Hey diablod3. Current iRATE cvs versions have a different download strategy from 0.2. It now downloads based on a confugurable number of unrated tracks. For example my irate autodownloads if I have less than 3 unrated tracks.
There are no coding problems with doing a pure java mp3 player. In fact we have one already. The problem is that the pure java player requires a fairly advanced java vm. We try to make iRATE available as a free binary, produced by free tools. However, as of right now there are no free java vms that have adequate support for javasound api. The other issue is that pure-java anything requires a serious amount of CPU and I don't appreciate my laptop burning my lap because java needs a constant 30-50% of my cpu.
Regarding bittorment: we can't legally provide that right now. Problem is that we need explicit permission from artists before we can distribute their musi. Eventually we will mark freely-redistributable tracks and provide fancy ways of downloading those.
Resuming downloads. That one has been on my todo list for quite a while. Luckily cable makes it an optional feature :). Guess I'll implement it next time I have a chance to do some serious coding.
I'll chuck mp3-validation into if-there-is-absolutely-nothing-else-i-can-think-of-to-code pile. As of right now it's more work than it's worth.
By the way: help wanted. We need somebody to look after lots and lots of minor(or if the person chooses not-so-minor) coding issues.
jclement: I completely agree with you on the distribution problems with CDs. However there is yet another point that RIAA & friends are missing.
The hassle of buying CDs doesn't end at the store. There is still the problem of the CD getting boring and the effort needed to eventually admit that you've had enough of that cd and want to put another one in. There is also the effort of deciding what else you'd be willing to listen to. Then you have to figure out where you keep that replacement cd. Oh, CDs get damanged over time too!
Basicly, keeping music on CDs is a nightmare. I end up ripping all of the CDs that I buy. It's much more convenient to listen to playlists of hundreds of songs instead of 9. Of course once the CD is bought & ripped I've spent much more effort and money on obtaining it than I would've if I downloaded it off a p2p network.
Furthermore, after I've discovered iRATE, I'm having a real hard time even using a conventional mp3 player. I've grown used to having the computer figure out my taste, fetch me more music I like and filter out the crap. I believe that the future of music lies in such software.
From what I've read, iTunes deals with a lot of these issues too, but that product is much more conventional and is merely a slow evolution of the existing concept without anyof the innovative ideas that iRATE provides.
Obviously I am lazy and I am biased towards iRATE, but I'm sure there are people out there with similar frustrations to mine.