Talk:Magnet URI scheme

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Why is crc-32 mentioned[edit]

It appears to be there just for sake of being there. It doesn't appear to add to the article. (talk) 12:51, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Removed. --4368 (talk) 13:17, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

Page formatting[edit]

There is a problems when visualising Magnet_URI_scheme#url_magnet_.28mediawiki-1.15.1.tar.gz.29, the link goes beyond the width of the page. If we breakline, we break the link. Any way to fix it (maybe with CSS)? 4v4l0n42 (talk) 13:48, 24 March 2011 (UTC)


the link merely contains a SHA1 hash value, which uniquely identifies a file or resource

SHA1 can't uniquely indentify a file or resource (multiple files can have the same SHA1 hash -> a unique SHA1 can describe multiple files) If this wasn't the case, you could re-create the file with just the hash, with no need to download the actual file... I think we can put a little more details about this in the article (I don't write english well enough to do it myself...)

I disagree. SHA1 collisions don't normally happen (they are possible in theory ofcourse). SHA1's are used for a reason. If you load the magnet link in the article into any P2P app that can search for sha1 files, you'll get the same file the person that pasted the link meant. That's the whole point of magnet links Jonne 08:26, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
Regardless the original poster has a point, it is possible to have collisions with SHA1 hashes. Is there a mechanism in place for resolving collisions or is it a theoretical problem with the spec? This should be mentioned in the article. TheCycoONE (talk) 18:39, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

"magnet link is an internet hyperlink standard"

It's no "standard" at all, there isn't even a RFC for it. This is merely a link format used by some P2P tools.

"the file sharing community"

I really question that there's a file sharing "community". There are people using file sharing and there might be smaller communities based around some file sharing but something like a general file sharing community doesn't exist. Or is there a water drinking community? A web browsing community?

"Other advantages to the use of magnet links include their open nature and platform independence."

Huh? That can be said about every kind of hyperlink and most real standards used on the internet. Furthermore, the draft specifies very little. For example, the encoding of these links is not clear at all. Does it only work for ASCII? Does it use UTF-8? So "platform independence" is questionable, especially if you consider that every little application interprets things differently in the absence of a consensus.

"a property not found in, for example, bittorrent files."

Well, what's the point of comparing apples with oranges err... files with links?

"Recent versions of major web browsers understand those links"

I doubt it. There are certainly plug-ins for Mozilla or IE but that's all. It would be a good idea to keep the article more sober. -- 13:58, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

It's a standard in the sense that several P2P applications' developers agreed on using the same syntax. (Those are LimeWire, BearShare, Shareaza, Kazaa, DC++, Azureus, and others). It might not be an official IETF standard, but that doesn't mean it's not a standard.
The 'File Sharing Community' means part of the developers of P2P applications. Specifically (for this context) the people that participate in the magnet-uri Yahoo mailing list. The draft seems vague, but if you have a question, you can ask the people on that mailing list. Platform independance is true, as the links work in Azureus, which is crossplatform.
Bittorrent files and magnet links allow you to do the same thing: download a file without knowing the location beforehand, and just searching for it because of the file's own properties (not location, as with http/ftp links). Magnets and torrents are different, but there are some striking similarities.
'recent versions...', they don't support it out of the box, that's true. Either the application registers the magnet 'protocol' in the system (Most p2p apps do that on Windows), which allows the browsers(IE and Firefox do that without extra configuration, in Opera you have to specify it manually) to send the magnet links to the right application. So browsers don't ship with 'magnet' support, but it's not a plugin either. It's just a setting, and most application take care of that for the user.--Jonne 20:45, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Use this info:

I do not understand the "aMule 2.2" paragraph at all. (talk) 17:59, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Technical Tag[edit]

I've added it again, nice rewrite lately but it's so extremely techy at the start and needs a far simpler intro imo --PopUpPirate 00:08, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

SHA-1 hashes[edit]

What encoding scheme is being used for these SHA-1 hashes? It obviously isn't hexadecimal, as SHA-1 hashes usually are. --Zantolak 05:16, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Base32#RFC_3548_Base32_alphabet Mike Linksvayer 06:29, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Unicode UNION and INTERSECTION[edit]

The unicode characters, already established, for Union and Intersection, would be appropriate methods of representing public (union) magnet availability and private (intersection) availability, there are also various other established symbols of horizontal form, however the group based availability would most effectively make use of these known concepts and related characters.

HTML Entity (decimal) ∩ HTML Entity (hex) ∩ HTML Entity (named) ∩

HTML Entity (decimal) ∪ HTML Entity (hex) ∪ HTML Entity (named) ∪ (talk) 23:48, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

I think the Magnet Icons from the official website should be used to mark Magnet links.
mfg, OldDeath - 15:39, 10 September 2010 (UTC) (talk) 13:09, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

What official website?
Using the unicode symbols is a great idea, but this is an encyclopedia. I'm considering submitting the idea in a git commit to TransmissionBT and seeing if it takes off. (Wikipedia is not for standards development, but for providing accurate information)
If there is an "Official" website that has an official magnet logo, please cite it.
When I wrote the original magnet-uri spec, as hosted at, I made the GIF icons there for anyone to use. (Others have made better icons since; the name 'magnet' was chosen to be friendly to all such evocative icon choices. My own mental image was that of the link 'pulling' content from above/far-away, hence the horseshoe-ends-facing-upwards -- towards 'the cloud' or 'the horizon'.) Gojomo (talk) 00:18, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Maybe you could ad some more icons to the official page? A technology logo and an image to be used on websites/applications to show their compatibility to the standard in a uniform way would also be nice.
mfg, OldDeath - 12:19, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Removed "HowTo"-tag on section Description[edit]

It's no more HowTo than the decription of how Uniform Resource Locator is made up! Algotr (talk) 20:28, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

magnet scheme "logo"?[edit]

Since the horseshoe magnet is widely used, could use something like this image? Horse shoe Magnet.svg --Sav_vas (talk) 19:44, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

I think it's great that we want to adopt a logo for use with Magnet Links, or Magnet URIs, but this is not the place for that, why not suggest this to the developers of the bittorrent software or other related software that uses this feature? Once the software adopts an icon or logo, it will be usable in the encyclopedia to signify the standard. We don't make standards here, we document them. NaruFGT (talk) 22:15, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

How does it actually work?[edit]

The article explains what the magnet URI scheme encodes, but what would be really useful is an explanation for *how* these links actually link to something. If A has a file, and B has the hash of the file, then once B has obtained the file, B can verify it. But how does possession of the hash allow B to locate A in the first place? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

A client able to locate the file on a distributed network (P2P network) is needed. This client then starts downloading the file if possible after it has received the information contained within the magnet link.
mfg, OldDeath - 18:26, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
For example I have a URN, and I paste it to my software, and how does the software know where to search for any peer that has the file? Is the software searching it by using the address (http://address?URN) then the address give the peer location and the software contacting the peer directly to retrieve the actual file? If like this, isn't the address has the information of where the file is? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Innosia (talkcontribs) 05:49, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
The software searches wherever it can. Depending on the software, this can be known locations in the internet, metadata servers (such as BitTorrent trackers for instance), or P2P networks. For example, Shareaza will search (with the correct settings) the gnutella, Gnutella2 and eDonkey networks, as well as (if BitTorrent information is provided), BitTorrent trackers and the BitTorrent DHT. For more information on how this searching process works, plz refer to the articles on the different networks.
mfg, OldDeath - 21:50, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, this article most certainly lacks a description of how the magnetic URIs are actually used. The above comments shed some light on it, but this article should describe why the magnet URI scheme is so interesting. As The Pirate Bay already does, combined with DHT, trackers can become very simple hash search engines with no client tracking responsibility at all - simply linking search results into a hash (magnet URI). In the future, even the search engine could become decentralized, making BitTorrent next to invulnerable to any sort of takedown attempts. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:20, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

While the article goes into quite some detail about much of formatting of the links, I still don't understand how a client finds its first peer. Definitely needs some clarification (which I am not qualified to do) Suspender guy (talk) 00:40, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

The question that remains is, HOW can a magnet be actually located? Isn't it the same as the 6-degrees of separation problem? If two people are friends via 6-degrees of separation, how can a computer find the correct network route (without a really expensive search?). Similarly, if you host the only copy in the world of a particular file, and I have the filename/hash/magnet link for it, then what actually happens to allow the file to be "attracted" to my magnet? How does my computer know where to look? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

ws= parameter?[edit]

At least for bittorrent, this seems to be the commonly used identifier for a webseed for content, instead of as= or xs= as they would refer to the metadata in the case of bittorrent instead However I couldn't really find a spec for it, just one sentence here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tddt (talkcontribs) 04:47, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

This article lacks references.[edit]

There are (at this time) 4 references for the entire bulk of the article. Two are direct references to the source code of TransmissionBT, one from BitTorrent client's developer pages, and one from the W3Consortium talk pages. None of these sources are a reference to a standard, a standard in development, or even claim to be.

I feel references need to be integrated into this page, and the header text needs to remove "draft open standard" or modified as this is neither a standard or a draft of a standard, rather a feature implemented on multiple clients.

If Magnet URI schema (more so it seems this feature is a collaborative development of client specific schemata) is indeed a standard, a reference needs to be added to confirm this.

This is an encyclopedia and 'common knowledge' isn't an acceptable source.

Also I changed it to De facto because there isn't a single "Open" draft of the standard, just multiple Open Source implementations of the standard. NaruFGT (talk) 22:12, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

"This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. (December 2014)"[edit]

I couldn't agree more!

I'm a pretty high end IT 'user', but not an IT professional, and much of this article just baffles me.

It really needs a section on what the PRACTICAL differences are, what the difference makes to the end user, in plain English. I'm certainly not the person to write it though...! Ride the Hurricane (talk) 18:58, 5 February 2015 (UTC)