LimeWire Dead: What`s Next for File-Sharing Software? - MLDonkey and Shareaza
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MLDonkey is an open source peer-to-peer file-sharing application that runs as a back-end server application on operating platforms such as Linux, Unix, and Windows. According to the application’s Project Wiki page, MLDonkey can be controlled through a user interface provided by one of many separate front-ends, including a web interface, telnet interface, and over a dozen native client programs.
One of the most appealing aspects of MLDonkey is its ability to act as a peer-to-peer program that supports a wide array of network protocols (either partially or completely), including:
- The eDonkey network
- Direct Connect
- Kad Network
Not only that, but the application also has multiple control interfaces, including web interface, telnet, and third party GUIs.
MLDonkey is also able to simultaneously connect to different peers using different network protocols, and it’s capable of downloading and merging parts of one file from different network protocols. That being said, it’s important to point out that this particular feature is currently experimental and still operating with a few bugs. Also impressive, MLDonkey runs in a terminal session and does not require a GUI environment. This means that it saves processing resources and money.
Despite being ranked twelfth on the SourceForge all-time download statistics, you may not have heard of Shareaza, a peer-to-peer file sharing client running under Microsoft Windows that supports BitTorrent, gnutella, Gnutella2, eDonkey, FTP, and HTTP network protocols.
Developed by Michael Stokes in 2004, the software is now maintained by a group of volunteers. Like LimeWire was, Shareaza is free, and the home to a diverse and evolving music community. Unlike LimeWire, the software grants users access to over 2 million licensed music downloads.
Shareaza contains three user modes, with the first being a sort of default mode for normal users. This mode in particular provides a clean, trimmed GUI that doesn’t enable users to heavily change the settings, but grants them use to the most essential functions, such as searching and downloading. The second mode is for power users, as it provides more access to the network and offers more advanced settings. The third and final mode is the windowed mode. This mode enables users to see different windows simultaneously. This mode also enables users to personalize the look of the client to fit their needs.
Shareaza also contains a built-in chat, enabling you to communicate with other “Shareazians.” One last feature worth pointing out is Shareaza’s ability to connect to BitTorrent, gnutella, G2, and eDonkey. Essentially Shareaza hashes its files for all networks, and then distributes the hash values on G2. Rather smartly, this enables Shareaza to download one file from several networks at the same time. For example, when another Shareaza client connected to G2 finds the file, it is provided access to the hash values for all networks, enabling them to search on the other networks with their respective hash values, increasing the number of sources and the download speed of the file. Shareaza is also capable of finding more sources for its torrents by utilizing its G2 network.
As you can see, the demise of LimeWire doesn’t mean the demise of useful file-sharing software -- just make sure you’re not using the software to share or download copyrighted material without permission. Don’t be the next person to make the news for violating file-sharing copyright laws and subsequently getting slapped with a multi-million dollar lawsuit; those Barry Manilow tracks you downloaded aren’t worth it!
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