Development Continues with eMule 0.47b

More software development has emerged. This time eMule, the most popular and heavily modded (thanks to its open source nature) clients on the eDonkey2000 network, has received another update.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Respectively, the news comes with a changelog. A new feature implemented is an “Added progress bar during archive scanning for live archive preview.”

Another feature that goes along with the new changes and improvements is the eMule Shell Extension. It is significant for users who use explorer in Windows XP to preview files. Normally, a user can browse to their temporary folder, then look at their client and right click on a file that is downloading and click on ‘Details,’ look at the part number and correlate that part number with the temporary file in the temporary folder – and then take that identified file and preview it (typically a movie file.) Now, the extension tells the user what file is in the Windows explorer without having to do all these steps. It simplifies the whole process.

Another feature which has been discussed is the eMule protocol obfuscation feature. Perhaps it was inspired by the BitTorrent encryption and works to correct the same problems. According to the explanation, “Protocol Obfuscation is a feature which causes eMule to obfuscate or “hide” its protocol when communicating with other clients or servers.

Without obfuscation, each eMule communication has a given structure which can be easily recognized and identified as an eMule packet by any observer. If this feature is turned on, the whole eMule communication appears like random data on the first look and an automatic identification is no longer easily possible. This helps against situations where the eMule Protocol is unjustly discriminated or even completely blocked from a network by identifying its packets.

It is however important to note what obfuscation is not intended to do: It will not increase your anonymity, it will not make you “invisible” in any way and it will also not protect you effectively against eavesdroppers.”

It is, however, noted that even BitTorrent’s encrypted data has been allegedly throttled. Whether eMule’s obfuscation will be targeted for throttling will likely depend on the ISP (Internet Service Provider.) In some cases, it could be because of a negative opinion on file-sharing as a whole. In more likely scenarios, it may be because of an exceptional amount of bandwidth usage. Yet in a general sense, eMule doesn’t tend to use as much bandwidth as BitTorrent, but this all depends entirely on how one configures eMule and how it is used.

If one is updating with the binaries .zip file, one easy way is to shut down eMule. If there is a static list in use, look in the eMule directory and find the config directory. In the config directory is a file called the ‘staticservers.dat’ file. Open the file in notepad (note what it looks like) and copy all the servers and paste it in a separate notepad file (note that the servers look nothing like the server hash links, but somewhat similar.) Unzip the binaries into the eMule directory and click ‘yes to all.’ Go back into the config folder and open up the staticservers.dat file in notepad and you’ll note the servers are missing. Copy the servers from the spare notepad file into the staticservers.dat file and save the dat file. Close the other notepad file (not saving the file) Start eMule and configure it to your preferences.

The options to not update the server list and only connect to a static list are already ticked (if this is how the options were before in the current version.) Click connect. At this point, the static list is already in the eMule configuration since it was already saved manually despite updating. Note that this is one clean way of updating eMule, there are a lot of other ways to install/update eMule.

A full list of bug fixes can be found here. The changelog can be found here.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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