N.A.G. (Network Auralization for Gnutella)

for Mac OS X and Windows 2000/XP

by Jason Freeman

Getting Started:

1. Wait until N.A.G. connects to the network. (Be patient, this may take a little bit of time.) Once you are connected, a search box will appear towards the top of the window (under the "Search" tab).

2. Type a search keyword into that search box. While any search keyword is possible, start out with a term that is likely to match a large number of songs. For example, "Beethoven" or "Louie Louie" or "love" would be good choices, while "pointwise periodic homeomorphisms" or the name of that garage band you played with in high school would be less good.

3. That's it! N.A.G. will automatically start downloading and playing the results of your search query. For explanations of all of the controls and displays in the program, please refer to the "user controls" section below.

User Controls:

Search Tab:

These controls deal with searching for songs on the Gnutella network and managing those searches and their results.

  • Find songs matching the following keyword(s): Type in the keywords describing what you want to search for. (There is no limit to the number of simultaneous searches you may perform.)

  • Active Keyword Searches: This table lists all of your keyword searches and the number of results they have returned. To see a list of all the results for a particular keyword, click on it. To cancel the highlighted keyword search (and to stop downloading all songs associated with it), click the "cancel selected search" button.

  • Results for selected keyword search: This table lists all of the results for the keyword search highlighted in the list above, along with status information (e.g. queued, downloading, finished, etc.) Results are listed in the order in which they are received. To abort specific results (and stop downloading them), select them and click the "abort selected result(s)" button. You can select multiple results at the same time by using the shift key.

  • Manually choose songs to download: When this option is selected, N.A.G. only queues search results for download if you select them and click the "download selected result(s)" button. (This button only appears when this option is selected.) When this option is not selected, N.A.G. automatically queues all search results for download.

  • Turn incoming search requests into outgoing keyword searches: When this option is selected, N.A.G. scans network traffic for incoming search requests from other gnutella hosts. When there are not enough results in the download queue, N.A.G. creates a new keyword search from the most recently-received incoming search query. (These searches appear on the "active keyword searches" list just like any other search would.) Please note that under many network configurations, N.A.G. receives very few incoming search requests; search requests may arrive as infrequently as once every several minutes!

Mix Tab:

These controls allow you to modify parameters of the auralization algorithm. This tab also displays information about what songs N.A.G. is currently playing.

  • Try to play x songs at once: This is the number of songs which N.A.G. tries to play simultaneously. If you are experiencing performance problems with N.A.G., try reducing this number.

  • Vary playback volume: N.A.G. can change the volume of each song independently, based on the speed at which it is downloading.

  • Vary playback speed: N.A.G. can change the playback speed of each song independently, based on the speed at which it is downloading.

  • Loop one/all song download(s) while waiting for more data: In "loop one" mode, N.A.G. will loop the last chunk of data it received when no data is being downloaded for any songs; in other words, at most a single song will loop at once. In "loop all" mode, N.A.G. will loop the last chunk of data it received when no data is being received for that particular song; in other words, many songs may loop at once.

  • Move amongst downloading songs: This parameter determines the minimum amount of time for which N.A.G. must play a song fragment before moving on to another one.

  • What's Playing: This uneditable display shows information about all of the songs which N.A.G. is currently downloading. For each song, it displays its status (playing or stopped), its counter position in the song, and the download progress.

Network Tab:

These controls provide advanced options which govern N.A.G.'s interaction with the Gnutella network.

  • I connect to the Internet via: Choose your connection speed.

  • Retrieve up to x results for each keyword search: The maximum number of results N.A.G. will retrieve for each individual keyword search.

  • Retrieve up to x results from each unique host: Gnutella is a peer-to-peer network, so when you download songs they come from a variety of different hosts. This setting allows you to specify the largest number of songs N.A.G. will try to retrieve from any single host. (Most hosts only allow you to download one song at a time.)

  • Wait for x seconds before aborting stalled downloads: If no new data is downloaded for a particular song for the specified number of seconds, it will automatically abort so that another song in the download queue may take its place.

  • Filter duplicate search results: N.A.G. will ignore duplicate search results. Depending on which option you select, N.A.G. will check for duplicates by comparing file size, artist, and/or title information.

  • Simultaneous downloads: The maximum number of songs which N.A.G. will download simultaneously. If you are experiencing performance problems or have a slow Internet connection, try reducing this number.

  • Simultaneous uploads: The maximum number of songs which N.A.G. will allow others to download from it simultaneously. If you are experiencing performance problems or have a slow Internet connection, try reducing this number.

  • Direct connections to peers: N.A.G. connects directly to a small number of peer hosts and "crawls" the network from there to find additional hosts. More direct connections often result in more search results and faster return of those results, but also consume valuable bandwidth and processor resources.

  • Incoming connections port: If you don't know what this is, you probably don't need to change it.

  • Sharing completed downloads: Once N.A.G. finishes downloading a song, it automatically adds it to a folder of songs which it in turn shares with other gnutella hosts. You may delete all the files in this folder if you want to conserve disk space, or you may move them to a different location. (In both cases, they will no longer be shared over the network.)

  • Network stats: Displays the total number of hosts visible over the network, the total number of files they are sharing, the total size of those files, and the number of directly-connected hosts.

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“N.A.G. (Network Auralization for Gnutella)” is a 2003 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., (dba Ether-Ore), for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Site and all contents copyright (c) 2003 by Jason Freeman