I find what Tazmo is doing to be utterly unethical. However, i decided to spend $8 to get directmanga and too see how much of that $8 it might have been worth.
I have split my review into several sections: Variety, Quality of manga, quality of service, Speed, Reliability, Convenience and Overall Cost effectiveness.
Varitiety - 7/10
I won't hide the fact that there is an absolute bucketload of manga on directmanga, I will never get through it all within my one month. That being said I don't know what i should be downloading and what i shouldnt be downloading, to save myself from the crap. Lost 3 points because of the phrase "too many chefs spoil the broth" and there are no obvious peer reviews of the manga series.
Quality of Manga - 7/10
Directmanga does no ripping themselves, so they dont control quality, however i do find it annoying that whilst downloading series i end up with many different naming schemes, and when im trying to organise my manga collection, its a pain in the ass to rename everything the same way. The variety of naming schemes is brought on by the variety of scanlators used for the same series. I have no option to download only from one scanlating group, im forced to use whatever they have. Which is alright, but usually different scanning groups use different naming schemes, Bleach for example, some leave it as shinigami, some change to death god. Lost 3 points for no organisation.
Quality of Service - 3/10
One of the 3 servers used to send me my manga wasnt working. So i used my support tool to find out whats wrong. I see a message in the submission section "It may take up to 24 hours to respond to your request." I want a refund for the time i spent waiting, thats ~$0.27 of my money gone down the drain. When i did get a response, it wasnt half of what i expected it to be, i quote:
Thank you directmanga, i know you have a problem with it, i informed you of that. What are you doing to fix it, when is it likely to be fixed, and are you going to do anything to stop me getting an annoying timeout error each time your random server allocation scripts sends me to your ftp5?We have had a problem with this one, hopefully it is fixed very quickly.
Gained 3 points because the form to submit a problem wasnt a pain in the ass to fill out.
Speed - 1/10
I don't have particuarily fast internet, 256k/64k to be precise. Normally i can get a download speed of about 24 KB/s over bit torrent, about 20 KB/s over irc, and 26 KB/s over http/ftp servers. Directmanga was sending my manga to me at an amazingly sluggish 14KB/s - 16 KB/s. I occaisionally get an alrite speed of 23 KB/s, but its not often.
Gained 1 point because it is faster then dial up speed.
Reliability - 1/10
Sometimes the downloads start quickly, sometimes im left waiting for half a minute for it to connect to the server. Thats if it connects to the server. I have mentioned already my problems with ftp5, ftp3 and ftp4 work most the time, but its only by random chance i connect to those 2. I have no idea what happened to ftp1 and 2, i may find them one day.
Gained a point because i dont feel mean enough to give 0's.
Convenience - 2/10
The website is slow, and oddly painful to browse, its poorly designed, because the alphabetic quick links arent available all the time. I also have to put my username and password in frequently, there is no overall site login that lets me just click a link to get my manga.
Gains 2 points because it is in alphabetic order.
Overall - 3/10
Cost effectiveness - -5/10 (for those that didnt guess, 3 - 8 = -5)
I do plan on requesting my $8 back because i'm not getting the speed and quality that is boasted by the site, wish me luck.
If i do get my $8 back, i will donate it to a worthy charity. Probably Maximum7, Cuz they do such a good job of bleach