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Music Torrents Not Seeding Properly? Blame iTunes

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Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 14:08
Author: Blocked
iTunes just isn?t torrent-friendly. Importing or playing back your music files directly from a seeding torrent into a media player that alters ID3 tags or metadata can cause them to stop seeding. If otherwise healthy torrents are now getting stuck anywhere from 91-99% (or worse, at 0%), prompting you to redownload the files - most likely the culprit is iTunes. Even if you didn?t manually change the properties or tags on an MP3 file, iTunes may happen to be set up to do this automatically, thus altering the files and causing tracker seeding errors.

This situation isn?t isolated to just iTunes - even through Windows Media Player there?s the "Advanced Tag Editor" which will also alter the actual MP3 files (metadata), rendering them ?unseedable?. Likewise, the VLC Player also has an internal Playlist feature that allows for direct editing of tags.

Turn off "Keep iTunes Music folder organized"
During the installation of iTunes 8.1, be sure to select the "No, I?ll change the file and folder names myself" option.

If iTunes has already been set up, you can uncheck this feature in Edit > Preferences? > Advanced tab:

Fixing your torrents:
Unfortunately, the only option is to redownload the remaining parts of the torrent to bring them back up to 100%. In µTorrent, this can be done en masse by stopping all torrents, and while holding down the CTRL key, select each torrent that you need to recomplete. Right-click, and select "Force Re-Check". After they?ve been checked, start the torrents.

0% Finished ? If (some of) the music torrents are showing 0%, then likely the actual filenames have been changed, not just the ID3 tags. If you wish not to blow your ratio at What.cd or Waffles by having to redownload the entire contents of the torrent again, click on a torrent, and then click the "Files" tab in µTorrent. The proper filenames will be shown - simply go into the torrent folder and rename your files as originally listed in the torrent. After renaming, do a Force Re-check and restart the torrent. If both the filenames and the tags (metadata) were changed, a checked torrent may still report anywhere from between 0 to 99% complete.

Future Solutions
Keep your music playback directories separate from your seeding torrents. Make a backup copy for the music you intend on listening to, and leave the torrent directory for seeding only. For this, an external harddrive comes in handy.

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