Shareaza sets itself apart from other peer-to-peer file sharing programs by working with media content providers, such as record labels, to offer legal and authorized file sharing. The application features multisource downloads, MP3-player support, and HD-quality music and video sharing. You can customize your user experience by tweaking Shareaza's settings. Ultimately, the “best” Shareaza settings are the one that most closely suit your individual needs and preferences.
Upon installation, Shareaza comes equipped with the settings deemed best by its developers at Bandoo Media, Inc. These settings enable a variety of optional features, including the “Auto Suggest” search function and the “Shareaza Today” news feed. Cross fading between songs is enabled out of the box, as are audio alerts for Shareaza's numerous functions. The program comes preset for optimal connection based on the needs of the average user. All of these settings can be tweaked to reflect your personal “best,” however; you can change the settings by accessing the “Shareaza Preferences” menu. Click the wrench-shaped icon Shareaza's upper right-hand corner to bring up the menu.
Some Shareaza settings enable faster download speeds, making them a good fit for users with slow connections or those downloading large files. Under the “Shareaza Preferences” menu, select the “Connections” tab and set the program to allow “0” uploads simultaneously. From the “Library and Downloads” tab, select all of the folders listed and click the “Remove” button to prevent Shareaza from sharing these folders. Alternatively, you can select each folder, press the “Advanced” button and deselect the “Share this Folder” option. From the connections tab, select the box next to “Enable smart traffic management when Shareaza is idle” to further optimize your download speed.
Shareaza allows you to pick the best aesthetic settings according to your personal taste. Clicking the paintbrush icon in the upper right-hand corner brings up the “Color Scheme” menu, which allows you to customize the appearance of the application's skin by picking from a selection of 11 colors. To the right of the paintbrush, the equalizer icon turns on Shareaza's equalizer and allows you to customize your sound settings via a drop-down menu of pretuned sound types – such as rock, techno and jazz – or by dragging sliders to tweak sounds at a variety of frequencies.
Shareaza has reached its eighth stable version as of March 2012. As the program's creators continue to release new versions, options, features and methods for accessing settings within the program may change. At any time, you can restore Shareaza to its default settings by accessing the “Shareaza Preferences” menu and clicking the phrase “Restore Shareaza Defaults” at the bottom of the menu. If you encounter problems with Shareaza or have additional questions about its settings, you can submit queries to the program's developers via the online submission form at the Shareaza Support Center.
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