(Most of this guide was posted at OiNK.cd and presently resides in the Waffles forums, but these tips pertain to just about any private music tracker).
Tip #1A — Freeleech. Ah, freeleech - the magical elixir to bad ratios. Most trackers have some form of freeleech, be it on selected types of torrents, or for special time periods (holidays, site milestones, etc.). Either way, become very interested in freeleech. And we mean interested! Download everything you can - fill up your seedbox (if you have one) and rotate the torrents, but keep it full. Also be sure to fill up your home BitTorrent client, as well. You want to complete as many torrents as you can in the freeleech timeframe - some sites will have ‘freeleech weekends’ or other short promotions. You should save your completed downloads - then, once freeleech is over, you can (re)seed those torrents and completed files for free upload ratio, during non-freeleech times (whenever you want).
courtesy of SilentFury.
This is a guide containing every tip anyone has for keeping a good ratio. It was originally started by planrawsto on OiNK. He found an old (incomplete) copy of it and posted it here. I’m attempting to rebuild it to how I remembered it adding everything I can remember. Most of the ideas aren’t mine (even if there’s no credited user). They came from planrawsto or from the always excellent oink community. Thanks to everyone. If you have any tips I missed or comments/qualms/revisions of ones that are please post them here. The credited users are as of now mostly from oink and may or may not be members here.
Before I start I think its worth mentioning that its going to take a long time to seed here. You aren’t going to be able to download an album and seed it for a few hours and hit 1.0. Odds are you will have to seed things for months. That’s just how it is. At the time I’m typing this we have nearly 40 people seeding for every one person downloading. For comparison the pirate bay has about 0.5 people seeding for every one person downloading. Its how we like it (very fast download speeds) and it isn’t going to change anytime soon. So if you want a better ratio, here are some things to look into:
Look through every CD you’ve ever owned in your life. Search around the site to see if it’s on here. If it’s not, upload it! Even if you think that no one will be interested, do it anyway. Chances are you’ll get a snatch or two. You may be very surprised.
Tip #2 (Thanks to quentin135)
Keep in mind that multiple formats are allowed. In particular a V0, V2, 320mp3, FLAC, and Ogg version of an album can all coexist here and are always allowed if they don’t already exist. That means that with one CD and a bit of time you can put 5 different uploads on the site. That’s nearly a gig of upload per CD that you are guaranteed. If for some reason you really do have to prioritize a single FLAC upload will guarantee you around 500MB.
Tip #3 (Thanks to n180wl and Honeybucket)
Look around at the requests. Once in awhile a requester doesn’t bother to search other torrent sites and is easily found. (This has happened to be me twice while looking around at requests) Make sure the files you’ve downloaded and haven’t ripped yourself aren’t transcodes and upload at your own discretion. If you’re unsure if the songs are transcodes you can use software such as Adobe Audition to check the frequency and Mr. Questionman to check the bitrate(we don’t allow files below 192. Some sites do. keep this in mind).There are in depth guides about checking for transcodes in other threads.
Look at other torrent sites for EPs and other rare collectibles. If they have anything we don’t, download it and then upload it here. Again, make sure it doesn’t break the rules.
Tip #5 (Thanks to EnnaN)
Upload on a home server that you have on 24/7. If you don’t want to interrupt the flow if you like to game or are working try at night when you’re sleeping. So to all the people who don’t own too much cd’s : you could just seed for 24/7. If you can seed at a mere 10kb/s consistently you can upload about a gig a day.
Tip #6 (EnnaN)
Reseed everything to at least a ratio of 1. That was EnnaNs tip. But personally I recommend seeding everything you download from here forever. There’s no hard limit to the number of torrents you can seed, you can have hundreds. If you aren’t regularly maxing out your upload bandwidth there’s really no reason to ever remove a torrent from your client. If a torrent only gets you 10MB a year thats still 10 more MB than you’d have uploaded without it. Once you start maxing out your upload speed then prioritizing can become important but at that point your ratio is probably fine anyway. In my personal experience Azureus tend to lag alot if you are seeding several hundred torrents but uTorrent does not. So if you find that having tons of torrents is slowing you down consider making a switch.
The only exception to this are torrents from other trackers. A single torrent from the pirate bay will probably eat up 100% of your bandwidth 24/7 making it impossible for you to seed here. Deleting torrents from other trackers will help you seed better with your waffles trackers. Seed them to 1 or 2 or be a jerk and cut them as soon as they are done downloading. The choice is yours, but you should probably stop seeding them eventually if your ratio here is in trouble.
Even if a torrent has over 100 seeders, as long as you have a good connection you’ll still get leeched. As an example I tried out Fall Out Boy’s new album Infinity on High (don’t laugh) that had a bit over 1600 seeders that had a constant average of about 14 leechers. For the next 2 weeks I seeded and somehow managed to upload over a gig alone. You just never know!
Note by SilentFury: I’ll leave this in since it was in the original guide. However I think it is important to mention that for the vast majority of users torrents with tons of seeders will not generate significant upload. I do still recommend you continue seeding them anyway, but I don’t recommend downloading them as a ‘ratio booster.’
Tip #8 (Thanks to Ali)
One of the best ways to secure upload is to add your vote on a popular request (something with over hundreds of votes) for an upcoming album. As soon as the request gets filled, jump on the torrent like your life depended on it. You’ll soon see your uploaded amount skyrocket, especially if you’re clever and have a good upload speed.
Note: Keep in mind that the window of time during which this is a good idea gets increasingly smaller as your connection speed gets lower. Once a new release has a few hundred seeders (sometimes takes days other times only minutes) it will be very hard for users with small upload speeds to get alot of uploading done. A useful thing to do is to compare the current number of snatches with the number of people who have voted for the request. It is a safe bet that almost everyone who voted for the request will grab the torrent. So if the snatches are much lower than the votes you know more people are coming.
Tip #9 (Thanks to Tisme)
Go slow on number of torrents you download at a time and always keep an eye on your ratio. Develop patience and always wait until you have built some “buffer” (an upload amount that you can give up against future downloads).
Tip #10 (Tisme)
Seed. Seed. Seed. Depending on the upload speed of your Internet connection and the popularity of the torrents you downloaded, you may probably have to seed for a few (or several) weeks continuously to see a ratio of at least 1.
Tip #11 (Tisme)
Challenge yourself to become a Power User+ within a specific period of time (depending on the upload speed of your Internet connection). This will keep you watching all the necessary things all the time.
To expand on #10, if you know a new torrent has been getting some buzz and alot of people seem interested in it download it as soon as you see it come up! Even if you don’t want it, grab one or two songs and you’ll be on your way to ratio heaven.
Tip #13 (Thanks to Average)
Remember, waffles isn’t the only site out there. Chances are, you can find alot of stuff on any old torrent site. Waffles is mostly a safe and reliable guard for finding ultra rare stuff and plenty of excellent bitrates. If your ratio here is suffering there’s no reason you can’t download some albums that you don’t expect to be able to reseed well here from other trackers.
Tip #14 (Thanks to SilentFury)
Get clever (also known as connectable)! If it’s at all possible, this is probably the single most important thing you can do to upload more; If you aren’t clever you can’t upload to half of the site. Becoming clever will double the number of users you can upload to and most likely roughly double how well you are uploading. Setting up a static IP address and forwarding ports might help. There are guides (on this site and others) about getting clever so I won’t go into detail about how to do it here.
Tip #15 (SilentFury)
Make sure to add your bittorent client to the exceptions list of any firewalls you are running. You can try turning the firewall off altogether (briefly) to make sure that it isn’t the firewall that’s standing in your way.
Just because you don’t own any albums doesn’t mean you can’t get some to upload. Have a friend with an extensive collection? A parent? an uncle? a sibling? Odds are they won’t mind letting you borrow a CD for a day so you can rip it. And every album can net you a good gig of upload. It might be worth the trouble.
Check your local library. This is an often ignored resource. Almost all libraries have music that you can borrow (rip and upload) for free. Classical Music, World Music, Oldies, etc. It might not be your favorite but odds are someone on here will download it. And hey, it was free anyway. Also check out their collection of ebooks since those are allowed here as well.
Download from other sites then seed here. Some of the files we have here are literally identical to files hosted on other trackers. When this is the case you can download the files from anywhere and then simply download the .torrent file from this site and tell it to download the album to the location where the files already exist. Instead of downloading the album you can go straight to seeding. Note that the files must be ‘exactly’ the same or this won’t work.
The good new is that there are releases called [scene] releases. They are marked as such on most private trackers. Without going into what they are (It’s not important and I’m sure you can look it up) it will suffice to say that they are always exactly the same on every tracker. So download all the scene releases you can find from other sites and then seed them here.
If you have FLAC files they can be reencoded and not be considered transcoded. Which means you can upload those new files here. Turn your FLAC into a v0, a v2, a 320mp3, and an Ogg encode and upload all four of them here. I’m not recommending you download FLAC from here specifically to reencode them and upload them. That might get you a net ratio gain depending on the release and your upload speed but I make no promises. But if you already have some FLAC and were going to download them anyway, or can get them from another site then this is a great way to get some free ratio.
Get a better internet connection. It will cost money but it will definitely help. See what other companies offer in your area. Be sure to consider the upload speed they offer as well as the download speed. Theres often a huge difference between the two. You might even be able to get a better upload speed for comparable cost. Shop around. Also if you call your current ISP and tell them you want to leave to go to company X sometimes they will offer you slightly better service to try and keep you. If you are desperate it might be worth a try.
Get a seedbox. Again this will cost money, but it will without a doubt solve any ratio problems you have and it is always available no matter where you live. Most seedboxes have incredible speeds that will allow you to get a good ratio with almost no effort. If the cost is too high consider splitting the seedbox with other people you know or renting a part of someone else’s seedbox.
Rip your albums according to this guide: http://jiggafellz.isa-geek.net/eac/
That’s how people on this site like it to be done and doing it that way (and mentioning it in your torrent description) will get you more snatches. Yes sometimes the people here are uptight and picky, but the fact is that catering to them will get you more uploads. So bite the bullet.
On that note, make good descriptions. Yes, you are only required to include a tracklist. But if you include a nice looking description and album art people are more likely to download it. Add as many descriptive Tags as you can think of. Advertising works. If you think an album is amazing tell other people why they should think so too. If you aren’t one for words just Google a decent review.
Comcast (the major, often exclusive, ISP for the US east coast) throttles bittorrent uploads. Even if you are not on Comcast some of the fixes only work if both sides of the connection have done them. the WIPFW fix in particular. So if you aren’t on Comcast and you do the fix your uploads to comcast users will probably increase. Comcast is a very major ISP so this could help you out. Other ISPs do other nefarious things, Google your own ISP and make sure there isn’t a fixable problem with them.
Build your own ’seedbox’ to use at home. If you don’t like torrenting 24/7 on the PC you use now maybe you can do it on another one. Even an extremely old computer will probably be fine. It only needs to run one bittorent program after all. You might even have an old computer around the house that is considered worthless that would do just fine. Hook it up to the internet. Put your music and .torrent files and bittorent program on it and start seeding.
You can fill requests. Maybe the record is available cheap on amazon. There are people on this site who are willing to buy albums just to fill requests (god bless them). Maybe you can be one of them.
Music isn’t the only thing allowed here. If you have access to anything else that fits (read the rules) upload it. ebooks, comics, and applications (often huge!) have gotten a lot of people a lot of ratio. Look into them. You can usually get ebooks at your local library for free as well.
Stop Downloading. Seriously. Cut it out. That how you got yourself into this mess in the first place. Unless you have a very impressive connection it probably isn’t helping and if you do have a very good connection your ratio is probably fine. Just wait. Is there really no where else you can get that CD you want? Is it really worth your account here? Take a breather and worry about seeding what you’ve already got. Not downloading new torrents.
This helpful link will tell you if any torrent you have ever snatched is currently unseeded. (If you are seeding everything forever this should be empty). but if its not empty reseed those torrents. Its guaranteed upload. If these torrents aren’t in your torrent client anymore but you still have the files (music) odds are very good you have the torrent files saved too. Almost all torrent clients save them by default. run a windows search for “.torrent” theres a probably a folder full of them.
That’s everything I can remember. If you can think of any other advice that might help someone please post it here. If you think I need to clarify something, or that I’m giving people advice that will drive them into the ground post your thoughts. The goal here is that when someone says “Help my ratio sucks” a single link to this thread will be all the advice needed.
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