Detritus FAQ:Questions about, the site itself:
Ok, I found the MP3s, but i can't download them. What gives?!
First of all, if you haven't read the first question about MP3s ( Where are the MP3s? ), and you think you're trying to download some music by someone like James Brown, the Beatles, or some other normal pop music, or even classical like Beethoven or Stravinksy, you're looking in the wrong place. Don't waste your time, or our bandwidth.

Otherwise, here's the situation: Many MP3 bootleggers think its neat to provide links to OTHER mp3 files they find around the net,rather than just files on their own server. They use software (known as "web robots" or "crawlers") to find files on other people's sites and automatically build lists of links. There are very specific rules, called the Robots Exclusion Standard, for how web robots are supposed to behave, but many of these mp3 pirates ignore these rules. Many times no human ever doublechecks the accuracy of these lists, resulting in misleading information. For example, a track by John Oswald uses samples of Beatles music. Its title is "Birth - Paul McCartney". It is available as an mp3 file on However, various mp3 sites have links to this file, and list it as "Birth" by Paul McCartney. Because no one ever bothered to check. If you listen to this track, its pretty obvious that someone other than Paul McCartney put it together, though it contains fragments of his work.

So, this leads to a problem: people download files such as this, and think they are going to get one thing, but they get another. This wastes time, and bandwidth - not only the user's, but my server's bandwidth. And we here at have to pay for the bandwidth we, or our users, use.

As for the problem at hand: You are sadly the victim of an unfortunate side-effect of my otherwise extrememly clever technical fix: The Detritus server is looking for something called a "referrer header", something your browser is supposed to send telling where it last was. Or, the server is looking for a "cookie", which is gave to your browser earlier when you came to

Well, there are 2 possible snags here. If you are using a browser or other means of accessing the Web that does not send a referrer header (this is rare but possible), or if for any other reason the referrer header does not get to the server, AND if you have cookies turned off on your browser or for some other reason the cookie doesnt get sent, then you are, as they say, out of luck. However, we think offering either of these 2 ways of accessing the files is pretty fair. If you're still having trouble, see below.

One common cause of these problems might be that you are connecting to the Net via a firewall and/or a proxy server. So, Something you can try: contact your ISP tech support people and ask them if you are connected via a proxy server or firewall. If you are, try getting on the Net from somewhere else, like a local ISP. Or maybe there are other machines on your network that don't go through a proxy.

Good luck. We're sorry for this obstacle, but, as usual, a few bad apples are spoiling things for the rest of us.

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2000-Apr-17 7:19pm
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