EMule

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See also: Open source | File sharing | Decentralized Clients | eDonkey2000

Home Page: http://emule.sourceforge.net

AKA: The Mule

What is eMule?

A popular open-source file sharing client for Windows for the eDonkey2000 network. The eDonkey2000 method for file sharing has its own section at infoAnarchy - eDonkey2000. EMule also appears to be the preferred open source decentralized file sharing application and has a wishlist, here at iA.

The latest version for windows is 0.46c, although some people are still using earlier releases. The eMule-Project has a users forum, screenshots, etc. The program is criticised for being too slow, because it does not always use the maximum bandwidth capacity and for having long queues and some delays. Many people think the large range of content available on the network outweighs the sometimes mediocre download speeds.

During May-June of 2003, eMule was one of the most active projects on SourceForge. It remains one of SourceForge's top downloads. Since version 0.40+ eMule includes the Kademlia protocol implementation and since version 0.43+ eMule uses PeerCache.

There are many variants, mods and add-ons programs available to use with eMule. While EMule is optimized to effectively distribute very large files, some mods have extra features or optimization for dialup users, or for users wanting to share many of the smaller sized mp3 files. There are also numerous ports to various operating systems such as EMule Plus, Lmule and Cdonkey for Linux. Addon programs allow a user to monitor EMule's long-term performance and make sure EMule is running non-stop for those who leave the computer running unattended.

Features

eMule adds several new features to the venerable eDonkey2000 system:

  • A credit system for when a user has successfully uploaded data to you, their credit rating increases. This ensures that these credited users have a higher priority in regards to downloading your files.
  • Intelligent Corruption Handling. EMule will aggressively check your downloads to verify their integrity, and only re-request as much data as it actually needs to reconstruct a corrupted file. Conversely, eDonkey2000 will re-request an entire 9 megabyte chunk when corruption is detected.
  • One of the latest additions to the eMule program is source-propagation between clients. EMule will automatically distribute and fetch known sources for files with other clients it's connected to, greatly speeding the process of discovering rare files that aren't located on your immediately-connected server.
  • When a download is complete EMule can rise to the top of the desktop automatically, pause downloads and set priority ratings for both uploads and downloads.
  • EMule allows user created comments. Upon initialization of a download it is always reasurring to read descriptions or know that the file is rated high.

Usage

Estimates suggest eMule has at least 50 million individual users worldwide. By late 2004, the content available with eMule was growing nicely. This excellent client continues to regularly report the total number of working servers as somewhere between 55 and 100, file totals of up to 460 million and total user numbers ranging anywhere from 2.6 to 3.4 million. This figure doesn't include users only on the Kad network, which can easily be millions more.

This horizon is constantly expanding. In late November 2004, tens to hundreds of thousands of new users were flocking to, or persistantly using Emule. It is most likely that legal action in an Australia court against Kazaa is driving users to an alternative or to test a few other clients, post-Napster like. In January 2005 the total number of users (excluding Kad users only) breached the 4 million mark for the first time.

What is Available?

Emule includes a mix of diverse proprietary, promotional, amateur and public domain files. Searching the Mule typically returns a reasonably good mix of hits. The results for all kinds of warez like cracks, games and software, like upgrades for eMule itself, VST plugins through to software for various gaming consoles, are all favourable with this client.

There are a growing number of torrent files available. Emule has good results for television bloopers, interviews, documentaries, series, cartoons and other video clips. You can also find rare bootlegs, radio segments, and live audio recordings of performances and concerts. Then there are lots of archives and bundled collections, various literature, HOWTOs, banned material, technical guides, programming manuals and software documentation.

EMule allows users to get other software for pocketPCs, Palmtop and other platforms. There are phone-ring tones, eBooks, photographs, random artwork and diagrams, as well as movies, rips of the latest DVDs, pornography , music (audio tracks and video clips) including MP3, Mod, OGG and WAV files, all within a couple of clicks.

Set Up

To get optimal results this program requires careful set-up of connection preferences and specific settings for firewall, router and proxy users. Best settings are dependent on your operating system and available bandwidth specs, which can differ considerably. Users are recommended to go over the detailed help files and check the official FAQ and forums for further troubleshooting.

Hints and Tips

  • There are fake ed2k servers which filter search results or record users activitys. It is strongly recommended that emule users either a)only use Kad for searching and don't connect to a server or b)disable automatic updating of their server list from servers and clients, clear their server list, install a listed of servers from a trusted source such as OCBMaurice's server list and manually update ocasionally.
  • Before removing a file from a shared folder, verify if there are other people with complete sources.
  • Share at least twice the size of the file. If you downloaded a 300MB file, transfer at least 600MB of this file to other people. The details for each file can be accessed on the shared files tab in the statistics section.
  • Connect to the eMule server with the most number of users for best performance.
  • Tighten the active connection figure by progressively reducing the active connection ratio in Preferences > Statistics, together with the maximum number of connections / 5 sec, in Preferences > Extended Settings. The aim is to find a balance without getting peaks. This will reduce the chances of a bottleneck from too many connections.
  • Diversify the type, format and kind of media you download.
  • Between the hours of 10:00 and 22:00 GMT is when the most number of users connect and when most files are available.
  • Heavily requested files should be the first to be rated and commented upon, because these files are the ones that are most likely to begin downloading. Comments can be found in a variety of languages. Users can check Google or other web sites to translate file comments.
  • A few users have reported failures to download files larger than 4GB which can be cured by turnig off peercache in extended settings. This is believed to only affect customers of ISP's using peercache.

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