This is likely the next wave of file sharing. What’s wrong with GNUtella, you ask? Well, unlike Napster, GNUtella clients install with file sharing turned OFF by default. As a result, the GNUtella network is primarily composed of people who “leech” — that is, downloading without sharing.
There’s very good reason why we all leech — none of us wants to saturate our net connection (the way Napster did) with other people downloading files from us.
e-Mule has a good compromise. By default, e-Mule only shares the files you are CURRENTLY downloading. As such, someone who is downloading a file that has been indexed from its original source automatically cobbles together bits from various different OTHER downloaders. If you do choose to share a file, the viral nature of P2P takes effect rather quickly and distributes the bandwidth consumption among you as the primary source and the various other downloaders.
A good compromise that results in the same or better performance as GNUtella, but an otherwise wider selection of material and fewer true leeches.
Brilliant stuff, IMHO.