We live in an on-demand world. Its true. We're spoiled. I remember just a few years ago, downloading a 1GB file off of the Internet was completely unheard of. I also remember the time when 1GB was 25% of your total hard drive storage space!
But today technology had moved in leaps and bounds and we're riding the wave along with it. We have fast internet connections, large hard drives and even larger appetites for digital media of all sorts. I myself admit whole-heartedly to being an anime freak and complete narutard. Thankfully the internet provides.
There are several p2p (peer-to-peer) fileshareing programs out there, but the recent rise of File Depositories, such as Rapidshare cannot be overlooked. I recently came across some files that I wanted to grab, that I couldn't find anywhere else, so I sat though the "download & wait for 15 min to download another file" process, before thinking of a way to make an automatic downloader from Rapidshare, using some code I was toying with a couple of months ago...
Alas, the story of my life... someone had already done it! Turns out there are several free rapidshare downloaders. So I went off and looked at most of the options available, benchmarked them
I review here my findings along with brief information on how to "click-and-forget" rapidshare downloads, and most imporantly, for FREE!
Next we see what my expectations were out of a good RapidShare Downloader >>
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Step 1: Free Rapidshare Downloader Review
I absolutely love benchmarking. I love it because I know that after I'm done, I will have optimised the efficiency of said task, thus saving my time in the future and extending my life expectancy :) Using this instructable I hope to save some precious time out of your lives, just as various other instructables have done for me.
My pass / fail requirements that I came up with off the top of my head were simple:
(a) Program must support free rapidshare users,
(b) Must be capable of standalone operation (i.e. no install necessary so I can use it at work :),
(c) Should be able to accept a .txt file of rapidshare links or monitor the clipboard',
(d) Be stable / reliable,
(e) Be free to use / donationware.
I reviewed about a half a dozen "free" Rapidshare downloaders. Long story short, after 4 days of testing and almost loosing patience, I ended up with a little jewel of a downloader that goes by the name of FreeRapid Downloader, Current version is FreeRapid Downloader 0.81, released on 16th January 2009.
(update) In the interest of fairness, these are the rejected RS DLers:
Other programs rejected and why:
RapGet: seemed ok at first, then reported errors on every connection attempt
jDownloader: Worked for a bit then would freeze. Couldnt get it to start again. Restarting program would cause it to loose all of the links!
Rapidown: Needs too much tweaking. Used router reconnect method to refresh your IP and get another patch. Other torrent downloads suffered, as well as common browsing.
Rapidshare freeuser multiple file downloader Avast gave trojan warning. Didnt risk it.
Rapidshare Direct Downloader: Also uses router reset method. I dont like this approach at all and I certainly dont mind a program waiting for 15 minutes to donwload the next RapidShare file! So why go through the trouble?
Rapidshare Leecher: Just sucks. Frustrating. Lost links, kept trying to download multiple RapidShare files. Made my computer bluescreen - first time in... maybe a year! REJECTED!
Next we briefly go over the installation procedure for FreeRapid 0.81 >>
Step 2: Install FreeRapid 0.82
*update: v0.82 released.
Download the program file from the Download list on the left hand side of the homepage. You will need to install Java, if you dont have it already.
Installing Free Rapid 0.81, just means extracting FreeRapid-0.81.zip, 5.30MB to a directory of your choice. I have made both the Windows and Mac versions available through this instructable, because I experience some slow connections some times.
I suggest you install it to C:/Program Files/ now, if you are on your home computer. I have one at home and one of a flash drive that I carry around with me. Works great.
This nifty program is written in Java, so its largly platform independent, although a MacOSX dmg installation package is made available for those lazy Mac users :)
Run the program by locating frd.exe and you will see a nice Java UI. There are only a hand full of settings that you need to change from the default to make this little program work wonders.
In the next step, I show you the best configuration settings for seamless downloading, without any interaction for you >>
Step 3: Configure for Ultimate Automation
I have added most directions as comments on the images below. Here are the details:
(1) Go to Options and make sure Clipboard Monitoring is ticked. (default).
(2) Go to Options > Preferences > General and set,
(a) If filename already exists: Overwrite. If you dont overwrite the program asks you for permission to do so before continuing. This is annoying because we want this whole business to go on unattended. Its also stupid, because you cant resume Rapidshare downloads. So just overwrite it.
(b) Remove completed downloads: Immediately. If you like to check on the download progress, and especially the average download speed of the completed downloads, then leave this on Never, so you can do it manually. I did actually leave it on for a while, to see what it was doing, but then I felt that the Feng Shui of my desktop improved when I clicked on FR and saw no files in the queue, which means All Downloaded Successfully!
(c) Shortcuts: whatever you like, wherever you like them :) Works
(3) Go to Options > Preferences > Connections and set,
(a) Max concurrent downloads: Set it to the number of filesharing services you are going to use. In this case, we are configuring FreeRapid for use with RapidShare only, so set it to 1. Rapidshare only allows one connection per IP anyway.
(b) Error attempts count':' Setting this to -1 means indefinite, which in my book means I'll definately get the file, once the server frees up. This step plays into how dependable the program is, and minimizes my interaction with the program once I set it up.
(c) Autoconnect time:' 'There is a window between downloads, which is approximately every 15 minutes I think. Setting this to 1000 sec = 16 min 45 sec, adds some buffer to that time, just for Zen purposes and also keeps the program from hammering RapidShare. In the future they might build in some defences, which will preclude these kinds of programs. So we add this restraint to adhere with RapidShare's rules (a bit) :)
(4) Go to Options > Preferences > Alerts and turn off the sounds. They fraked me out in the middle of the night, every 20 mintes kept hearing them. Plus, your boss might hear them too and get suspicious!
(5) Go to Options > Preferences > UI Settings and let the program minimize to the System Tray, so you dont have to look at it all the time. I dont like clutter on my taskbar, so system tray is great.
In the next step, we add some files to download >>
Step 4: Adding RapidShare Links
Chances are FreeRapid will grab the links off of you like a Rotweiller in a german sausage shop, before you even know what happened.
I'll tell you the best way to do it though. Say you find a list of RapidShare links, of a childhood favorite cartoon. In this example, I will be using an anime series called Gurren Lagann.
A disclaimer before I continue: This anime has been licensed by AMV and the Sci-Fi channel in June 2008. I dont like the english translation at all. This version is a low quality RealMedia japanese audio, english fansubbed version of the series. If anyone has a problem with that, or there is some instructables rule I'm missing, then please tell me and I'll change the example presented here, to some other. This is just what I have to show at the time of writing.
(A) Moving on, lets assume that FreeRapid is not running. Copy all of the RapidShare files to text file and save them.
(B) Start FreeRapid 0.81. It should go to the system tray.
(C) Go to your text file with the RapidShare links and press CTRL-A, to select all, and then CTRL-C, to Copy them to the Clipboard.
(D) FreeRapid will detect the links and Automatically pop up the Add URL window. If it doesnt, then simply click on the Add URL button, then Paste from Clipboard.
(E) Select a download folder, by pressing on the [....] and Click Start.
(F) Go to Bed. Get up, go to work. Come home. Make some ramen and a Mayo/Honey Ham/Jalapenio Jack Chese sammich and enjoy yourself a bit of Yoko :)
FreeRapid supports many filesharing services. More in the next step >>
Step 5: Multiple Filesharing Services Supported
The compatibility list that FreeRapid offers is vast. In addition to that, there are pluging updates on offer almost every time that I restart the program, which add filesharing services to the list.
I decided to try some of these and add some screenshots as proof :)
You can see a full list of services that are compatible, by having a look at the plugins at Options>Preferences>Plugins.
Final Thoughts are next >>
Step 6: Final Thoughts
You have woken up to a new tomorrow, knowing you have saved yourself precious hours waiting for RapidShare timeouts.
Honest to god, this is some very boring and annoying stuff. We all have jobs, hobbies, friends, but our day usually gets bogged down by simply ... "facilitating" our lives. Downloading some anime is just one of those things. My hobby isnt downloading anime. Its watching anime. So the downloading part should take me a bare minimum amount of time to accomplish.
After a couple of days of testing and benching, I think program has allowed me to optimize my RapidShare downloading time, and I hope it helps you too.
I hope you find this Instructable useful. It is my first of many, I hope. All comments welcome.