Ipod Video
October 26, 2005 1:04 PM   Subscribe

Are all P2P file sharting networks evil and infect your computer with wiruses and spyware? Also, does anyone know how to copy DVDs (that I have legally purchased and copy them to my video iPod?
posted by danielpcummings to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
There's two ways to get viruses/spyware with a P2P network. The first is through the client software, the second is through downloading and running executables.

For client software, most BitTorrent clients are clean (I personally use Azureus), as are the right versions of Kazaa Lite.

If you're only downloading music, videos, and so on, you won't get any viruses except things like movie.mpg.exe that should be obvious to you as viruses. If you're downloading executables, then you end up having to run something and there's always that risk, but I've never seen someone bother to say, pack up a virus inside a CD-ROM image.

On BitTorrent, depending on the sites you use, you're less likely to get viruses as the releases are accountable to one person and probably have comments and administrators watching after the site.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:16 PM on October 26, 2005

here's two great sites I check usualy :

Doom9 and VideoHelp
posted by zouhair at 1:20 PM on October 26, 2005

Obligatory Apple-branded response:

Buy a Mac, and you won't get spyware and viruses.
Then get MacTheRipper to grab the film from your DVD, use ffmpegX to convert it to an iPod playable format, then upload it using iTunes.
posted by armoured-ant at 1:32 PM on October 26, 2005

Comprehensive Ars Technica article
posted by cillit bang at 1:43 PM on October 26, 2005

For client software, most BitTorrent clients are clean (I personally use Azureus), as are the right versions of Kazaa Lite.

Have you ever tried utorrent TheOnlyCoolTim, executable less than 1 MB and less than 11 MB at the RAM, just uninstalled Azureus.
posted by zouhair at 1:47 PM on October 26, 2005

If I am a windows based user what is the best (legal) way to get my DVDs on my iPod. Looks like lots of options for Apple. How about Windows?
posted by danielpcummings at 3:50 PM on October 26, 2005

The easiest way to avoid all traces of spyware / adware from P2P is to do the following two simple things:

1. Use an open source client. Download it from a trusted website, i.e. something from the _real_ google results, not the _sponsored_ results. If you don't use an open-source client, use one that others speak highly of and is known to not contain crapware. Never try something you've never heard of before without doing a little research on it. It is apparently very popular by scumbags to take popular p2p apps and repackage them with all sorts of crap and then advertise these on download sites and such.

2. Be aware of file formats. For music you should only be downloading music files, like .mp3, .wma, .flac, .wav, etc. If you see music files that are "self extracting" or whose filename ends in .exe, do not download it. Windows works against you here by hiding file extensions by default, and you should turn that shit off the first time you sit down at a new computer.

Sometimes you will find music in .zip or .rar archives, which is fine, but you have to have the same discipline with the contents - only keep it if it contains actual music formats, never run anything that's an executable.

The same thing goes for videos - download only video formats (.mpg, .qt, .mov, .avi, etc). If you see something that's self-extracting, run away.

That's it. Simple. Crapware from p2p only happens to people that make really dumb decisions.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:25 AM on October 27, 2005

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