This is the window where you can start searches from. You can also start searches from the home tab, but the search tab offers more functionality.
The search screen is divided into three sections: 1. The search panel on the left 2. The results display on the right 3. The details view on the bottom of the window
To start a search, you need to enter your search term on the search panel. You can simply type your search term in the text field below "Type your search here:". Pressing Enter or clicking "Start Search" will return any type of file if "Look for this type of file" is set to "Any File Type". You can also select the network to search on, and specify a byte range the file size should stay within. By default, Shareaza will search on all connected networks.
If you select a filetype in the "Look for this type of file" drop-down menu, a new box appears. Now you can also search for specific attributes of the selected filetype. For example Bitrate or Artist for an MP3 file.
For any search, please be as specific as possible. This will help you get the results you need and it will also put less load on the network. So please provide artist and song name, if you know them both. For more information on how to search better, see Mike's search tips
After you enter all the information you know about the file you're looking for, click the "Start Search" button.
After a while results will start to show up on the right. If you don't get any results, then you'll have to wait a little longer, enable more networks to search on on the networks tab, and of course check if you spelled the search term correctly.
It is a good idea to sort the search results by the number of results (Sort by the Host/Count column by clicking on the column heading), because files with more sources are likely to be downloaded faster.
You may also use the Search Filter to remove unwanted results.
There are a few columns that need explanation:
Name: The Name column displays the Filename and it's icon of course. If the Icon has a dollar sign on it like this: , the file is protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM). You'll probably need to buy a licence to play this file.
Rating: You can rate every file in your library. If someone has rated the file you just found, the rating column will display the number of stars the user gave to this file. If more than one user has rated the file, the rating will be merged.
(Busy). This means the host which offers the file doesn't have any upload slots available, so you won't be able to start downloading immediately. You can look at the tooltip for the specific source to find out about the the number of people in the host's queue.
(Firewalled). This means, that the host is firewalled, i.e. it can't accept incoming connections. So Shareaza will send a push packet over the network, which tells the host to connect to you, so that you can downlaod from it. This does only work if you're not firewalled, and even if you're not firewalled, it might not always work. But if it works you usually get good speeds from firewalled hosts.
You can use the Search page's Filter to hide hosts which are busy, behind a firewall or unstable.
Host/Count : This shows the IP of the host, for a single source result, or the number of sources for a multi source result. If you see an IP like 188.8.131.52+13, the +13 means the host has 13 more hosts in its DownloadMesh. So if you connect to this host, you will get 13 more possible host to download the file from, which is good.
Speed : This is the theoretically possible speed for this download. This figure is often not realistic, but it gives you a rough impression of the download speed to expect.
For more information on searching, see the Searching Tips page.