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Mirrors/P2P & checksum info for easy segmented downloads
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06-09-2006 05:39 PM

Posted by:
Anthony Bryan

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My project, called metalink, stores the mirror locations (for segmented downloads) & p2p references to a file or files. (If the client doesn't support p2p, it just drops the info). There's also automatic checksum verification on downloads and a few other cool features that make life easier. It's mostly for download managers but could be used in many situations.

GetRight 6 (Windows DLM) & FlashGot (FF extension) support metalink now. KGet (part of KDE) and Downloader 4 X are adding metalink support.

A basic .metalink is a plain XML file that looks like this:

<metalink version="3.0" xmlns="http://www.metalinker.org/">
<files>
<file name=”example.ext”>
<verification>
<hash type="md5">example-md5-hash</hash>
<hash type="sha1">example-sha1-hash</hash>
</verification>
<resources>
<url type=”ftp”>ftp://ftp.example1.com/example.ext</url>
<url type=”ftp”>ftp://ftp.example2.com/example.ext</url>
<url type=”http”>http://www.example1.com/example.ext</url>
<url type=”http”>http://www.example2.com/example.ext</url>
<url type=”http”>http://www.example3.com/example.ext</url>
<url type=”bittorrent>http://www.ex.com/example.ext.torrent</url>
<url type=”magnet”/>
<url type=”ed2k”/>
</resources>
</file>
</files>
</metalink>

Pretty simple. Client grabs the segments/chunks from multiple sites, pieces em together when done, then runs a checksum to make sure they match up. It makes segmented downloading from multiple servers simple enough for anyone & its convenient for checksums to be automatic. It's really nice for big downloads like ISOs.

There's a video of metalink working in GetRight here: http://www.metalinker.org/implementation.html

Also, some example files here: http://www.metalinker.org/samples.html

thanks,

Anthony Bryan
http://www.metalinker.org/


Here's the .metalink for NeoOffice:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<metalink version="3.0" xmlns="http://www.metalinker.org/"
origin="http://www.neooffice.org/m3/neooffice.metalink"
type="dynamic" pubdate="2006-03-14-22:05:47" refreshdate="2006-03-14-12:22:23">

<files>

<file name="NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg">
<identity>NeoOffice</identity>
<version>2.0.Alpha3</version>
<description>NeoOffice - Mac OS X port of OpenOffice.org</description>
<os>MacOSX-PPC</os>
<tags>neooffice, open office, open document</tags>
<size>119467178</size>
<verification>
<hash type="md5">b5b0cb868fc2f948cb800ae82ef80935</hash>
</verification>
<releasedate>2006-02-01</releasedate>
<publisher>
<name>NeoOffice</name>
<url>http://www.neooffice.org/</url>
</publisher>
<license>
<name>GPL</name>
<summary>Short explanation of license</summary>
<url>http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html</url>
</license>
<resources>
<url type="bittorrent" preference="100">
http://www.freesmug.org/mirrors/neooffice/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg.torrent
</url>
<url type="http" location="us" preference="60">
http://planetmirror.com/pub/neooffice/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="http" location="de" preference="80">
ftp://ftp.plusline.de/pub/NeoOffice/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="http" location="no" preference="80">
ftp://ftp.uio.no/pub/neooffice/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="http" location="ca" preference="80">
http://gulus.usherbrooke.ca/pub/appl/NeoOffice/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="ftp" location="it" preference="60">
http://www.mug.uniroma3.it/neooffice/files/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="http" location="us" preference="80">
http://neooffice.trideja.com/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="ftp" location="us" preference="80">
http://www.planamesa.org/neojava/downloads/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="ftp" location="us" preference="80">
http://mirror.mcs.anl.gov/pub/neooffice/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="http" location="us" preference="60">
http://mirror.services.wisc.edu/mirrors/apple/neoofficej/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="http" location="us" preference="80">
http://www.freesmug.org/mirrors/neooffice/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
<url type="http" location="us" preference="80">
ftp://mirrors.dotsrc.org/neooffice/NeoOffice-2.0_Alpha_3-PowerPC.dmg
</url>
</resources>
</file>

</files>
</metalink>

06-14-2006 04:46 AM

Posted by:
iGetter Support

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Hello Anthony,
We plan to add support for the metalink format (since iGetter already supports file mirrors and automatic MD5 calculation), but we can't fix an exact timeframe at the present time.

Regards,
iGetter Support

P.S.: Please, use an alternative email when you contact us. The comcast.net server rejects our replies.

06-22-2006 11:42 AM

Posted by:
Anthony Bryan

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m3talink#AT#gmail#.#com or anthonybryan#AT#gmail#.#com should work.

07-06-2006 06:23 PM

Posted by:
Anthony Bryan

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The OpenOffice.org download page has been updated
http://download.openoffice.org/index.html or Download on the nav bar from any page.

You may wish to check the Wikipedia page it links to, and make sure all your features are correctly represented.

ant
---
Download Managers Download Managers There are several download managers that enable you to resume downloading after an interruption which is useful on unreliable connections. If you use the Firefox web browser, you will want to install the FlashGot extension which integrates these download managers with Firefox. Wikipedia has a comprehensive comparison of download managers.

See also:

* aria2 (Linux, open source, command line, checksum verification, BitTorrent / Metalink support)
* DownThemAll (Linux/Mac/Windows, Firefox extension, open source)
* Downloader for X (Linux, open source, GUI)
* GetRight (Windows, non open source, checksum verification, BitTorrent / Metalink support)
* iGetter (Mac/Windows, non open source, checksum verification)
* KGet (Linux, open source, included in KDE)
* ReGet (Windows, non open source)
* Speed Download (Mac, non open source, checksum verification, Metalink support)

09-03-2006 11:31 PM

Posted by:
Anthony Bryan

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Here's a good blog summary of Metalink:

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2006/08/28/metalinks-integrated-bittorrent-http-and-ftp-downloads/

'Metalinks makes complex download pages obsolete by replacing long lists of download mirrors and BitTorrent trackers with a single .metalink file. As you might have already guessed, a .metalink file is a file that tells a download manager all the different ways it can download a file. The file itself takes the form of an open XML standard that can list an unlimited number of HTTP and FTP sources as well as BitTorrent trackers and ed2k and magnet links.'

09-09-2006 04:24 PM

Posted by:
Ilgaz

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A thing I always dreamed of

I am glad someone finally came up with the idea of p2p sharing of downloads and mirror sharing. I am using OS X for years now and I didn't check new stuff on Windows naturally.

It will also make small shareware developers for Mac a bit more relax about hosting. I have seen some of them getting bad reviews just because their software is successful with thousands of users so their host basically can't handle a update download. Of course in real life, $20 shareware or freeware developer can't buy Akamai hosting :)

Just wanted to openly thank you for this standardised way of needed stuff and also iGetter developers for promising the feature.


09-11-2006 08:31 PM

Posted by:
Anthony Bryan

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Thanks for the support!

Four download managers on the 3 main platforms support it now with more on the way.

Maybe iGetter could be helped by seeing the source code of the 2 open source clients, and how they implemented metalink?

More info at http://www.metalinker.org

12-29-2006 12:14 AM

Posted by:
Anthony Bryan

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Just curious if iGetter will still be using .metalink. There aren't a lot of Mac specific things available with metalinks. There are quite a few ISOs for x86 / ppc though.

http://www.metalinker.org/

08-11-2007 09:48 PM

Posted by:
Anthony Bryan

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Any updates? It sounded like iGetter would support metalink. It allows for downloads to be automatically repaired, and much more reliable.

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