sharing embroidery patterns on the Internet.
        • by dyefade ( 735994 )
          Agree with Snowmit - that sounds brilliant. D'you have any sources for the Disney legal action? Did a quick Google but nothing good.
  • LimeWire? (Score:2, Interesting)

    As a recent college grad (read: pirate), I'm amazed by the percentage of people still using crap like LimeWire and eMule. I would've guessed most people have evolved to uTorrent at this point. But, when you need to download a copy of "Achy Breaky Heart", I guess LimeWire is, sadly, your best option.
    • The best thing about living on campus is the possibility of having a nice big Direct Connect network, not that *my* school ever had one, oh no, nor did it rank #8 in the MPAA's top pirate schools of 2007...
      • by mattpointblank ( 936343 ) <mattpointblank&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:36PM (#23093974) Homepage
        "Pirate schools"?! Do you go to HAAAAARRRRRRRRvard?
    • Re:LimeWire? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:13PM (#23093646) Homepage
      I always thought gnutella was crap, but I totally disagree with your labelling of emule. Emule is fantastic for obscure content, and content that is too old to be seeded on any torrent.

      Also TFA mentions the emule network as edonkey, ignoring the distributed kad network which is an opensource triumph, that further helps to locate rare content.
      • Bah! Soulseek is excellent for all content, and for the really, _really_ obscure stuff (more obscure than Officium Triste, who, at the time at least, you had to mail a check to them and they'd mail you back an album - on vinyl) just use Freenet.
        • by Mike89 ( 1006497 )

          Bah! Soulseek is excellent for all content
          I love Soulseek, but if it leave it running it seems to grind my computer to a halt. Not sure what if/what it is conflicting with but it's damn annoying.
      • Kad is extremely finicky about NAT, though. Forwarding the relevant ports on both TCP and UDP doesn't seem to be enough. Unless your computer is directly connected to the net, there's a chance you're never going to get decent Kad peers.
    • eMule is not bad; I like it a bunch. Having a searchable database of what's available is nice. It's slow, but that's OK; I'm willing to let it take a few days. For BitTorrent, I use Deluge, which is good if you're only going to be using other people's torrents.
      • And it's the best client for linux (not counting utorrent on wine).
        • by Hatta ( 162192 )
          rTorrent+screen is the best client on any platform I've used.
          • Seconded. It's great having random thoughts of "Oh, hey, I wanted to download that" and start it going while at work, so it'll be done when I get home.
    • Re:LimeWire? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:21PM (#23093790) Homepage

      But, when you need to download a copy of "Achy Breaky Heart", I guess LimeWire is, sadly, your best option.
      ...if you can't use Google [].
    • Re:eMule (Score:2, Interesting)

      by zegota ( 1105649 )
      I've never been able to find solutions manuals, reliably, anywhere other than on eMule.
    • It's all about networks.
      Many (most?) users have clients for all networks.

      Bittorrent - you want one particular thing. It may be common or exotic, but you're pretty sure you know what you're looking for. (search - good. scope - very good. browsing - sucks. speed - directly proportional to popularity)

      Edonkey - you search uncommon, rare, exotic stuff, or 'all of' certain domain, say a few thousands Stepmania songs.
      (search - very good. scope - enormous. browsing - poor. speed - slow)

      Direct Connect - you browse f
    • To be fair eMule is a very decent client. And the KAD network is one of the best DHTs. The KAD and becoming deprecated ed2k networks are still huge, if you cant find something anywhere else, you can likely find it there.

      My qustion is how can more then 1% of people still be using kaZaa? The client isn't very good, the network has gone to shit, not to mention the add support and unwanted software when you install it. Sure there's K-lite and K++ but i think that most people don't use the hacked versions.
      • Habit. People don't change unless they have to... lots of people who learned about kazaa have just never bothered to change. They don't know anything else is out there. Remember, for every 1% of people in the top of the intelligence curve, there's an equal 1% in the bottom (assuming a bell curve)
        • by blueg3 ( 192743 )
          Actually, for every 1% at the top, there's 1% at the bottom, regardless of the distribution function.
          • Not really, no. Read this bit [] and get back to me.
            • by blueg3 ( 192743 )
              I'm pretty sure you're not too clear on what "top 1% means". Note that I never said the top 1% and bottom 1% are equidistant from some average or that they occupy similarly-sized ranges.
    • by NMerriam ( 15122 )
      Like others, I'm baffled at your dismissal of the eDonkey/Kad network. There is none better for finding old or slightly obscure material. Torrents are great for brand new material like a TV show the same day it's broadcast, but finding episodes of some 1960s TV show that was never released on DVD is pretty much impossible unless you know of a dedicated repository to that type of material on some network.
    • by Mex ( 191941 )
      Do you even know anything about eMule? It's at least arguably more secure than uTorrent, among many other improvements.

      I personally used Azureus, which was a rather good client, but it went to shit after they forcefully integrated it with "Vuze", a content network. Now, it fucking sucks, it is slow, and bloated.
    • Naah. You just gotta know where to look. I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you ;)

      I'm just going off hearsay, but I believe that OiNK was more like a hydra than a pig...
    • Different markets. If what you're looking for is not both current and popular (or either very current or very popular) you're not going to find it on a BitTorrent network. People don't put an obscure album from 1995 or a DOS game that didn't have mainstream appeal on BitTorrent. That's where eDonkey and similar networks shine.
  • by BoredAtWorkWhatElse ( 936972 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:06PM (#23093562)
    Well now we know that 36.40% of the polled PCs are infected with a real ecosystem of viruses.
  • For one, these p2p clients tend to be breeding grounds for bad things. Aside from the RIAA and everything going on with the music industry as it is, the clients themselves are (if i am not mistaken) data miners, resource whores, and virus huggers (not to be confused with tree huggers).

    Google (for me anyway) has been far more useful:
    -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:"index of" mp3 "Your Title Here"

    There are many more search parameters you could use, but that does the trick.
    • I used to do this alot and it also works with avi but as of late when I do it alot of the hits I get are spam sites, with the odd hit. If someone doesn't know how to spot one of the spam site they could run into simular problems as they would if they ran limewire. Especially if their browser and OS aren't patched. Older IE clients running activex without prompting and such make this option no longer a good one for most users. That and I've been finding less and less through google, not sure of the reaso
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The huge gains are going to be in RIAA lawsuits. Do your part to keep uTorrent under he radar - install limewire today.
  • Gnutella? really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:12PM (#23093640) Journal
    I'm amazed anyone is still using the Gnutella network. Have there been any improvements to it recently? Last I used it, probably 5 years ago, it was awfully slow. Both in searching and downloading, even edonkey was faster. Plus, it didn't seem useful for much other than individual mp3s. Again, on edonkey you could still find rars of full albums.

    Of course, private trackers that focus on a certain niche of content (full albums, classic games, textbooks, etc) with quality control and ratios to ensure seeding are far and away the best. There's not a P2P app anywhere that can compare with what Oink offered. But torrents seem really underrepresented on this list. Limewire is on 36% of PCs surveyed, but only 28% of PCs surveyed had any bittorrent client at all? What gives?
    • Re:Gnutella? really? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Digi-John ( 692918 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:18PM (#23093748) Journal
      I still use gnutella because I can *generally* find a specific mp3 within a few minutes. That's what it's good for, an impulse downloading of a reasonably popular song.
      • Wow, I am surprised that gnutella is still popular. I remember using gnut client in Linux many years ago (early 2000s).

        For kicks, I installed Mutella [] in my Debian box since gnut is outdated and seems to be dead. Now, I seem to be missing servers to connect. What are good sources to get servers to connect to these days? I want to see how good of files to find...
    • Have there been any improvements to it recently? Last I used it, probably 5 years ago...
      my guess would be yes
    • Re:Gnutella? really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by explosivejared ( 1186049 ) <> on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:28PM (#23093888)
      I am a high schooler still, and as such am in contact with many high schoolers. Most of the kids that file share simply don't want to bother understanding the simple concepts of a client versus a tracker. The fact that you can't just open a torrent client window and automatically start downloading is a real turn off. It's sort of crazy that kids will go out of their way to find new cgi proxies daily to circumvent filters at school, but don't have the will to do a web search for a torrent and use a client to download them.

      There is no real difference in simplicity between limewire and torrent, but there is a major one in perception. Kids see these boxes with "ports" that they have to configure and test, and they just lose all interest interpreting that there is some deep knowledge of computers required. They completely disregard the fact that limewire is less safe and that the community surrounding torrent is much more cooperative and helpful. It's really weird. I can't explain it other than kids are only interested in "cool" stuff that requires no effort, or what they perceive to be no effort.

      If you can't parse it already, I'll just go ahead and say that, yes I do have trouble relating to my peers sometimes.
      • The same is true of people of any age. I am surprised, though, that Limewire is this popular with any group. It stopped being competitively acceptable in late 2000.
      • by Omestes ( 471991 )
        I don't get it. Associate .torrent with uTorrent in your browser. Okay, thats one click. Bookmark PirateBay... Okay, one click. Search... Click link... automagically download whatnot...

        Its not bloody hard. Its nothing like having to manually dial and search pirate BBSs or anything, or ssh to the super-secret hidden warez repository located in some strange directory on your uni's server.

        Is your generation just lazy, or just stupid? I'm not talking about you, but...

        er... get off my lawn.
  • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:19PM (#23093762)
    FTS: "'Big announcements' are often backed up by a dubiously small data set or not backed up at all."

    In this case, the data set is very large, but still of dubious relevance.

    The data was collected from the 1.6 million computers by an anti-malware software product I've never heard of, using techniques that would get it itself labeled malware by more reputable anti-malware products. A product that rates only 3 out of 5 stars at From a company that rolled over when Gator sued them for calling their spyware "spyware".

    Unless there is data to support the assumption that the rubes who blindly install and run PC Pitstop software on their Windows boxes are a representative sampling of the computer user community as a whole, I don't see how this announcement contains any meaningful findings at all.

    • I agree - virtually no knowledgeable users would have been surveyed by this quasi-spyware. Anything that focuses attention on the bad software and keeps it off of torrents is a good thing, though.
    • rubes who blindly install and run PC Pitstop software on their Windows boxes are a representative sampling of the computer user community as a whole,
      But "rubes" is exactly how i'd generalize the general populace. How is this not an accurate representative sample, then?

      Keep in mind that when we speak about the Average Person, we're talking about people with little-to-no understanding of ANYTHING. They just do what they're told and don't ask questions.
  • Meanwhile, uTorrent has made huge gains during this period soaring into second place and posing a genuine challenge to LimeWire.

    I would say more accurately that it poses a major challenge to the RIAA/MPAA then to LimeWire, which is hardly going to suffer from the success of another P2P client/network.

  • by OldHorton ( 198621 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:47PM (#23094092) recorded this information by offereing free malware scans. The very first lines at their web site are "Is your PC acting sluggish? Are strange windows inexplicably popping up on your screen?" If you have Limewire installed you probably fit that category dead on. Of course they're going to use their free services to try and remedy it. People with uTorrent don't necessarily have that problem so no point to going there.. besides they already run anti-malware apps they got via torrents anyway.

    Those 1.6million PCs are only those that suffered problems that wanted that free scan. It basically just tells me that 17.8% of all PCs with problems had Limewire installed.
  • The Best News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @02:54PM (#23094160)
    The best news is to find out that your own P2P app isn't even listed. That might put you below the litigation radar threshold.
  • Sorted by Network (Score:4, Informative)

    by mzs ( 595629 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @03:01PM (#23094236)

    40.5% Gnutella
    28.5% Bittorent
    04.6% Ares
    04.0% eDonkey
    01.5% FastTrack
    00.9% Pando
  • I find it completely ridiculous that Shareaza isn't even on the list. It's completely inaccurate. This data can't be right! I thought it'd be #3 at least. It's the best one I've ever used and I know it's super popular. I mean I know a lot of really stupid people use Limewire but Bearshare and Kazaa beat Shareaza? That's simply incorrect.
  • by kEnder242 ( 262421 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2008 @04:03PM (#23094986)
    Dont talk about Usenet...
  • The important thing to look at here is why did Azureus lose so many users to uTorrent? The easy answer is that Azureus lost it's way. One day, I upgraded my client and it was this huge, bloated... THING.

    I gave it about 15 minutes before I sadly shook my head, deleted it and installed uTorrent. It's a shame b/c there was a lot of things I liked about Azureus - especially those things having to do with individual privilege controls.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      One day, I upgraded my client and it was this huge, bloated... THING.

      I gave it about 15 minutes before I sadly shook my head, deleted it and installed uTorrent. It's a shame b/c there was a lot of things I liked about Azureus - especially those things having to do with individual privilege controls.

      Wouldn't a better solution been to simply go back to the version you had before?

      I'm still using Bitcomet 0.84 because it has the per-hour bandwidth throttle scheduling, and was the last version before they added

  • There is no such program as "uTorrent". "mTorrent" would be closer to the mark. However, I cannot spell the name of the program correctly here because Slashdot strips out Greek letters like Mu, no matter how I try to input them.

    That pretty screwed up! Isn't this news for nerds? Don't nerds use formulae with such symbols? Isn't Mu necessary as an SI prefix?

    • by blueg3 ( 192743 )
      Oddly, their domain name and the name of the executable are both "uTorrent".

      I'm thinking that "mTorrent" would be less accurate according to them.
      • Am I going to have a stream of people stating the absolute fucking obvious?

        I obviously know that a lot of people consider u to be the closest letter to Mu, due to its shape (though I consider p to be just as close). I was just pointing out that Mu is the Greek form of m, and that that fact is far more important that anyone's opinions on its shape.

        "mTorrent" would be less accurate according to those programmers? Who gives a fuck? Who made them the authority on Greek and English? Who was actually sugg

    • Slashdot is news for nerds who are also ISO latin-1 fanboys. We won't have any of this newfangled Unicode stuff, whether as UTF-8 or as HTML entities, no sir. The eight bits afforded by ISO-8859-1 ought to be enough for anyone.
  • My favorite (btdownloadcurses) din't even make the list!
    My favorite runs on the Linux command prompt.
    No locking up the X server.
    Simple as can be, I can run multiple torrents by opening more command prompts.
    It looks like the most popular torrent software is Windows compatible. Go figure.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!