Masechta Downloader v2.0 Copyright 2005-2006 by Jacob Shalev, Diasoft Corporation

This free to use program downloads a full Masechta at a time from DafYomi.org.
The program was developed by Jacob Shalev, Diasoft Corporation
upon completion of the 11th Cycle of the Daf Yomi, in appreciation of Rav Grossman and DafYomi.org.
Re-distribution of this program is permitted and encouraged.



HOW TO USE THIS PROGRAM

QUICK START

1. Pick the masechta you want to download from the Masechta drop-down.

2. Pick your preferred audio format from the next drop down.

3. To set the name of the main folder on your computer where the audio files will be saved, click the Browse button, select the desired folder and click Ok.

4. Click download! That's it.



What's New in Version 2.0

1. New format of DafYomi.org

The program supports the new format of DafYomi.org where the audio files have been re-organized to better match the actual start and end of each daf. The program will now download this new set of files automatically.

2. Improvements

The program has been re-written to use the Microsoft .NET framework (common in all XP, Home, MCE and all other modern Microsoft OS editions). This provides better and faster communications than in the past release.
The program now supports unattended downloading with automatic re-connection and automatic download re-tries until all files are downloded.
Error reporting has been enhanced and a scrolling log is displayed as the program is downloading, to give you visual progress feedback. A copy of the log is written to the file MasechtaDownloader.log which is stored in the program directory.

3. Other Learning Sites

We have begun work on a new version that, using a standard schema for organizing content, will allow sites that will provide an XML file that describes the site's content to use the Masechta Downloader to distribute their content. Please email me for further details.

ADDITIONAL TIPS

1. Installation and Startup Problems

If you have the earlier version of the program (1.x) feel free to remove it. This version does not override the previous one, nor does it conflict with it.
If you get the error: "Program not installed properly" please download the "Full Install" which includes all the support files needed to run the program. If you want to send the program to a friend, do not just send the exe file, it will not work. Instead send him the setup files you had downloaded - setup.exe, setup.ini and Masechta Downloader Setup.msi which he can then install on his computer.

You need to be connected to the internet before you start the program. This is not a problem if you have a "permanent" connection, but if you need to dial-up to connect to the internet, please do so before you start Masechta Downloader.


2. Audio Format

DafYomi.org provides the shiurim in three different audio formats:

MP3 - which is nowadays the predominant format and can be used on almost all computers and audio players. If you are not sure what format to use, pick MP3.

WMA - is the Windows Media format. Can be used on all PCs with Windows Media Player (usually installed on your PC as part of Windows, available as a free download from Microsoft). Most mp3 players can play wma files. Apple's iPod does not, but iTunes will convert wma files for you to mp3.

RM - Real Audio format. Has a file type of RM and used to be the most common format. It was mainly supported by Real Player and is not supported by most mp3 players.

Some of today's cars have CD players that support mp3 or WMA CDs. This means one can burn a CD with several masechtas and listen to shiurim directly from the CD.

3. Download Main Folder

You need to tell Masechta Downloader where to store the downloaded shiurim audio files. Click the Browse button and pick a folder on your computer. The program will create a sub-folder under your selected main folder and name the sub-folder with the name of the masechta. The downloaded audio files will be stored in that sub-folder.

For example, you can create a folder named c:\data\shas. Start the program and then click the Browse button and pick the c:\data\shas folder. Now, if you download masechta Brachos, the program will create a sub directory named: c:\data\shas\Brachos and store all the shiurim files in that directory.

Masechta Downloader saves the name of your main download folder. When you run the program again to download another masechta, it will propose the same main folder as before. Simply click download, and the program will create a new sub-folder for the new masechta, under the same main folder. This way, you can organize all your shiurim neatly, with a different folder for each masechta, all residing under the main folder.

During download, the status bar at the bottom of the Masechta Downloader window will indicate the name of the file that is currently being downloaded and the "log box" will give you a detailed listing of what is happenning

Note that the ending of the file name indicates the daf number (e.g. brachos_004a.MP3 indicates daf "dalet" amud alef in Berachos).


4. Problems Downloading

At times, your connection may experience errors, or the DafYomi site may be down for a bit. Simply run the program later. If you consistently fail to connect to DafYomi.org, you may want to review the next section.

Sometimes, the communications fail after the program has been downloading for a while. Although the program will try to re-establish communications several times, it may fail to do so and you will see in the log (on the screen) various errors indicating failures to connect, time-outs, etc. You have two options as to how to proceed.

The simple option is to re-run the program later, using the same main folder. The program will start the download from the beginning, it will skip any audio files that have been successfully downloaded in the earlier attempt, and proceed to download the whole masechta. This procedure has been automated in the current version. Simply click the check box next to "Re-try an incomplete download hourly, up to 0 times" and pick a "number of times". Here is what the program will do:

1. Download the files, one by one. If communications are interrupted in the middle of a file, the program will pause for 10 seconds and retry the download - up to three times.
2. If all files were successfully downloaded, the program will stop.
3. If one or more files failed to download, the program will discard any partially downloaded files, wait an hour and then start all over again. Note that files that had been downloaded successfully in the prior round will not be downloaded again.
4. Step 3 will be repeated either until all files have finally been downloaded, or until the number of retries has exceeded the number you picked.

If your connection is slow and you don't want to keep your connection open for hours, then go to your download folder and note the daf number of the last downloaded file. Start the new download from that number.

To do so, after you click on the masechta name, change the "From daf" number from 2 to the daf number you want this download to start from, and then click Download. Download always gets both "Amud Alef" and "Amud Beit" of a daf (except when the masechta ends in Amud Alef.

To exit the program in the middle of downloading, press the Exit button. Since the program may be busy communicating, you may need to press the Exit button more than once to close it. All the files downloaded prior to Exit are still stored in the masechta's folder under the main folder.


5. Problems Connecting

This section is of particular interest to users who use the program where the internet connection uses a proxy server.

The new version of Masechta Downloader has limited support for connections via a proxy server (which is different from a firewall. The program works well with most firewalls and has no problem with the built in Windows XP SP2 firewall) . Proxy servers are common in corporate environments and until the next version will be released, try to use the program from home. Most cable and DSL environments do not use a proxy server.

If the above terms are not clear to you but you consistently fail to connect and suspect that the problem might be related to a proxy server, perform the following test:

Although we would like to maximize the number of users who can benefit from this program, corporate environments can be quite complex and restrictive and we cannot assist users in solving connection problems. Use of the program from home will prove to be a simple solution.

I am working on a new version that will allow the user to configure Masechta Downloader to work with a proxy server for users who have the .NET Framework Version 2.0


SUPPORT

I have developed this program out of Hakaras HaTov to Rav Grossman and DafYomi.org. The program is free and no resources are allocated for end-user support.

However, in an effort to make the program useful, I will review comments, suggestions and problem reports sent to my e-mail address and do my best to respond .

May you have Eizer Hashem in your Limud haTorah

Jacob Shalev