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The only way to find out where the many hours that music that the etree organization distributes is located, is through our mailing lists.  At this point, if you are not subscribed to the etree - announce list, you are required to do so.   Usually once a week, each etree FTP site operator sends a message to this list describing the contents of his or her etree server.  Click HERE to find out more about the etree organization's mailing lists.

3.1 - Introduction to FTP Clients

An FTP client is a computer program that allows users to easily login into an FTP server and view / download computer files and directories.  Most web browsers have a built-in FTP client.  However, the web browser's FTP program is not very sophisticated. 

One advantage to a good FTP program is that it allows you to resume downloading a partially downloaded file.  This comes in really handy when you have downloaded 85% of a large file and the connection times out.

For the purposes of the etree organization, most FTP clients are not correctly set-up right away.  They need to be configured.  The main feature you need to configure is called "pinging" or "hammering."    When you attempt to connect to a server and it is already full, many FTP clients have a feature that will attempt to connect to the server repeatedly (many times each second) until you are granted access. This is a perfectly acceptable feature in most instances, however for our purposes, it should be modified.  Retrying once every 120 seconds (2 minutes) is the least amount of time acceptable between reties.  If you try to connect more often than that, you risk the chance of being automatically banned from some etree FTP servers.

Below is information regarding the recommended FTP clients for different operating systems and how to correctly configure  each FTP client so it will be etree compatible.

3.1.1 - Configuring Your FTP Client - Windows

A good choice for an FTP client program for Windows is CuteFTP.

download.gif (151 bytes) Download: CuteFTP v4.0 (direct link - 1.52MB)

  1. Click on "Add Site" in the FTP Site Manager.

  2. "Site Label" is what you want to call the new site listing.

  3. "Host Address" is the name of the etree server (example:

  4. "User ID" and "Password" is what the etree site operator should have given you to to log into their server.

  5. Under the menu item "FTP" choose "Settings" and click "Options..."

  6. Set "Retry Delay" to a minimum of 60 seconds

  7. Under the "Advanced" tab, uncheck "KeepAlive"

3.1.2 - Configuring Your FTP Client - MacOS
  (Thanks Mike Kelleher - more Mac etree info HERE)

The best FTP client for the Mac seems to be Stairways Software's Anarchie.  It's fast and reliable.

  1. Go to the File menu and choose "Get Via FTP..."
  2. In the dialog box that follows, type in the server name, login, and password.
  3. Press Enter and Anarchie will attempt to connect.
  4. If you are having difficulties, go to the Window menu and choose Transcript.  This window shows all of Anarchie's communications with the FTP server.   If you can't login the most usual cause is that the FTP site has reached its user limit.  If this is the case then it will tell you in the Transcript window.  Try logging into a different site.
  5. Once you are in, Anarchie will display the default directory in a window that looks and acts a lot like a Finder window.  If you want to look inside a folder (directory) on the FTP site, double-click on it.  If you want to download a file or a whole folder's contents, just drag it to wherever you want in Finder (i.e. a hard drive, a folder window, or the desktop).
  6. Wait for a while (Anarchie will tell you the approximate time remaining) and when that window goes away you will have successfully downloaded.

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3.2 - Introduction to Shorten (.shn)

Shorten (.shn) is an audio compression scheme that is used to compress audio .wav files losslessly.  This means that after you uncompress a Shorten (.shn) file, everything that was in the original .wav is there.

For distribution and archiving purposes, the Shorten (.shn) files themselves can also be burned onto a CD-R as data.  One advantage to archiving Shorten files is that you'll never have to fool with digital audio extraction (DAE) from the audio CD, which can sometimes produce clicks and other undesired artifacts.


3.2.1 - How to Uncompress Shorten (.shn) Files - Windows 95/98

download.gif (151 bytes) Download shortn32.exe (direct link - 98KB)

To uncompress Shorten (.shn) files under Windows 95/98, you can visit the SoftSound website for a registered graphical version of Shorten for Windows.  Alternatively, you can use a DOS-based version of Shorten that has been tweaked a little for our use.

Instructions by Jeremy Clark for how to set it up to run painlessly on your Win95/98 system are here.

Also, Terrapin reports that he has made a handy compression/decompression bat file for Shorten for DOS, available here ("makes life a quick double click").

3.2.2 - How to Uncompress Shorten (.shn) Files - Windows NT

download.gif (151 bytes) Download shortn32.exe (direct link - 98KB)

Softsound's graphical version of Shorten is apparently compatible with Win NT. Otherwise, use the same shortn32.exe for DOS linked in the above paragraphs.

A little additional advice about batch files can be found here.

3.2.3 - How to Uncompress Shorten (.shn) Files - Mac OS (Thanks Mike Kelleher - more Mac etree info HERE)

Doug Hornig has ported Shorten for both Power Mac and 68K. The md5sum checking utility is also included!  Way to go Doug!

Doug posted a new version that exports to the native AIFF format!  Check it out.


3.2.4 - How to Uncompress Shorten (.shn) Files - Linux

Doug Hornig has ported Shorten for Linux. Check it out.

Linux SHN Howto.

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3.3 - Introduction to md5sum

After you successfully download all the Shorten (.shn) files, you first want to verify that the files you downloaded are not corrupted or otherwise unusable.  You do this by checking the Shorten (.shn) files you downloaded against the .md5 file.  What this does is check your download against the original files on the server.  Even though the files sizes may be exact, all it takes is one byte to be out of place to ruin the entire track.

download.gif (151 bytes) Download: md5sum.exe (direct link - 48k)

movieicon.gif (267 bytes) Movie Download: md5check.avi (direct link - 1.5MB) Thanks JeffK!

3.3.1 - Working with md5sum

First, make sure that a copy of md5sum.exe is in your c:\windows\command directory.  If it is not, please download the file and copy it there now.

Then, open up an MS-DOS window, go to the directory of the show you just downloaded and then go to the disc you want to check.

When you are in that directory, type: 
  md5sum -c [filename].md5

You must insert the name of the .md5 file [without the brackets].

Below is an example of a successful md5sum check:

D:\bh99-04-01.shnf\bh99-04-01d1.shnf>md5sum -c bh99-04-01.md5
bh99-04-01d1t03.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t04.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t06.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t07.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t09.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t01.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t02.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t05.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t08.shn: OK

On the other hand, if a track does not check out, it will return the following:

D:\bh99-04-01.shnf\bh99-04-01d1.shnf>md5sum -c bh99-04-01.md5
bh99-04-01d1t03.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t04.shn: FAILED
bh99-04-01d1t06.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t07.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t09.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t01.shn: FAILED
bh99-04-01d1t02.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t05.shn: OK
bh99-04-01d1t08.shn: FAILED

You will have to repeat the above steps in each directory of your download (usually divided up as each disc of audio).

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3.4 - Virus Concerns with etree files

Viruses can sometimes become attached to executable (.exe) files.  For instance, the CIH (Chernobyl) virus has already been circulating in Shorten (.shn) trading circles (if your computer died catastrophically on 4/26, you may have had it yourself).

For safety's sake, it's a good idea to keep known virus-free copies of Shorten on hand and only use those. Otherwise, run an up-to-date antivirus program before launching copies obtained elsewhere.

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3.5 - Why Do I Need to Know My IP Address?

Most FTP server software lets administrators set up access restrictions based on IP Addressing.  For example, your username and password may only be valid from a certain IP address.

For these reasons, many FTP site administrators require that you provide them with your IP address when requesting a login and password.

new.gif (111 bytes)  View your IP address by clicking on a web page!   This great page also performs a reverse traceroute (cool for all you techies)


This is a great alternative to the options below.

3.5.1 - Determining your IP Address - Win 95/98

START > RUN and type "winipcfg" (without the quotes).

3.5.2 - Determining your IP Address - Win NT

If you are running winnt, the go to start, then run, and type "command" (without the quotes). Once the DOS window comes up, type "ipconfig" (without the quotes).

3.5.3 - Determining your IP Address - Mac OS  (Thanks Mike Kelleher - more Mac etree info HERE)

Open the "TCP/IP" Control Panel.  The number next to the words "IP Address:" is your IP address.

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3.6 - Determining your Connection Speed

Knowing the speed that you are connected to the Internet at is important because it will often determine how fast you can download Shorten (.shn) files (the other consideration, obviously, is the available bandwidth of the server from which you are downloading).

Here is a great place to check how fast your Internet connection is.   It even has a 'barometer' to gauge what the numbers mean!


Another Great site that shows your UPLOAD speed as well, very helpful to determine if you can run a server too! Find it HERE (


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