MediaTrak Logo MediaTrak Title

About MediaTrak

Terms of Use

Media Types and Players

Add A Site

Searching Help

Downloading Help

Downloading Help

Contents of this page

Understanding what's wrong when clicking on a song doesn't work.

Virtually everything that you browse through on the web is transferred to you by the HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol). When you click on a file to download it, it can be transferred either by HTTP or FTP (File Transfer Protocol). All files indexed by MediaTrak reside on FTP servers, meaning that all files will be transferred by FTP. Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer specialize at showing you web pages and generally don't do a good job at handling FTP. By clicking on a file in one of these browsers, you're having the browser do something it's not very good at.

Sometimes the server is just not available; MediaTrak does its best to make sure that all the results shown are on servers that are available. Most often the problem is that the server is too busy; In order to keep transfer speeds decent, many sites must impose a limit on how many files can be transferred. Requests for files are denied when this limit has been reached.

Many site administrators may also impose a ratio, meaning that if you wish to download (take) something you must first upload (give). This is often a problem when trying to download files, especially while using web browsers because they don't tell you when this is the case. While the browser may tell you that the password is incorrect, it could actually mean that there is a ratio implemented.

In the ideal situation the FTP server is not busy (not to mention, operational) and it has no problem with sending you the file you clicked on. Unfortunately, this is hardly ever the case. Some FTP administrators dislike requests from browsers enough that they implement ways to prevent transfers to them. The server returned extended information message could be a result of any of the above reasons. The only solution in a case like this is to use an FTP client.

What is FTP? / How do I use FTP? / What is an FTP client?

As stated above, FTP is a File Transfer Protocol. It is a client-server based service meaning that there is a server which is like a file library and a client (you) which sends and receives files to and from the server. You, as the client, need a program -an FTP client- to access the server. While web browsers can be FTP clients, they don't make very good ones. Among the most used FTP clients are CuteFTP and FTP Voyager. These clients allow you to easily choose files to upload and/or download (uploading is sending a file to the server; downloading is receiving a file from the server).

In order to connect to an FTP server you need the following information about it (with telephone anology):
  • Host Address - This is like its phone number. It can either be a 4-part number (i.e. or a name (i.e.
  • Port - This is like the extension. The default port is 21. If the port is 21, it doesn't need to be specified.
  • Login & Password - The login identifies who you are and the password to verify. Many sites have a login and password that they make available for anyone to use such as login:mp3 and password:mp3. An account such as this is made publicly known through such services like MediaTrak. Many sites are meant to be truely available to the public and support anonymous logins*. For these sites the login is "anonymous" and the server will typically ask you for your email address as the password.
* Logging into a public site is not truely anonymous. They know your IP (Host) address (like Caller ID) and you are also giving them your email. However, they cannot determine anything about 'who you are' except that you have given them your email. If you were to not give them your true email address, then they would not be able to contact you.

Ratio in a nutshell

Ratio means you must send a file before you can download one
Non-ratio means that you may download the file without restriction. A server that is non-ratio can be considered free. These are also known as leech sites.

Non-Ratio, Ratio and Banner sites

A non-ratio site is a site where you may download without having to first upload. There is no requirement to download (except, of course, that the server must be operational and available). Files returned by this search engine marked with green mean that that particular file is non-ratio and can be downloaded for free.

Ratio sites and banner sites, on the other hand do not allow you download files for free. A banner site is one which demands that you visit a website and click on advertisements in order to obtain a password which will allow you to download files. While MediaTrak discourages you from patronizing these sites, we will not prevent those who want to from taking an advantage of them.
Ratio sites, similarly, have requirements before you may download. To download you must first upload. Like with banner sites, MediaTrak will not prevent users from taking advantage of these sites.
There may be other reasons why a site will not allow free downloads. For example, the administrator may only be putting files on for show so that others may see them. The users can then solicit the administrator for a trade.
Whatever the reason may be, files that may not be downloaded without restriction will be marked with red.

Copyright © 1999, 2000 PearlMagik, All Rights Reserved.