FAQ

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This page represents official TMB policy or guidelines. Yarr!

Contents

Site information

We intend to be the 1st stop for torrents for: The Essential Mix, The Breezeblock, Kiss FM, XFM, Worldwide, BTTB, One World, Blue Room, The Milk Run, Solid Steel, Annie On One and much more... Before you do anything here we suggest you have a look at the rules.

What is this BitTorrent all about anyway? How do I get the files?

The idea behind Bittorrent is the SHARING of files. As you download a file you will also upload the parts you already have to help others. Bittorrent only works because other users like you are also sharing the files so please be considerate and leave the files open in your bittorrent client for as long as you can. The site will keep track of your sharing ratio, the more you share the more music you have access to.

If you are new to BitTorrent then you will be advised to have a look at the very good guide to BitTorrent which explains how BitTorrent works and how to get started.

For a BitTorrent client we recommend using qBittorrent or uTorrent. Both clients keep track of all your torrents for you, making it easier to seed and maintain a decent ratio. See the Client whitelist for more supported clients.

Where does the donated money go?

All donated money goes towards hosting the site.

How does the auto ban/warning system work?

Auto warnings

Every day we automatically issue warnings to any account which has a low ratio. The account then has a warning flag issued recording the date and account statistics when the warning was issued.


Auto bans

Every day we automatically ban any account which has been warned for over 30 days and whose ratio hasn't improved.

We also monitor the accounts currently flagged with a warning and will ban any one who is trying to download lots before the auto ban or whose ratio has gotten worse since the warning.

Other non-ratio related warnings can be issued by the admin team for abusive behaviour, persistent commercial uploads etc.

How does your RSS feed work?

See RSS Feed

How can I contact an admin?

If you are logged in to the site, use Message Admin to send a question to the admin team. If you are not able to log in to the site for any reason, use Contact Us. In either case your question will be answered by any available admin.

If you message an admin you see online directly on the site you may not get a response, especially if your question is already covered in the FAQ.

User information

I registered an account but did not receive the confirmation e-mail!

To delete the account so you can re-register, send a message to the admin team with this form. Note though that if you didn't receive the email the first time it will probably not succeed the second time either so you should really try another email address.

I've lost my user name or password! Can you send it to me?

Please use this form to have the login details mailed back to you.

Can you rename my account?

Possibly. Send a message to the admin team explaining why using this form.

What happens to my account if I don't use it?

Some user accounts are disabled for inactivity.

Accounts are inactive if the user hasn't not logged in for 3 months. At 3 months you will get a notification, a reminder after 1 month and disabled if another month passes.

Accounts are unused if the user has signed up a year ago and not used the account since signing up. Unused accounts will be disabled if not used within 30 days of first notification.

These rules apply to all user and uploader classes. All accounts Resident and above are exempt from being disabled for inactivity. Furthermore, if you are seeding at least 5 torrents you will not be disabled (although you will still recieve notifications).

If you know that you will be away from internet for a long time, you may park your account from your profile page. Parked accounts cannot login to the site and use of the tracker is restricted to seeding, i.e. parked accounts can seed but can not download new torrents.

Can you delete my (confirmed) account?

Send a message to the admin team including the email address you signed up with using this form.

So, what's MY ratio?

You can view your ratio on your profile page

It's important to distinguish between your overall ratio and the individual ratio on each torrent you may be seeding or leeching. The overall ratio takes into account the total uploaded and downloaded from your account since you joined the site. The individual ratio just indicates the values for each torrent.

You may see two symbols instead of a number: "Inf.", which is just an abbreviation for Infinity, and means that you have downloaded 0 bytes while uploading a non-zero amount (ul/dl becomes infinity); "---", which should be read as "non-available", and shows up when you have both downloaded and uploaded 0 bytes (ul/dl = 0/0 which is an indeterminate amount).

Why is my IP displayed on my details page?

Only you and the site moderators can view your IP address and email. Regular users do not see that information.

Why does my profile show "unconnectable"? (And why should I care?)

The tracker has determined that you are firewalled or NATed and cannot accept incoming connections. This means that other peers in the swarm will be unable to connect to you, only you to them. Even worse, if two peers are both in this state they will not be able to connect at all. This will slow down your torrents and reduce your chance of being able to upload anything, so it's in your best interests to fix it.

Have a read of the How to become connectable page or lookup your router on portforward.com).

What are the different user classes?

User The default class of new members.
UserStar.gif Has donated money to themixingbowl.org.
Uploader Allowed to upload torrents. For information on how to become an Uploader please see the uploading section of the FAQ.
Resident User who has contributed to the site. To become a Resident you must meet ALL the following criteria:
  • Have to be registered on the site for more than 3 months
  • Have a ratio of 1.0+
  • Downloaded more than 5GB
  • At least 5 forum posts

And at least ONE of the following criteria:

  • Over 200 forum posts
  • Uploaded over 20 individual torrents
  • Uploaded over 100GB
  • Have donated any amount

Residents are exempt from being disabled for inactivity.

Other Customised title. Only an Administrator can customize someones title.
Broadcaster Participates in the TMB Radio shenanigans.
Pipecock There is only one Nifty Pipecock.
VIP Awarded to a user in recognition of an outstanding contribution to TMB. Our way of saying you're pretty bloody awesome.
Administrator Can do just about anything.
SysOp coptang (site owner). RIP.

Hey! I've seen a Resident with less than 100GB uploaded!

Members who make an outstanding contribution to The Mixing Bowl may be promoted to Resident before they meet all the normal criteria.

How do I add an avatar to my profile?

You can set your avatar from your Preferences page.

Select the image you wish to use as you avatar and the click "Submit changes" at the bottom of the page. The site accepts JPEG, PNG and GIF image types and they are resized automatically to the appropriate size for the forum. You can upload files up to 2MB in size, if the original is larger than this you will need to manually reduce it's size before uploading. GIFs are not resized and there is a 100KB file size limit for these.

Can I become an admin?

No. I'm afraid getting to be an admin by asking is not possible on themixingbowl.

Uploading

Why can't I upload torrents?

Only specially authorised users (Uploaders) have permission to upload torrents.

What criteria must I meet before I can join the Uploader team?

Any member can become an uploader. In order to join the uploader group read the instructions and fill out the form on the Uploader Request page to signify that you've read the rules about what kind of torrents are allowed (no commercial releases!).

Once you've done this an admin will add you to the uploaders group. This is a manual process so please allow a few days for this to happen. You will be sent a PM to confirm when your account has been upgraded.

General Uploaders Etiquette (Uploading Guidelines)

Maintain excellence at all times. For a more in-depth discussion of what this involves, see the Uploading Guidelines page.

How should I title my torrent? (Torrent Naming Guidelines)

This is covered in the Uploading Guidelines.

Why have I been demoted back to a user from uploader status?

There are a number of reasons you might have been demoted to user from uploader or resident. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Uploading commercial releases
  • Uploading stream rips
  • Persistently uploading poorly classified torrents
  • Uploads not following the naming guidelines

What will happen if I ignore any of the uploading guidelines?

The upload will be deleted, and if you do it persistently you will be demoted. If you persistently upload commercial releases or argue with an admin you will probably be banned as well.

Can I upload the new blahblahblah music video?

No, music video's are treated the same as single songs and are not allowed. vj mixes, mashups etc are normally ok, if you are in any doubt at all ask before uploading.

Can I upload a stream rip?

See the Internet Radios page for rules about uploading internet radio streams.

Can I upload your torrents to other trackers and/or share them with my friends?

No. Each torrent you download from here contains a unique ID linking it to your account. If other people try to download using the same torrent they will mess up your stats, which could result in you getting banned.

However, the files you download from us are yours to do as you please. You can always create another torrent, pointing to some other tracker, and upload it to the site of your choice. We only ask you to give credit where it's due.

How do I create a torrent?

See the Bittorrent client guide page for guides on how to create torrents.

Stats

Most common reason for stats not updating

  • The user is cheating. (a.k.a. "Summary Ban")
  • The server is overloaded and unresponsive. Just try to keep the session open until the server responds again. (Flooding the server with consecutive manual updates is not recommended.)
  • You are using a faulty client. If you want to use an experimental or CVS version you do it at your own risk.

Best practices

  • If a torrent you are currently leeching/seeding is not listed on your profile, just wait or force a manual update.
  • Make sure you exit your client properly, so that the tracker receives "event=completed".
  • If the tracker is down, do not stop seeding. As long as the tracker is back up before you exit the client the stats should update properly.

May I use any bittorrent client?

NO. See the client whitelist for details of supported clients.

Why is a torrent I'm leeching/seeding listed several times in my profile?

If for some reason (e.g. pc crash, or frozen client) your client exits improperly and you restart it, it will have a new peer_id, so it will show as a new torrent. The old one will never receive a "event=completed" or "event=stopped" and will be listed until some tracker timeout. Just ignore it, it will eventually go away.

Another reason could be that you have given torrents you have downloaded from this site to other people. Each .torrent file you download contains a unique ID that links it to your account. For this reason sharing .torrent files you have downloaded from The Mixing Bowl is forbidden.

I've finished or cancelled a torrent. Why is it still listed in my profile?

Some clients, notably TorrentStorm and Nova Torrent, do not report properly to the tracker when cancelling or finishing a torrent. In that case the tracker will keep waiting for some message - and thus listing the torrent as seeding or leeching - until some timeout occurs. Just ignore it, it will eventually go away.

Multiple IPs (Can I login from different computers?)

Yes, the tracker is now capable of following sessions from different IPs for the same user. A torrent is associated with the user when it starts, and only at that moment is the IP relevant. So if you want to seed/leech from computer A and computer B with the same account you should access the site from computer A, start the torrent there, and then repeat both steps from computer B (not limited to two computers or to a single torrent on each, this is just the simplest example). You do not need to login again when closing the torrent.

How does NAT/ICS change the picture?

All torrents are tracker on a per-client basis. Any number of user accounts and/or Bit Torrent clients can report from the same IP address and account stats will be updated correctly.

How do I improve my ratio?

Read the One Stop Ratio Shop.

Downloading

Why did an active torrent suddenly disappear?

The most likely reasons are that the uploader deleted it because there was a problem with the release, or an admin/moderator deleted it because it broke the site rules.

How do I resume a broken download or reseed something?

Download the original .torrent file from server after that open it in you Bit Torrent client and browse the folder of the torrent you are downloading/reseeding.

What are these "a piece has failed an hash check" messages?

Bittorrent clients check the data they receive for integrity. When a piece fails this check it is automatically re-downloaded. Occasional hash fails are a common occurrence, and you shouldn't worry.

Some clients have an (advanced) option/preference to "kick/ban" clients that send you bad data or similar. It should be turned on, since it makes sure that if a peer repeatedly sends you pieces that fail the hash check it will be ignored in the future.

You have the torrent I want, but there's no seeds so I can't download it!

It may be possible still to download, first of all - just download it and leave it running. There's possibly seeds out there but don't know anyone wants the torrents, at least if you download it you have a chance. If this fails, you can request a reseed. A link will appear on torrents which are eligable for reseed. See reseeds for more details.

The torrent is supposed to be 100MB. How come I downloaded 120MB?

See the hash fails topic. If your client receives bad data it will have to redownload it, therefore the total downloaded may be larger than the torrent size. Make sure the "kick/ban" option is turned on to minimize the extra downloads.

What ports can I use with my Bit Torrent client

Due to the widespread use of Deep Packet Inspection by ISPs the choice of a non standard port to use for Bit Torrent connections no longer improves transfer speeds. The Mixing Bowl does not restrict the usage of any ports for clients however it does recommend the use of protocol encryption. Please consult the manual for you client for details on enabling protocol encryption.

Why do I get an "Error (You need a better ratio to download megatorrents!) message?

In order to prevent members from digging a big hole in their ratio they can't get out of, they are prevented from downloading any torrent over 1GB.

You can only download megatorrents with a ratio better than 0.75. If the size of torrent is more than you have downloaded, you must have enough uploaded, such that downloading the torrent will not drop your ratio below 1.0. For example, a 10G torrent can be downloaded by a user with a ratio of 0.8 and 12G downloaded but could not be dowloaded by a user with a ratio of 0.8 and 9G downloaded.


How can I improve my download speed?

Do not immediately jump on new torrents

The download speed mostly depends on the seeder-to-leecher ratio (SLR). Poor download speed is mainly a problem with new and very popular torrents where the SLR is low.

(Proselytising sidenote: make sure you remember that you did not enjoy the low speed. Seed so that others will not endure the same.)

The best speeds will be found around the half-life of a torrent, when the SLR will be at its highest. (The downside is that you will not be able to seed so much. It's up to you to balance the pros and cons of this.)

Limit your upload speed

The upload speed affects the download speed in essentially two ways:

  • Bittorrent peers tend to favour those other peers that upload to them. This means that if A and B are leeching the same torrent and A is sending data to B at high speed then B will try to reciprocate. So due to this effect high upload speeds lead to high download speeds.
  • Due to the way TCP works, when A is downloading something from B it has to keep telling B that it received the data sent to him. (These are called acknowledgements - ACKs -, a sort of "got it!" messages). If A fails to do this then B will stop sending data and wait. If A is uploading at full speed there may be no bandwidth left for the ACKs and they will be delayed. So due to this effect excessively high upload speeds lead to low download speeds.

The full effect is a combination of the two. The upload should be kept as high as possible while allowing the ACKs to get through without delay. A good thumb rule is keeping the upload at about 80% of the theoretical upload speed. You will have to fine tune yours to find out what works best for you. (Remember that keeping the upload high has the additional benefit of helping with your ratio.)

Limit the number of simultaneous connections

Some operating systems (like Windows 9x) do not deal well with a large number of connections, and may even crash. Also some home routers (particularly when running NAT and/or firewall with stateful inspection services) tend to become slow or crash when having to deal with too many connections. There are no fixed values for this, you may try 60 or 100 and experiment with the value. Note that these numbers are additive, if you have two instances of a client running the numbers add up.

Limit the number of simultaneous uploads

Isn't this the same as above? No. Connections limit the number of peers your client is talking to and/or downloading from. Uploads limit the number of peers your client is actually uploading to. The ideal number is typically much lower than the number of connections, and highly dependent on your (physical) connection.

Just give it some time

As explained above peers favour other peers that upload to them. When you start leeching a new torrent you have nothing to offer to other peers and they will tend to ignore you. This makes the starts slow, in particular if, by change, the peers you are connected to include few or no seeders. The download speed should increase as soon as you have some pieces to share.

Why is my internet so slow while leeching?

Your internet bandwidth is always finite. If you are a peer in a fast torrent it may saturate your connection, and your browsing will suffer. From your client you can limit the download and upload speed to mitigate this.

Browsing was used just as an example, the same would apply to gaming, IMing, etc...

Proxy/VPN use

Site

If you wish to use a VPN to browse the site, it must be a paid for service that allows you to specify a server/region (or be based in a static location). You may also browse the site using your seedbox or private server. You should always let staff know by sending a staff PM before using the VPN. If possible, please include what service it is, the location, and IP(s). Tor, public proxies, and other freely available services are strictly prohibited and your account is likely to be disabled if you use them.

Tracker

It is permissible to use almost any type of connection - including public proxies - for P2P bittorrent traffic. Users can seed and download torrent pieces, and announce data to the tracker, from any connection they wish - with the exception of Tor which is forbidden.

It is worth noting that due to a combination of factors (increased latency, worse peering, bottlenecked traffic, inability to port forward, etc), users seeding from behind a proxy could see their upload speeds/net upload traffic decrease.

What if I can't find the answer to my problem here?

You can try these:

Post in the forums, by all means. You'll find they are usually a friendly and helpful place, provided you follow a few basic guidelines:

  • Make sure your problem is not really in this FAQ. There's no point in posting just to be sent back here.
  • Before posting read the sticky topics (the ones at the top). Many times new information that still hasn't been incorporated in the FAQ can be found there.
  • Make just one thread for your issue, an admin can move your thread to the right forum so you don't need to post in them all.
  • Help us in helping you. Do not just say "it doesn't work!". Provide details so that we don't have to guess or waste time asking. What client do you use? What's your OS? What's your network setup? What's the exact error message you get, if any? What are the torrents you are having problems with? The more you tell the easiest it will be for us, and the more probable your post will get a reply.
  • And needless to say: be polite. Demanding help rarely works, asking for it usually does the trick.