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“Welcome to my ban list, bitch.”
~ Oscar Wilde on soulseek

Soulseek, or "slisk", is an incomplete file-sharing, or P2P ("pee to pee", or "pee-pee to pee-pee") application and broken-link network used mostly to ban other users, and occasionally to exchange incorrectly marked music or other files and viruses at speeds approaching 0.2 bits per second. It also features chat rooms, arranged by music genres as detailed as "Stoat Molesting", where up to 800 users who have each other on ban can sit and lurk, not typing anything but inaccurate xenophobic slurs at anyone who voices an opinion. Soulseek was created by "Napping" Nerd LeBra, a former enemy of Metallica. To avoid litigation, it is run from central servers located on the Moon.

edit Userbase

The original Soulseek userbase was composed mostly of computer techs who were looking for new ways to kill time while at "work", as they were getting bored of calling each other morons like me IRC. The original challenge was to share the most music that no one else ever heard of and be the first to ban everyone else using Soulseek. Some artists without a label or who depend on word of mouth for the spread of their music used Soulseek to demonstrate to others just why they couldn't get a label deal even with Penthouse Pets armed with ten boxes of kneepads meeting label executives on their behalf.

The user population has grown rapidly since its beginnings. In 2007, it was estimated that there were over 2 million people on Soulseek who all had each other on their ban lists. The Soulseek server went through a period of regularly crashing due to people trying to use features other than banning.

edit Content

Soulseek is sometimes mistakenly cited as primarily being a source of music files. In reality, the main content is elaborate lists of rules, often written in bizarre broken English, which can be located under the "Get User Info" command for each user on your ban list. Under their User Info, Soulseekers ramble on for 10,000 words or more about the many reasons that they might decide to ban you. By some accounts, Soulseek is really a Pentagon supercomputer experiment for simulating how thousands of different totalitarian regimes might interact with each other in an interplanetary federation.

edit Soulseek Records

Many of the original Soulseek users are also music producers, and Soulseek Records (also known as Slisky Records) was formed in 2002. Slisky Records releases feature incomplete or corrupted songs in no apparent order, attributed to the incorrect artists and release years. Most Slisky releases are printed in runs of one, which no one buys. Instead, everyone tries to download the incomplete songs from other Soulseek users before they can be banned.

edit Key Features

edit Banning

Banning other Soulseek users is very simple. Simply right-click on their name and send them to hell. Don't forget to put them on ignore first.

edit Searching

Users can search for items that they could download if they weren't banned. The search function also has a fun feature where it will crash the application if you try to search for something that returns too many matches like "The Who". Most of the returned matches will almost immediately change to red, which means that you couldn't download them even if that person didn't have you banned. When you find a file that you want, you can click on "download folder" instead, so you can get all 12,000 files that user has disorganized in that folder, with 90% of them being incomplete or by mystery artists.

edit User Info

Accessed under "Personal Info" in your "Options" menu, this is where you can type the rules for your personal totalitarian regime. Don't forget to include grammatical and spelling mistakes and a message something like, "Who, Me? No, I'm not illegally sharing music files, and if you try to use my information for that, you'll get leprosy--you've been warned!!!" dont bother though

edit Toggle Away

If you click on this button repeatedly and quickly enough, you'll see an amusing animation.


edit Wishlists

These will return long lists of red file listings and crash your computer automatically, so you do not even need to be at your computer to have fun.

edit Things I Like

Here you can list some things that you like and some things that you hate as if anyone cared.

edit Paying

Although the Soulseek service is free, if you want any chance of downloading a file before you get banned, you can pay Soulseek and they'll give you "privileges", putting you to the top of someone's queue. Of course, because they have no money to pay Soulseek as they're still living in their mothers' basements and surviving on Cheetos, 90% of users will ban you faster out of envy when they notice that you have privileges.

edit Messaging Users

Most users will have you both ignored and banned. However, given the nature of most users (see description under "Paying" above), private messaging users should be avoided even if you're not on ignore, unless you want to attract an endless barrage of attempted communication, as most users think they hit the jackpot when they find someone who'll actually acknowledge their existence.

edit Versions

There are two versions of Soulseek. The original worked on a tin cup and string system until the Space Shuttle broke the string to the Moon in 2001. The new version features easier banning.

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