So I’m sitting here in the office, doing the usual, browsing for mp3 files while I should be working. It strikes me as odd, how other people that walk by sometimes ask stupid questions like “what are you doing?” and “can you find an mp3 for me?”. First off, stop looking at my god damned screen and second, why not ask me something good? Why not ask me how I can show you how to find your mp3?
Be sure to check out MP3s in the office: Part 2 and Mp3s in the office: Part 3 for more techniques (and pictures!).
I’ve had a few people mention that I can get a good deal of mp3s via P2p clients and bittorrent. Now, this is true, but the last few offices that I have worked in have completely blocked all P2P and bittorrent usage. So, in the spirit of “there’s got to be a way around this” I give you four little words…
Learn your search engine.
Back in the good old wild west days of the internet, a man could get by with just typing in something like “metallica mp3” and then pour through a few hundred (okay, maybe a few thousand) links to find tons and tons of pages with free (eg. illegal) mp3s.
These days, I’m quite a bit too impatient and extremely unwilling to go through 2 – 4 million different sites (from the “metallica mp3” search) to find some music. Narrowing down the search would be good here, let’s do so. If I tell google something like… intitle:”index of” google will give me back quite a few site directories. Directories are a good thing because they tell me what files are available on someone’s website. If I were to just look at a person’s website, I would have to trust that person to show me what they have available. I’m not that trusting of a person. Think of looking at someone’s web page like looking at the outside of their house…it might be fancy and clean looking, but the occupants might be up to their eyeballs in debt and sitting on a dirt covered floor and looking at a non HiDef tv. Looking in someone’s directory is like walking into the house and seeing what’s really there.
Okay, our intitle:”index of” search needs another word to help narrow down the search. Since I don’t like Metallica, and how I’m teaching you how to steal from them, I suggest we change our google search to intitle:”index of” metallica. Wow, that narrowed down things quite a bit. A few years ago, that would have been all you needed to find a good number of directories…unfortunately, the search doesn’t just bring up directories. Some web sites are set up so that they come up in google when you have the term intitle:”index of” included in your search. they are trying to lure the more sheeply of internet denizens into their lairs so they may feast on mutton (eg. they are trying to get dumb people who don’t know what they are doing to click on their website to increase their traffic).
You generally want to stay away from anything ending in .htm or .html, as these are definitely not the directories that we are looking for. Let’s go ahead and filter out html files by changing our google search a bit. Let’s try something like… intitle:”index of” -filetype:html -filetype:htm metallica. The addition of -filetype:html filters the html files out of our search results. If you wanted only html files to come through, all you need to do is remove the “-” (or the minus sign) from in front of the word filetype. Now, you may notice that I also included -filetype:htm as well…well, the long and short of it is, we don’t want html or htm files coming up. We just want sites ending with “/” right now.
We’re moving along full steam now, but there are still a few things missing. We want to include a common word or phrase that we might find in an actual directory, to narrow down the amount of websites and weed out the fakers in our search results. Some common phrases that you’d find in a site directory are “parent directory” or “last modified”. Using “parent directory” works, but a lot of sites include the phrase “parent directory” to get their crappy sites in our search results, so I prefer to include the phrase “last modified”. Now, our search string should look like intitle:”index of” -filetype:html -filetype:htm “last modified” metallica. You’ll notice that I keep moving the name of the band (if you could call them that) to the end of the search string, this is just a personal preference of mine. If I came to my senses and realized I was searching for metallica songs I could easily switch out metallica with another band name without having to go through the guts (or middle, if you prefer) of the search string.
Okay team, we’re almost home here…take a look at our search string…is anything missing? Oh yeah, the word “mp3”. Why do we include the word mp3 in our search? Because we are looking for mp3 files, duh. Now our search string should look like intitle:”index of” -filetype:html -filetype:htm “last modified” metallica mp3. Well, let’s take a look at our results…well, it seems that we have some good results to work with now. Without too much internet-smarts and a little risk on my part (from popup ads, advertisements, etc) I can just click on a few of the links and look for internet audio gold…there’s mp3s in them thar hills