It seems that the only way to add a key with the URL backend and with an explicit file size is to use addurl --fast, which requires a a connection to be made to the remote server. However, it becomes impractical when I have tens of thousands of URLs, and I end up hammering the server, when I know ahead of time exactly what the file sizes are. I know it is possible to create URL keys with a size attribute. It would be great to be able to have something like addurl --size=342345 --raw, or be able to pass a size to registerurl.

I have figured out how to construct a SHA256 key outside of git-annex, but I've looked at the source and I admit I'm a bit over my head with manually constructing a URL key.

I've been doing a lot of experimenting with pre-seeding, which I would like to share. I think it could be a really cool application of git-annex.

So far, I've been able to generate a distfiles repo automatically for Gentoo portage, which contains BLAKE2B512 signatures for all of their distfiles. I think there could potentially be some really cool applications to keeping track of large sets of files, and I want to eventually try to make it so that portage could fetch distfiles from other users over ipfs.

But, there are many interesting collections of files that are in open directories, and all I have is the filenames and sizes, and being able to quickly generate a repo with knowledge of the exact size would make it really easy to divvy up downloading and mirroring with git. I have a script that converts an FTP server to a git-annex repo with a WORM backend, but I still think that using URL keys would be a better representation of where the resource is.