View Full Version : How do you decide which group to dl from?

2003-11-06, 01:33
This is not a question from a newbie but someone who is curious. I was wondering how everyone decides who they are going to dl from when an ep is released by multiple groups. Do you go with the first one out of the gate gets your patronage? Or is the largest file size if you might be trying for quality? Or do you dl along party (group) lines i.e. Anime-Keep, Lunar Anime, A-H, etc.? Jjust something I was tinking about as I was deciding who to download ep 5 of Peace Maker Kurogane from. :hmm:

2003-11-06, 01:58
That's a complicated question. There are people who fall into all of the camps you mention. As for myself.... I try to download at least one episode from each group that does a show, and watch it. I download episode 1 from one group and episode 2 from another. Then I decide which group I like best. Then I download episode 3 from a third group. I then rate that against the other two groups I watched. Sometimes I go back and watch an episode I already saw to compare the groups more exactly. I then decide which version I like best and stick with that group once I've see them all. When I can't make up my mind I go with the group who has brought me the greatest enjoyement in the past or who comes out quicker depending on my mood. Then I download all of that groups versions for the show and delete the others.

2003-11-06, 02:30
i usually dl an episode from each group and then compare them. Good readable (from great distance) fonts are VERY important to me. Also I prefer a couple of groups over others, I really like A-Keep, Soldats, Lunar, Saiyko, A-H ... and a couple more. Last criterium (but sometimes decisive) is the speed at which episodes are released. I never look at the file size because most of the time there no difference noticeable between a 170MB and a 185 Mb file :)

2003-11-06, 02:34
I usually go with the same groups that I have been pleased with in the past. I will usually stick with the same group for the whole series, rarely do I switch over (The one case of this is Naruto where I switch from Anbu to Sayaman/Bakasan), and I never get AJ releases. Other than that I make random choices when need be.

2003-11-06, 02:53
I usually go for the first one out. If it's fine I'll keep it, but if it's got problems (bad translation, poor vid quality, ect) I'll download the next one. I also use file size, if it's too big or too small I'll usually avoid that group unless they're the only ones doing the series. I like files that fit evenly on a cd, usually between 165 and 185 mb. Files that are too big waste cds and files that are too small usually have poor pic quality, though I have seen some around 130 mb that are on par with those around 180 mb.

2003-11-06, 03:52
Readable and reasonably accurate subtitles are important to me. I don't care about file size. For Peacemaker Kurogane, I think Animeforever is doing a pretty good job.

Whatever anime you're looking for, just think twice before getting anything from AJ. :p

2003-11-06, 04:03
ermm i just download the one that has the most dl 's and seeders ^_^

2003-11-06, 06:08
ermm i just download the one that has the most dl 's and seeders ^_^ Me too... :p

But usually I chose the few with good reputations, like Anbu, A-keep etc. Sometimes the file size plays a part in the consideration too... :D

2003-11-06, 06:08
Hmm, I always download the first one that is out. If there's a problem with the first one, then I will download the next one. :heh:

2003-11-06, 08:19
Well, when the first encode comes out I'll download it, unless the group is on my "try to ignore" list (at the moment consisting only of AJ), or the file seems excessively large, when I will wait around a bit and see if someone else does it. If I have any problems with it, I'll look for another encode, though this is highly unlikely, I'm incapable of spotting all but the most stupid and basic translation errors and I'm not too concerned with picture quality, only something massively and blatantly inferior will put me off. And I've never encountered a font I don't like.

I will then continue to provisionally follow the group that I get the first satisfactory file from, but I will look out for reasons to switch for the first several weeks, which could be many people criticising their translation on the forum, someone coming out with substantively smaller encodes, (I like compact files), or a group or group combination coming in which I have had excellent experiences from in the past, in which case I will investigate the relevant alternatives.

2003-11-06, 09:00
I download it raw. Sure I can't understand it, but it also means I'm not dissapointed with Translations, fonts, bad timing and other such buggery

2003-11-06, 09:16
I don't have a standard method. I usually stick with the first group I have downloaded from if the quality is fine. Otherwise, I look at the number of seeds and if the fansub group has a good overwhole reputation.

2003-11-06, 09:17
I got a small list in my mind with the groups I prefer (With "The Triad" at the top of the list, and unknown groups or incredibly fast groups at the very bottom)
Of course, client-seed ratio matters too. But once I start downloading a series from one group, I don't switch (unless I'm forced to). And of course, the reputation of a group matters greatly. :)

2003-11-06, 10:52
It now seems like all groups have fansubs worth downloading right now. They all seem to have good quality in encoding, timing and translation, with only the nitty gritty differences between groups doing the same anime. It's all a matter of fansub group preference nowadays, because there don't seem to be any crappy groups nowadays. AJ is low-profile right now, because they were deemed as crappy. Maybe fansub groups learned from AJ's mistake and try to do their best in fansubbing.

2008-09-25, 15:09
I just pick highest quality 170mb file usually. I usually avoid the high res versions. Avi. or Mkv. doesn't make a difference either way. Personally I don't see much of difference betwean them. If I take away the .mkv or .avi (I know their just containers) it's the same damn thing. I'll ocasionally pick the higher swarm, judging after opening them both and doing a scrape in Azureus. Sometimes I might change group to one with pretty font settings or readable font settings. I'll shamefully admit I like the colered fonts. :heh:

I don't really get why fansubbers distribute two versions. Why not just avi or just mkv?

2008-09-25, 16:27
Because I hear mkv is superior, but many anime fansub watchers have ancient machines who can't run h264. Of course, that begs the question why they don't just make an h264 and an xvid version both using mkv containers, but I imagine they don't want to scare the lesser informed away whose first thought that comes to their mind when they see 'mkv' would be 'lag'. :heh:

Personally, I want my anime ASAP, so I get the first one out. Of course, it must be watchable, as some speedsubs are just downright atrocious. Good thing though that the quality of speedsubs nowadays are pretty damn good, so the really bad ones are few and far between thankfully.

But of course, there's some groups who I'd dl and keep their version no matter how late. Examples include Lunar, a.f.k., and more recently, m.3.3.w has been added to that list. This is mainly due to give some sort of interest in their subs, because quite frankly, these are the groups whose shows they do matches quite closely my tastes, and I'd like to see more from them.

2008-09-25, 16:31
Since I've been downloading for a while, I know some groups that I trust, so if there's a release with that group, I'll download it. I never download the first release if it's from a group I don't know. If two days go by and no one else subs it, then I'll download from the unknown group. If I'm uncertain, then I just go on IRC and someone there will answer my question. If not, then I just post on the anime's AS thread/forum and someone will answer my question.

2008-09-25, 16:49
For the most part, I will go with a group that I know well (i.e. SS-Eclipse, ANBU, A-Keep, Lunar, etc.) but I'm not overly picky. If one of the groups I know aren't doing an anime I want to watch, I'll find the group (assuming there is more than one) that has the most seeds/peers and download. Normally, it works out nicely. ^^;;

2008-09-25, 16:57
I usually do whatever group tends to release the fastest, but if I find a group that does better subs (e.g. fewer typos, better karaoke OP and ED, more accurate translations, or bigger variety of encoding types), I switch to them. It tends to be pretty hit-and-miss, but as a general rule of thumb, the more members a fansub group has, the better job they do at subbing.

2008-09-26, 13:14
1) translation quality
2) font readability

There are certain groups that over time I automatically tend to trust.

2008-09-27, 14:28
Same as vexx, although I normally go for the more "cult" shows that don't have like FIVE different sub groups working on em.

If I get my hands on one early and it's moderately well translated and readable, I normally stick with it the whole way through unless they drop the show for some reason

2008-09-27, 14:33
It's usually groups I trust like MenClave and SS-Eclipse along with GG. Like with Macross Frontier and Code Geass: GG releases so much faster, weeks in advance, when Menclave gets around to releasing them, so I stick with GG.

I don't like speedsubbers, like Nyoro~n Subs, because their translation quality sucks.

It's basically a compromise between speed and quality. If forced to chosse, I'll take quality over speed.

Oh, I don't like switching between sub-groups midway between a series. I find it jarring.

2008-09-27, 15:29
Difficult to answer.

The first thing that I check is file size. I try to avoid 230+MB files like the plague, but sometimes there are no other choices. Usually I prefer ~170MB files. After downloading for a while I have an impression of quite a number of subbing groups, which helps to choose from when there are several groups working on the same project. I usually go with the group that is more familiar to me.

After deciding I download every episode released from that group that I can get my hands on. Or batch torrents since I like them :3 If there are two groups working on a series I want to watch and one is several episodes ahead, I will try the faster one first and in case I dont like it I will download the better episodes once they are released and delete the other version.

Most groups I use usually provide high quality like SS-Eclipse etc, there is one issue with Chihiro doing a nice job with eg Sekirei and some terrible episodes with Zettai Karen Children. (Not saying they are bad in general)

2008-09-27, 16:00
I usually download the ones I'm use to downloading from. A lot of groups have been around for a long time so I usually stick with them, or I find new groups and see how their translating and quality are and if they do a good job I usually stick with them.

2008-09-28, 05:46
(I didn't expect a thread to be necroed by Cats. :heh:)

As long as the file size is not absolutely ridiculous, I will start by looking for which groups have high quality video (clues include resolution and h264 encoding, although there are plenty who can do these horribly wrong with poorly scaled raws and lousy encoding). That's not only because I'm an obsessive freak about video quality, but it's also because groups that cares about quality don't tend to miss this important point.

That narrows the selections enough that there's often not much choice, but beyond that the translation is key. I'll take a good translation with poor timing over a bad translation with good timing. On the other hand, I do love soft-subs, since they allow me to turn the subs off when I no longer need them. Assuming the soft-sub is well done, I'll choose it even if the hard-sub has a slightly better translation (my tolerance for less-than-perfect translation grows as I rely on the subs less, it seems). I do tend to regret this when encoding for portable players, since soft-subs make the conversion a right bear.

What it generally comes down to is that between talented people preferring to work with talented people and group leaders determining standards, groups who get one part right tend to get it all right, and do so consistently. That makes things easy, especially when a group has a good past reputation.

The one caveat is that if there's much of a gap between an adequate speed-sub release and my preferred subber, I'll get the speed-sub and then download the second for archiving. If the speed-sub is good enough and I see neither hide nor hair of the better subber for ages, I may not bother downloading the second unless I'm particularly attached to the show and their subs.

2008-09-28, 06:00
I don't really get why fansubbers distribute two versions. Why not just avi or just mkv?
They usually have h264 on mkv and XviD on avi. h264 has a higher compression rate, allowing for higher quality, but requiring more RAM to play (all HD releases will be in h264), and XviD may drop the quality slightly, but is easier on older machines that might not be able to play h264.

Personally, there are a few groups that I will generally always follow if I know they're subbing a series: Eclipse, Menclave, and Ayu to name a few. As you can tell from the latter two, speed isn't something I place a lot of importance on, though if it's to the extent of Menclave's Macross Frontier with a decent alternative in gg, I'll download gg's instead.
As Kyuusai said, translation is important, but since I'm not the most fluent in Japanese, I often rely on others' input when deciding on a less-familiar group. While they're not particularly important, I value pretty typesetting and good timing, with nice karaoke being a bonus.