View Full Version : what is the best site for downloading MP3s for MAC users?

05-28-2002, 09:21 AM
Does anyone know the best site for downloading MP3s for MACS? My downloading life has not been the same sine the collapse of Napster. I keep hearing about Windows-only sites or those sites that claim to service both but really do not [I have been disappointed to the point where my entire system crashed and I had to re-initialize my harddrive (fortunetely I'd just backed up my entire system)]. I used to use LIMEWIRE about a year ago, but 9 out of 10 songs would time out or take like an hour to download (and I have a cable modem). Is Limewire better now? Or is there something superior to it for MAC? Maybe something as user-friendly and STABLE as Napster was? After my crash I am VERY hesitant about downloading buggy software.

05-28-2002, 01:30 PM
I too have limewire and am not really happy with the performance. I will be checking into Ircle and Snax in the not to distant future as a source for file sharing, but that is a whole different ball game. Someone else will probably be along shorty to with a better suggestion.

05-28-2002, 04:05 PM
I have used Limewire and been very happy. Better than Napster to me. I had little use with Napster. I was just getting going downloading mp3's. Just grabed 20 songs and 3-4 albums last night.

Theres something that starts with the letter - a.... can't remember.

There have been some recent upgrades to limewire.


[This message has been edited by rwm2 (edited 28 May 2002).]

05-28-2002, 07:06 PM
Seems like Lime wire works great for me at 4 in the morning, but during normal hours it seems that most of the time i have alot of problems, but its tough to complain when one is stealing stuff http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

05-30-2002, 12:02 PM
For what it's worth, I'd make sure you were running some firewall software if you have an always on connection and are opening up your computer to Limewire or Gnutella type sharing.

I use Norton and bundled with it is a program called Who's There?, which tells you what port, when, from where and sometimes who is trying to access your machine. I've gotten between 20 and 30 access attempts on my computer A NIGHT (when I was leaving my machine connected at night), most using Limewire or Gnutella ports from places as close as Verizon's servers to as far away as univeristies in Korea and Russia (now who in Russia or Korea has any legitimate reason to be scanning my IP address for open ports!?!)

The last thing you need is some punk-ass cracker busting into your machine, taking your personal information and ruining your harddrive. Maybe less likely with Macs than Winders, but OS X is a whole new ball game in security.


05-30-2002, 03:16 PM
Glad you brought the firewall subject up.

I was just taking to a friend with a PC and they were telling me they have some software that - watches, monitors,.... people hacking - and it goes on a lot they say. They are in chatrooms all day - I do not hang around chat rooms. But this does concern me.

YOU ARE RIGHT - I do not need any punk kid -screwing my computer up. I rarley leave it on overnight. AND the computer I use to download to except for the hardware could be lost and I would be fine. Can they access another computer on my little home network? I have often felt a bit safer with my Mac - but maybe better rethink things.

What hardware and/or software do others use. Will my router provide enough protection?

Input please

05-30-2002, 03:40 PM
http://www.sustworks.com/site/prod.html has a whole variety of software and IPNetSentry tracks attempted intruders. Before I got a router, I used a whole bundle of the Sustainable Softworks stuff. Most of the time it was folks from mainland China trying to pry open my computer.

A good place to check the protection of your router is to run the two tests here https://grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 and run Test My Shields! and then Probe My Ports! The rest of the stuff is PeeCee. k

[This message has been edited by kaye (edited 30 May 2002).]

05-30-2002, 04:04 PM
We've had problems here too - a Win2K machine was corrupted by some guy wanting to serve up movies - stupid Java open thing on Win2K... We immediately put everyone behind a VicomSoft Internet Gateway package. It's running on a Win2K box at the moment but it could be running on a Mac...

Our Macs have really been very secure - not one has been compromised even though they get probed all the time (when they had external IPs). Now we're all DHCP'ed with the VicomSoft software and only selected servers are mapped using NAT.

We've set up people in the University with the usual home firewall / router systems and that's helped too

some of the more robust hardware solutions are pricey...


05-30-2002, 04:21 PM
Well it does no one any good to get too paranoid http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

First, the hits from Korea and Russia and the like are typically script kiddies that are scanning the ENTIRE ip range for suspect able hosts. From there, they usually will note your IP and use you for DDoS attacks on other servers (i.e amazon.com, IBM, etc). Apple patched this vulnerability a while ago anyway with one of the recent OpenTransport updates so the later OS9 revisions are not able to participate in DDoS. IIRC the patch was either in the 9.0 to 9.1 transition or 8.6 or 9.0 transition.

"The last thing you need is some punk-ass cracker busting into your machine, taking your personal information and ruining your harddrive."

In reality, the odds of someone coming to your computer, installing a Trojan, and stealing your info is pretty slim, especially on a Mac. Not to mention that no one coming in from over the internet can physically ruin your hard drive. That's just stuff for e-mail hoaxes. Remember the one that said "xxx will put your processor in a nth degree infinite loop and kill it." Hoax, nuff said.

However, that doesn't mean that protection isn't needed with always on connections. If you're on DSL or cable or higher, I highly recommend that you use a Router/Switch that has NAT built in (network address translation). Asante, Linksys, Netgear, etc all offer this and is worth it not to mention help you expand your LAN. It's not the end all protection, but nothing it. You won't need to install extra software on the client machine though which is a good thing. As we know, more extensions and programs make the computer less stable.

If you have no need for more than one computer on your network, then Norton personal firewall is a good choice for the Macs. If you're on PC, then Zone Alarm is a free download and does a good job of blocking all of your ports.

Check this out: http://grc.com/intro.htm

This guy Gibson is a bit of a fanatic, but the "Shields UP" and "scan my ports" utility can be revealing, especially on a PC. If you run the "Probe My Ports" test without NAT or a firewall on a Mac, you will see that everything is closed (unless you are running those services). With a NAT or firewall they should say "stealth" meaning that even if someone scans you, you're invisible.

These are good reads about how DDoS attacks work and how they get to your computer. A little long, but very informative about how the process works. (the first one especially, the 2nd is more advanced) http://grc.com/dos/grcdos.htm http://grc.com/dos/drdos.htm

I'm not 100% sure what OSX will bring for new attacks, but we're still much better off and more secure even with a default installation. Put a form of protection on top of that and you're fine. Just make sure you don't run any programs unless you know what they are.

A few other tips:
Unless you connect to you Mac from a remote location, remove the "IP Personal Shareway" extension into the disabled folder. That way, even if you have a full time internet connection, no one can connect over TCP/IP and your local machines will still connect over apple talk without a problem.

Remove Personal Web Sharing. It sucks and it again, makes your computer visible to the internet.

Limewire and such clients are not really a problem. Watch the developer home pages, but most security holes are patched as soon as people find them so using them is only a minor security problem. Essentially it opens up a high port # that most scripts don't scan, and uses it only for transfers within the application. Just make sure you have the program pointed to a directory that does not contain any personal info. If you're really worried, have Norton antivirus autoprotect set to use that folder as a safe zone. Norton will scan every file that comes into that directory.

So no need to be paranoid of punk kids hacking your computer, just take proper precautions and go about your business. Port scans are to be expected. At home, I had 10 within 30 minutes of my setting the DSL line. It's a part life now.

Any questions, please feel free to contact me.



If any of you are wondering, I'm the Network and System admin at a Boston Architecture firm with 30 Macs on a LAN with a full time T-1 connection. Been following my own advice with 0 problems thus far, including the PCs and servers in the office. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

[Edit: took too long typing and some people beat me too it, just remember, don't be scared, get educated]

[This message has been edited by EGPoulin (edited 30 May 2002).]

05-30-2002, 04:39 PM
Well, just to give you an example, on May 22, from about 3:30 to 9:30, I had 28 access attempts on my computer, 19 of which were Gnutella or Morpheus ports.

In the space of about five minutes one night, I had some IP address from Russia try to access every typically vulnerable Winders port on my machine... don't take a rocket scientist to figure out that clown was up to no good. They are catching on to Mac OS X as I can see... once they figure out I am Unix based, these clowns generally try to jump in via Secure Shell and WebStar. I dunno much about how that works, but I do know that it means they have figured out what type of machine is on my end.

Kudos to Kaye for giving out that link Shields Up as it made me check to see if Norton has a stealth mode, which it indeed does.

I haven't worried about this stuff since getting a firewall installed. I have a router and should set it up again. But it is amazing to see the number of attempts on your machine in day... you would think they would have something better to do.

I've found a couple of interesting sites in my effort to "get educated": http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
http://netsecurity.about.com/ (annoying pop-up adds, but lots of info including links to Mac stuff) http://www.securemac.com/ http://www.macsecurity.org/ http://www.cert.org/

Good luck!


05-30-2002, 04:44 PM
Thank you all. Very good info. Looks like I am fine. Just curious and love learning. - Randy

05-30-2002, 04:54 PM
Telnet and SSH ports have been around for a while in any Unix based system and are in Windowws2K/XP as well so it's of no doubt that they were trying to access those ports. The kicker is that if the piked a person't IP, most people don't know they have it turned on and haven't set up the password.

I've found OSX to be pretty good about this and is it pretty locked down from the start. All the typical settings are in the System Preferences so it's not some buried switch to turn off remote logins.

05-30-2002, 07:07 PM
A lot of very intresting information. Why do people spend so much time on BS like that. They have some great computer knowledge that is being used wrong, wasted knowledge - that stinks.

A very informational day. Much insight.

Thanks again

05-31-2002, 09:46 AM
Here's a question which I have been wondering about:

How are ports "assigned", if at all, to a particular service?

For example, when that kid was writing Napster, did he just claim port 6699 (I think) as his own for Napster's use? Or are ports something that are assigned from the Federal Trade Commission kinda like they do with television and phone service? Technically, there are a "limited" number of ports (65,000 or so, I believe)... so conceivably they could all be taken (unless multiple services can be assigned to one port).

Definitely an interesting discussion so far... perhaps the Gurus could create a "Privacy & Security Forum"?


[This message has been edited by tmxmnr (edited 31 May 2002).]

06-02-2002, 10:05 PM
EGPoulin suggests (and is probably right) that OS X is pretty locked down for security, but I (and I wish I could remember where) read someplace that OS X was full of holes, security wise. I wouldnt know from experience, I dont yet own anything with OS X.
I think the suggestion for a security forum is a real good one though
.......my 2

06-03-2002, 10:55 AM
Regarding the port numbers, They were established when networks were first built to help coordinate traffic as they do today. It was most likely a few people thought the numbers worked and it became a defacto standard.

As far as I know, there is no ruling body over port numbers since multiple programs can commuicate using the same ports at the same time. For instance, AOL Instant Messenger (at one time at least) would look for an open port to communicate if the user was behind a firewall that blocked the typical AIM port. Usually AIM would find port 80 since that is http traffic and is open if the person can surf the web.

Other than that, the developer just picks what ever port to use.

Regarding OSX Security, now that Apple started releasing security updates, they patched many of the original holes. The flip side to that is any administrator of the system can turn on the patched holes again easily and with little knowledge. The system is only as secure as you make it.


06-03-2002, 06:23 PM
Ports below 1024 are pretty much fixed for common protocols. Those above 1024 are usually registered for new proprietary protocols. A fairly good list of common ports can be found at: http://www.stengel.net/tcpports.htm .


06-07-2002, 01:44 AM
Well, this turned into a combination security and port-assignment discussion, and I had to stop lurking to come play in this park...

A configuration file standard on Un*x O/Ses (Hey -- Mac OS X! http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ) is the /etc/services cross-reference of "service name" to port-number/protocol. You can look at this in TextEdit by Cmd-O and filling in /etc/services as the file to open. Be careful, please: don't do this as the root user and then "Save" or you run the risk of damaging it. (If you're a "Terminal" app kind of user, cat /etc/services .)

Here's an extract from the comments at the top:

# Note that it is presently the policy of IANA to assign a single well-known
# port number for both TCP and UDP; hence, most entries here have two entries
# even if the protocol doesn't support UDP operations.
# Updated from RFC 1700, ``Assigned Numbers'' (October 1994). All ports
# are included.
# The latest IANA port assignments can be gotten from
# {NOTE: the URL is out of date in /etc/services. Here's the new one. Jazzbo}
# http://www.iana.org/assignments/port-numbers
# The Well Known Ports are those from 0 through 1023.
# The Registered Ports are those from 1024 through 49151
# The Dynamic and/or Private Ports are those from 49152 through 65535

As I understand it, the "Well Known Ports" are typically reserved on "compliant" hosts (such as OS X) such that only the "root" user can acquire one -- that is, start a listener to accept connections on that port. Any user can start a listener on a port above 1023 if the port is not otherwise in use.

Aside: when you see a service listed as TCP it means that it is *session* based, with serialized packets (Client: "Yo, Server: I didn't get packet 123." Server: "Yo, Client: Here comes packet 123 again.") The 'U' in UDP stands for Unreliable, and it's where one doesn't care if a packet is dropped or when the coding of the Client and Server make up for it inside the transmitted data. A prime UDP example is NTP, the network time protocol; who cares if you miss a clock-adjustment packet when another will come along some time or other?

Information junkie? See http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/cgi-bin/rfc/rfc1700.html

So, beyond the IETF and IANA keepers of the list (in RFCs governing Internet management), the allocation of port numbers to new services is merely conventional. Yes, we all expect port 25 to be an SMTP (email reception) listener. It doesn't *have* to be, but when it's not, that usually causes more trouble than it was worth to do something else with port 25. If you're writing your own little client/server application, grab ports not on The List (/etc/services) and do what you will. If you want to go public with your new whizzbangd service, RFCs and standards reviews await you, including (most likely) oversight of your proposed protocol. Fun stuff!!! Look at all those neat services. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Another interesting file to examine is /etc/inetd.conf -- the config file for your Mac OS X system's "Internet Daemon", the program that listens on whatever ports the config file tells it to. On the subject of "closing OS X security holes", this is one of the main ways it was done. Browse through this file and you'll see that all of the pre-configured service entries are commented out with leading '#' characters. Not a comment line? Your Internet Daemon will start a listener on the indicated port/protocol for you, invoking the command at the end of the line on receipt of an incoming client connection.

http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/alert.gif I stringently offer this advice, in concurrance with Eric's closing comments: do NOT enable any of these services unless you know what you're doing and even then, you want to be strong (Grasshopper) in Unix security if you're not behind a firewall (an Airport Base Station using DHCP/NAT, for instance). I'm reasonably strong in Unix- and network-security and I firewalled first.

One of the main exposures in d/ling some nifty MP3 player (or whatever) and running it on a wide-open Internet connection is that if it's even moderately well-known on the 'net and has a security hole, some bozo will want to exploit it just for the havoc s/he can cause. And will know how to do so. You're relying on solid programming both in the player app and the OS X frameworks (library routines of stock program functions available to all apps) NOT to provide any exploitable openings. If a hacker can get at the logfiles on the server you connect to, right there in plain sight is your IP number and port info for him/her to ride back. Any exploitable opening mixed with a cracked server (for its logfiles, at a minimum) gives a hacker a road into your machine.

Want to run it anyway? Any interaction with the Internet is a risk, but you already knew that. Sometimes, even product maturity doesn't close enough doors -- consider Outlook Express and Word as virus targets -- and ultimately you have to make your own decisions regarding what software and services to trust. That means that the more you know, the better your choices will be.

Hope my advice wasn't too heavy handed,

[This message has been edited by Jazzbo (edited 07 June 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Jazzbo (edited 07 June 2002).]

[This message has been edited by Jazzbo (edited 07 June 2002).]

06-07-2002, 04:47 AM
That was informative... thanks for all of the posts regarding firewalls, internet security and ports.

I am definately rolling down the road of learning more about Unix. I just feel that eventually we will all have static IP addresses, much like a "static" telephone number, so I ought to learn about all the security I can. Eventually, it will be easy to run your own website from your own computer and the machine will be fast enough to handle the internet traffic while you do all your other stuff (heck, computers will probably be running the whole house soon, including the physical security system!)

Clearly, local law enforcement doesn't have the expertise or really consider it a "serious" crime if your computer is hacked, leaving you with little recourse except to head to the Feds. The Feds themselves don't look at it as a priority and we all know how long it takes the Feds to get anything done anyway! (if not, I work for 'em, and I can tell ya!) http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/mad.gif

Perhaps Eric and Jaz (and others with some expertise) should talk to the Gurus about being moderators on Security forum. It seems one topic has certainly generated a lot of interest (at least from me, anyway!). http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Thanks again for all the insight.


06-07-2002, 10:30 PM
I agree. I have some more questions but have been busy this past 2-3 days.


06-10-2002, 03:16 PM
What, a moderator vote for me? I'm flattered!

There is already a "Networking and Security" forum though. Obviously the two go hand in hand so I think that they should stay together.

I'll gladly surf through there more though and answer any more questions that I can.

Jazzbo, excellent post! Thanks.


06-10-2002, 03:49 PM
Just so you all know, Kaye read this thread and immediately pushed for the rewording of the Networking forum to include the Security title. This stuff is important and you folks are really informative.

Please keep it up, I wish I was qualified to contribute to this post, but I'm not and will just have to keep learning from each of your posts.


06-10-2002, 04:02 PM
tmxmnr, The idea of having a personal static IP is a pretty good one. It could also serve as a way to cut down on fraud since it really is so easy to get away with on the internet right now. With a traceable IP, you're more accountable for what goes to and from your IP. Granted there are ways to IP Spoof, but the truly skilled can look at the raw packets and read the headers to find out the real IP.

There are two major problems with personal IPs through.

1) Who would be the governing body? Each internet provider would have to keep track of who has what number. In turn, when they assign a number they would have to report to another body to make sure that no one else in the world had that number. With the telephone companies, each country has a different phone number format so it's not that hard. With IP addresses, they are all the same X.X.X.X format number where X can equal 0-255.

There would have to be some sort of international body governing internet access for the entire world! Not to mention someone would want a tax imposed so you'd ultimately have to pay a little more.

2) With the current IP version (IP5 I think) there are only so many addresses. If I'm correct in multiplying 255x255x255x255 then there are only 4,228,250,625 addresses possible. Once you take into account all of the infrastructure (backbone routers, addressed switching gear, all of the provider's routing gear, all of the end user's/business'' routing gear, etc) taking up a few million addresses, the number goes down a good amount. Then add in the fact the until recently C class addresses were doled out all the time to businesses at the drop of a had regardless of how many IP's they needed. (C class is 256 Addresses, from X.X.X.0 to X.X.X.255 inclusive) That address space is really pretty small to start assigning personal static IPs.

Oh, and all 192.X.X.X and I think 112.X.X.X Addresses are reserved for NAT boxes so make that 253x255x255x255. It's a hundred million or so less.

Thats where IP6 comes in though. MUCH larger IP space, the problem is transitioning all of the gear that is incompatible to IP6.

Once IP6 is in place though, some changes should come about.


06-10-2002, 04:04 PM
Now that you say that Kaye pushed for the rewording of the forum, it dons on me that the forum name was changed.. Didn't even realize it at first.

That was pretty fast!

Nice going Kaye!

06-10-2002, 04:31 PM
Thanks Eric, just responding to the request by tmxmnr and Macdaddi2u. k

06-10-2002, 09:43 PM
Well, folks, the hardworking gnomes in the basement have found my account again. (Thanks, admin crew!) Been a frustrating couple of days, posting my first article right before system problems took out my account. Believe me, I've been in that boat before -- "I'll just make this little enhancing change to the environment and things'll be *so* much better for everyone. Ooops! Now, how do I fix *that* surprise???" I know what sort of hair-pulling you guys must've been through.

Thanks for the positive responses to my opening shot -- much appreciated,

PS. I think I'll wander over to the newly-renamed Net & Sec forum and ruminate a bit about firewalls, NAT, and SOHO defense...

06-11-2002, 04:59 AM
I noticed the name change, and it is much appreciated. I am going to move over there and post from now on.


06-11-2002, 11:31 AM
I moved this topic from its previous location to Networking and Security. k