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Thread: Apollo | APL | Music | 2017 Review

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    Apollo | APL | Music | 2017 Review




    Apollo | APL | Music | 2017 Review

    Name Apollo [Formerly known as XanaX]
    Category Music
    Tracker Type Ratio-Based with a Required Ratio Rule
    Birthday November 2016
    URL https://apollo.rip/
    Getting In Easy
    Signup Closed [Opens sometimes for IRC application signups] | Invite Only | Recruitment Threads
    Bonus Points No
    Total No. of Torrents 575,000+
    Total No. of Users 37,300+
    Maintaining Ratio / Seed Difficulty Medium
    IRC Details Server: irc.apollo.rip Channels: #APOLLO #help #recruitment Port: 6667 or +7000 (SSL)
    Banned Countries None


    Introduction

    Apollo (APL), named after the Greek God of Music, is a new music tracker, and one of 4 trackers that were born right after the What.CD (WCD) takedown in November 2016 - the other three being PassTheHeadphones.me (PTH), NotWhat.CD (NWCD), and Nostre.am (NoS).

    When it was first launched, Apollo was known as XanaX, named after the potent medicine used to treat depression, panic attacks and anxiety, which is basically what the
    torrenting community and private trackers world suffered from after the death of WCD. Apollo was supposed to be the Xanax of the music trackers' world, and so far, it's been doing a great at that.

    Like most other music trackers, APL is based on Gazelle, a framework first introduced by WCD [the parent of all Gazelle trackers] in 2008, and is designed to natively adapt to the nature of music catalogs, as it has multiple nested grouping levels to meticulously keep the music library organized.

    Despite APL being no more than 2 months old at the time of writing this review, it has managed to achieve substantial levels of growth in content, user base and user interface design. The only other post-WCD music tracker that rivals APL's growth is PTH, and the PTH vs. APL debate has been, and will be, a heated topic of discussion in the private trackers' world for the foreseeable future.



    Content

    A Story by Numbers:
    APL currently has around has around 37,300+ users, and 575,000+ torrents, broken down as follows:

    -262,000+ unique releases
    - 233,000+ unique artists
    - 226,000+ perfect FLACs (Log 100%)

    For perspective, here's a comparison of where APL stands now, less than 2 months after its birth, versus where WCD was right before its death after an 8-year run:

    Aspect APL WCD % of APL to WCD
    Enabled Users 37,300 144,584 25.8%
    Torrents 575,000 2,675,151 21.49%
    Releases 262,000 1,091,186 24.01%
    Artists 233,000 885,561 26.31%
    Perfect FLACs 226,000 892,015 25.34%
    Requests 8,400 (62.5% filled) 413,808 (79.58% filled) -


    In less than 2 months, APL managed to rebuild around 25% of WCD's 8 years worth of content and user base. No matter how you look at it, this progress is nothing short of phenomenal, thanks to the determination of both the users and staff to rebuild, redesign, reclaim, and carry on the legacy...

    Content Organization:
    As mention above, APL follows the Gazelle content organization system. Torrents are and organized and grouped by the following 4 nested levels:

    - Level 1: Artist or Band

    - Level 2: Release Types (Albums, EPs, Soundtracks, Anthologies, Compilations, Singles, Live Albums, Remixes, Bootlegs, Interviews, Guest Appearances, etc.

    - Level 3: Release Edition (Original Release, Remastered, Reissue, Limited Edition, Deluxe Edition, Special Edition, Country-Specific Edition, Record Label-Specific Edition, CD, WEB, Vinyl, etc.)

    - Level 4: Release Format (24-bit FLAC, 16-bit FLAC, MP3 320, MP3 V0, MP3 V2, etc.)


    This is as good as it gets for digital music content organization, and is the ideal way to browse any music library. Also, the website allows you to subscribe, receive notifications, and/or download all torrents for a particular artist within a user-defined set of quality and edition parameters (e.g. all FLACs, all albums with bonus tracks, etc.). I find this an extremely handy feature! For an example of how an artist's page looks like, check out the screenshots.

    In terms of dupes and trumping, APL largely follows the same rules set forth by the late great WCD. Check out the Upload Rules screenshots for more details.

    In terms of the completeness of content, give it some time, the tracker is still very new, but in due course, it will likely have the majority of the music you're after.

    You'll also find non-music content, as such application software, audiobooks, e-books, e-learning videos, comedy, and comics. However, these are all secondary to the music content.


    Tracker Specifics

    Ratio Maintenance:
    If you're used to music trackers, you'll know that keeping a healthy ratio and creating a solid buffer are not particularly easy to do, unlike most General, TV and HD trackers. It gets easier once you start making your own uploads (especially FLACs), snatching & seeding popular releases early on (subscribing to specific content & setting up notifications is a good idea here), or if you make use of the occasional freeleech releases that are designated by staff on special occasions (e.g. commemorating the death of an artists, Christmas-themed albums, staff picks, etc.)

    APL does not make it too challenging to keep a ratio, thanks to the constant traffic that the relatively large user base generates, but it's not a piece of cake either.

    Snatch My Uploads:

    A number of threads in the forums welcome requests to download unsnatched uploads as long as they meet certain criteria defined by each poster. This can be a useful helpline for users looking to improve their ratios and boost their buffers. Use it!

    Seeding & Speeds:
    The vast majority of content is very well-seeded, as the tracker fosters a culture of long-term seeding. A large part of this is due to the fact that APL has had generously extended times of global freeleech when it first launched, so a large number of members made use of this and started snatching releases lefts and rights without having to worry about their ratio taking a hit. The healthy buffers they created early on made it easier for them to continuously snatch releases even after the global freeleech was over. This played a large role in making the current library very well-seeded.

    Staff periodically introduce community challenges whereby the if the number of perfect FLACs reaches a certain figure by a specified deadline, global freeleech mode is turned on for everyone for an x number of days. Yet another measure by the staff to promote a healthy seeding environment.

    Since releases generally have a healthy number of seeds, and given the small size of music releases, download speed is not an issue you'll have to worry about on APL.

    Uploading:
    The upload form is fairly straight forward, and much of the information about the release gets pulled automatically from the database of MusicBrainz.org if you're able to locate the record. As with any other music tracker, the only instance where uploading can get a little tedious is for various artists compilation albums with a large number of artists. You'll have to look up each artist individually since their names are not pulled automatically.

    Pre-times:
    Simply stated, you won't have to wait long for new releases to be available, and some are even uploaded before their official release dates. Since the current music trackers' scene is essentially a duopoly between APL & PTH, it's safe to say that pre-times between the two are comparable at the moment. They're both very fast, and certain releases are bound to pop up on one tracker a little earlier than the other.

    Freeleech (FL) Tokens:
    For every 5 perfect FLACs uploaded by the user, 1 FL Token is awarded. There's a 2 GB per-torrent size limit on each Token. If you use the FL Token on a torrent, it will not get counted in your ratio - only the uploaded data will be counted.

    Also, FL Tokens maybe awarded staff to everyone on special occasions (e.g. Christmas). Those Tokens come with an expiry date. Use them or lose them!


    Bonus Points & Invites

    Bonus Points:

    As with a lot of music trackers, there is no bonus points system, and there is no way to transfer or gift upload credit/buffer to other users. Even donations won't buy you upload credit. This is all by design to encourage actual seeding & uploading.

    Invites:
    - Invites are class-based and are awarded twice a month to Power Users and above. Apollo's website does not specify the exact number of invites awarded to each class. Check out the screenshots for details on how the promotion system works.

    - Moreover, each user is awarded 1 invite for every 12 perfect FLACs he/she uploads, regardless of their class

    - Staff may also give out a certain number of invites on special occasions as they see fit.



    Community

    Forums & Discussions:
    The APL forums community is as active as a forum can possibly get. Members are excited about this fresh beginning, and the opportunity to start anew encourages people to help & contribute. The community is very proactive in making improvement suggestions, reporting bugs, and generally helping each other out and discussing topics of common interest related to music and the community at large. There are over 4,500 threads across all forums.

    One community-related area that may be improved with time is the reporting of torrents that violate APL's rules. This is understandable at this stage since there were mass uploads over the first couple of months, but as things settle down, expect more torrents to be reported, which will help improve the overall content quality.

    Requests:
    WCD has set the golden standard for the % of fulfilled requests in the world of music trackers. Around 80% was the fulfillment rate by the time WCD was shut down, versus 63% currently in Apollo. It's too early to reach any conclusions at this stage, especially without diving deeper into the nature of content requested. The fulfillment rate may very well increase in the future, but for now, this maybe an improvement opportunity for APL.

    Staff:

    Very helpful and relaxed, actively encouraging and fostering an attitude of sharing. They're not trying to make APL too hard to join or too exclusive, and things are run very smoothly and seamlessly.


    Notable Rules

    Required Ratio Rule:


    • Required ratio represents the minimum ratio you must maintain to avoid ratio watch.

    • Your required ratio is unique; each person's required ratio is calculated for their account specifically.

    • Your required ratio is calculated using (1) the total amount of data you've downloaded and (2) the total number of torrents you're seeding. The seeding total is not limited to snatched torrents (completed downloads)  the total includes, but is not limited to, your uploaded torrents.

    • The required ratio system lowers your required ratio when you seed a greater number of torrents. The more torrents you seed, the lower your required ratio will be. The lower your required ratio is, the less likely it is that you'll enter ratio watch.


    For more details on how the required ratio is calculated, check out the screenshots below.


    Final Thoughts & Scores

    The fact of the matter is this: WCD's loss was a tragedy, and Waffles is still MIA, but the community regrouped and relaunched very quickly, and through various trackers. The reality of early 2017 is that we now live in a duopolistic post-WCD world, where APL & PTH are by and large THE two biggest general-purpose (i.e. not genre-specific) music trackers out there, and they both managed to reach this status in record times.

    Which one is better? You'll have to be more specific in your question. Content is typically the no. 1 concern, and to tell you the truth, APL & PTH complement each other. You will always find releases in one that won't be available on the other, at least for a short while. Join both if you're able to, and be a good and active member. After what happened to WCD (and OiNK before it), you just never know how long the privilege of your membership will last...

    Tracker Scores

    Content 8
    Speed / Seeded Content 9
    Rarity (of Content) 7
    Pre-times 9
    Usability / Interface / Design 10
    Community / Forums 9
    Staff 10
    Overall Experience 9

    P.S. If you find this review helpful, please LIKE & REP this post Enjoy the screenshots


    Tracker Screenshots

    Homepage




    Browse Torrents






    Example of an Artist's Page - Lady Gaga




    Advanced Search




    Torrent Request Form




    Torrent Upload Form




    Top 10 Lists




    User Classes




    Donations Page




    Golden Rules / Rules Overview




    Ratio Rules




    Requests Rules




    Collages Rules




    Forum & IRC Rules




    Wiki Overview




    Upload Rules




    TheTrader, Fenster, ali3 and 36 others like this.

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    @fiorentini - Killer review. You really went above & beyond with this one. Neatly structured and easy to digest.
    Ronin21 and fiorentini like this.

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    @fiorentini WOW!!! :O Such a fantastic review!! That's why Ti is the best forum for trackers! This review is soo nice, a lot of detail! If someone wonder about this tracker and still can't sure this review absolutely should convince him! Great my friend! Big congratulations!

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    @buzzit @MaGmaR Guys thanks a bunch for your kind words! I appreciate that! If you have any improvements or suggestions for my future reviews, feel free to PM me about it

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    @fiorentini , Great Review Indeed , REPS ADDED!

    You forgot to add:
    - With ''BIG Cojones'' to have open Sign UPs , proved to be a success not a weakness
    - Build a community based on trust , Welcoming every user in their own way

    Not like other ones out there , that can be joined only by recruitments on HIGH over rated trackers
    APOLLO is the number 1 Music tracker out there In my opinion!!!

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    @whiteLight Big Cojones hahaha! I totally agree with what you said, Apollo is fantastic! It's the God of Music after all
    whiteLight and TheSandman like this.

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    It's DONE & DUSTED mate ,
    you really have done great work in this Review to make it brighter for all members that needs FULL-DETAILS about Apollo!
    Absolutely : Fantastic REVIEW , congrats!

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    Very well written @fiorentini. Really nice job. As a fun side note, their "Anorex" Stylesheet is the same one I had used at WhatCD
    fiorentini likes this.

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    I honestly dont understand that much hype about this tracker. I've been member now for maybe month, but all i can say:

    - Its only good for uploaders. Tons of stuff gets uploaded i never heard off, almost nobody is downloading that.
    - Tactics which worked on WCD and Waffles dont work here. I downloaded only newest torrents less than minute of age and got download activity on one from 10 downloaded
    - The interface is very hard to navigate, is completely broken on mobile phone. Color scheme is just not good for orientation. I've seen much better attempts with gazelle.

    I so miss options like waffles shop for seedpoints, where i could buy half leech and build ratio.

    This tracker seems for me not designed for average music lover. I can call myself complete pro in torrenting, could hold ratio on nearly all trackers but i am failing there. Only one think i dont do is to upload new stuff. I honestly cannot imagine some average music lover surviving there if they don't change something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janeCMD View Post
    I honestly dont understand that much hype about this tracker. I've been member now for maybe month, but all i can say:

    - Its only good for uploaders. Tons of stuff gets uploaded i never heard off, almost nobody is downloading that.
    - Tactics which worked on WCD and Waffles dont work here. I downloaded only newest torrents less than minute of age and got download activity on one from 10 downloaded
    - The interface is very hard to navigate, is completely broken on mobile phone. Color scheme is just not good for orientation. I've seen much better attempts with gazelle.

    I so miss options like waffles shop for seedpoints, where i could buy half leech and build ratio.

    This tracker seems for me not designed for average music lover. I can call myself complete pro in torrenting, could hold ratio on nearly all trackers but i am failing there. Only one think i dont do is to upload new stuff. I honestly cannot imagine some average music lover surviving there if they don't change something.
    The seeding difficultly doesn't make a tracker bad. ALL the music trackers are hard to seed. PTH is probably even harder. Apollo will get better and better in the future, while more users will join the tracker, while more users will have better stats and will be able to download more torrents they need. And they will definitely have some free leech periods every now and then (they already had a few so far) so users will buffer their accounts a lot and in the future they will be able to download more torrents without worrying about their ratio that much.

    btw the fact that Waffles was a little bit easier to seed, doesn't mean that waffles was a better tracker. Waffles was up and running for so many years and they just had 300.000 torrents or so and Apollo opened a couple of months ago and already has 620.000 torrents (at the time of writing). So yes, Apollo is a WAY better music tracker!

    Last but not least, did you ever read their rules and their ratio requirements? They are not strict at all. They require ratio 0 up to 0.6 (depending on each user's downloaded data) so surviving there is not as hard as you describe. On the contrary, i would say it's fairly easy to survive on Apollo:



    Just my two cents


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