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I share my mps3's among users on the machine; not shared in the networking, exported folder sense. I put them in /usr/local/share/music
I do share them over the network, but not direct access. Specifically, I use gnump3d for it. It's a streaming mp3 server that dishes out the songs over a web interface. Depending on how you configure it, you can allow users to download songs or only allow read-only streaming. It even allows playlist creation. I've always thought it's quite a nice piece of software, especially considering it's all done in Perl.
Here's what i've found on the web about /var :
Contains variable data like system logging files, mail and printer spool directories. It is specific for each system, i.e., not shared over the network with other computers. Why not put it into /usr? Because there might be circumstances when you may want to mount /usr as read-only, e.g. if it is on a CD or on another computer. '/var' contains variable data, i.e. files and directories the system must be able to write to during operation, whereas /usr should only contain static data.
So, it seems this file structure is supposed to contains only files used by programs, not files that the program reads and does not modify (mp3, pictures, mpgs, documents etc...).
Here's what i've found on the web about /usr/local :
The /usr/local hierarchy is for use by the system administrator when installing software locally. It needs to be safe from being overwritten when the system software is updated. It may be used for programs and data that are shareable amongst a group of hosts, but not found in /usr. Locally installed software must be placed within /usr/local rather than /usr unless it is being installed to replace or upgrade software in /usr.
So it's not for stocking files like mp3, openoffice documents or gimp pictures, but more for programs.
What i'm using currently, and i'm pretty sure it's not the right location, is a "shared" folder within /home. But of course if i want to create a "shared" user, there will be a conflict. So that's an awful solution.
Still, i'm not convinced by /var and /usr/local Thanx anyway !
So it's not for stocking files like mp3 ... but more for programs.
Them's fightin' words!
Actually, to reference your own quote:
It may be used for programs and data that are shareable amongst a group of hosts, but not found in /usr.
As a practical example, you can find themes for certain applications in /usr/local/share. By themes I mean just graphical eye-candy; not actual programs. Snoop around your distro's files and see what they put in there. I'm willing to bet you'll see similar things.
Acid_kewpie and trickykid are completely correct though: It's your system, you can put it wherever you like. If you try to follow the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard to the letter for everything, you'll quickly find it's a crutch rather than a help.