I have download and installed AllPeers, the much anticipated P2P file sharing extension for Firefox. While I am still excited about the possibilities I am somewhat disappointed with the application and it does need some work. I know that one of my contacts is removing the extension until it improves.
The application does tend to dominate Firefox in some undesirable ways. Such as when you close Firefox it stays open until you close Firefox from the system tray. This proved especially annoying when we were in a Skype call last night and some annoying music was playing in the background because one of the call participants did not realise Firefox was still open although they had closed it from view.
It would seem that there are some registration and logging on problems in LINUX. The long and the short of that issue is that if you use LINUX you can’t use the application. The other thing is that once you have registered, it would seem that you never have to log on again, nor do you have the ability to change your details or your password.
You are able to close the toolbar that AllPeers installs so it doesn’t take up space on your screen. I found that most of the needed functions are able to be executed via the icon in the top right of the Firefox screen. The fact that to fully interact with the AllPeers interface takes up the entire screen is annoying. Everything could be scaled down in size. The current size on a 19 inch monitor means that some crucial buttons are located a long way from the screen they are associated with. It took me a while to find the “share” key for example.
The interface itself while seeming to be easily navigated, does seem buggy. One transfer we did of a file did not open and might have been corrupted in transit as the second attempt worked.
It would be good to be able to specify a directory where the shared files end up on your computer. I had to search for the files until I found out that from your default download directory it creates a folder for each contact that you have in your AllPeers list. The files are saved in the appropriate directory associated with the user.
I do not like the fact that AllPeers is in an “always connected” state. I would like the option to “switch it off”. As other users have indicated, some of us do not have the bandwidth to spare when doing certain activities. Same goes for me. I don’t want anything else using my bandwidth when I am uploading the podcast for example.
The transfer speeds are what might be expected and better then I thought they would be. Of course the speed is somewhat restricted by your own connection. I was satisfied by the speed.
Many of these issues are known to the developers and they are working on them. The help section has also stated that there are plans for a stand-alone version, which will be nice. The issues as far as it’s integration with Firefox are also being looked at.
That said this application is a beta, it would seem that some users are expecting full-version functionality. It works and there are bugs and things that need to be assessed and modified. This is what I would have expected. Perhaps the quality of beta builds has in the past been high and people now expect a lot more from them. But I always expect the beta status to have issues and if they don’t then I am surprised. The extension and development of it looks exciting. I am sure that with further modification and design it is going to be a valued application/ extension. We just need to give it time and enjoy what we have now, as for me this is better than I had before.
UPDATE: For some reason the comments for this post were turned off. This was not intentinal and I have switched them on. Sorry to those I missed in their travels that wished to leave a comment.