Many programs, such as eMule, MLDonkey and the original eDonkey2000 client by MetaMachine, which introduced the link type, as well as others using the eDonkey file sharing protocol, can be used to manage files stored in the filesharing network.
eD2k links allow a file to be identified from a link in a web browser and to be downloaded thereafter by a client like eMule, Shareaza or any other compatible software. This linking feature was one of the first URIs to be introduced in peer-to-peer file sharing, and had a vast effect on the development of the eDonkey network, as it allowed external link sites to provide verified content within the network. Nowadays, so-called Magnet links have replaced eD2k links in practice. They serve a similar role, but are not limited to the eD2k hash and can contain other hashes such as SHA-1 or MD5 for example, which makes it possible to use these links to point to files in several networks (as well as in BitTorrent) at once.
eD2k links include file hashes, as these hashes can be used as a unique identifier for files within the network, so even if the linked-to file has a different name on two computers within the network, the file can be found on both of them, and file chunks can be obtained from both sources. This is done by using a hash function on the file to calculate its checksum, depending only from the file content, not from its name.
Like other URI protocols, web browsers can be configured to automatically handle ed2k URIs. After installing an eD2k client, the eD2k protocol is optionally registered so that clicking on it in the browser automatically starts the download or asks whether the user wants to start downloading.
File links are preceded with the "file" token, which indicates that this is a file link, as opposed to a server, serverlist, nodelist or friend link. The typical eD2k file link also includes the filename and the file size. An example (a link to the 15 MB Purist Edit trailer) is provided below:
eD2k links can also include a reference to the IP address and port of specific clients that are known to share the linked-to file. This is done by adding a list of sources after the main part of the link, like shown in the following example:
A server link is a reference to an eDonkey2000 server; clicking on such a link typically adds it to the server list. Server links are indicated by the server token at the beginning of the link and have the following format:
Magnet links are a type of URI (Universal Resource Identifier) that is mostly used to link to one or several files in P2P networks, however, other usages do exist. In general, one can say that Magnets are used to assemble useful information about a thing (most often a file or similar resource), such as its location, name, hash sums or content in a clear, extensive format.
Magnet links are a powerful tool that allows to provide a link to a specific file on a P2P network which can then be downloaded with a compatible program. Magnet links aim to be a sort of link that can be used independently of the P2P network, hashing algorithm or filesharing program being used, in fact, they aren't even limited to be used together with P2P at all. However, since Magnet links may contain any type of hash, not all Magnet links can be processed by all programs. For files located on the gnutella and G2 networks, typically an SHA1 hash is included in the link, whereas for files on the eDonkey2000 network, a hash commonly referred to as CMD4 or eD2k-hash is contained in the link for example. Shareaza is one of the rare applikations that brings support for almost all types of Magnet links.
Magnets are a fantastic way of utilizing the power of P2P networks to share your files with the world. For instance, you can use Magnet links to share a specific file with your friends over IM (instant messengers, such as ICQ, MSN/WLM, Jabber or IRC), eMail or similar means without the need to send the file directly to them. On an other scenario, a visitor to your website can click on a Magnet link and download a file from hundreds of other people on the network. This means they aren't downloading it from your web server and racking up the huge bandwidth bill you would normally have to pay for hosting.
Shareaza and other P2P programs, like Phex, gtk-gnutella, Vuze or uTorrent can handle Magnet links. However, the Magnet support of BitTorrent clients differs greatly from Magnet support of P2P network programs (remember, BitTorrent is not a P2P network!), as BitTorrent clients use Magnets to link to torrents in the BitTorrent DHT, using the BTIH (BitTorrent Info Hash) of the .torrent download.
For each file in your library, there is a right-click option to copy its URI. This can be used to copy into the clipboard either a Magnet link for the file with the file's BitPrint (the SHA1 and TigerTree hash) and File name, or an eD2k link. If you highlight multiple files in your library (by holding down or while selecting the file), there is an option to export more complex URIs to the clipboard, or to a file.
See the Library Manager Wiki page and the animated image below for more information on how to change the display mode to Power Mode and create a Magnet link from the context menu of a file in the Shareaza Library Manager.
To include Magnet links in a web page, the simplest way is to export them Magnets into 'html format' to a file using the Export URI dialog, including the necessary tags you might need. Have a look at the Library Manager Wiki page, which contains some preformatted examples of tags you may wish to include.
You may want to place a little icon before the 'clickable text' of your Magnet link, so that it looks pretty. There are some examples of icons you may wish to use for the links your webpage at the MagnetURI web page.
where *magnet_link* is the Magnet link in question and *display_text* is the text displayed as the link. If this does not work for some reason, use the url linking as shown in the next paragraph.
If a site does not recognize Magnet links or blocks them, you can still link to the file using the magnet linker tool at sure-raza.com. This service is very easy to use: simply add -raza.com/ to the beginning of the Magnet link, to make it look like the following:
The magnet: URI scheme is an standard defining an URI scheme for so called Magnet links. These links are mainly used by P2P applications to refer to files (normally by their hash value) located into their respective networks. As of today, Magnets are the second most used P2P link worldwide (after torrents).
Magnet links mostly use file hash sums to refer to a specific file inside a P2P network. These hash sums are similar to an (almost) unique fingerprint of a file and can only hardly be spoofed. Once a compatible client gets the information contained in a Magnet link, it starts searching the network using the provided hashes. This returns exactly the file the link refers to which is/can be downloaded afterwards.
An additional advantage of Magnet links is their platform independence and plain text format: Almost on all operating systems exist applications that support these links which makes it possible to download the linked-to contents from almost everywhere. Also, it is possible to copy/paste these links into emails or instant messages, which makes it very easy to send them for example to friends or other people that might be interested. This gives these links an enormous advantage compared to .torrent files because these files are much harder to edit or transmit to others.
Magnet links are based on a series of parameters, which can be used in any combination and order including information about one or several files. These parameters (also called tokens) can specify almost everything, from hashes of one or several files to their names or fix sources. Each token starts with a question mark followed by a two letter token code and the value of the respective token. The most common parameter is "xt" (meaning "exact topic") which contains generally a content hash of the respective file the link points to. It can be used several times.
The freebase.be cache is maintained by Jonne and acts like a tracker on BitTorrent, only for files on the gnutella and Gnutella2 network. By appending the following string to your Magnet link, clients checking it out as an alternate source will be known to others doing the same at a later time:
It is worth noting that BitTorrent can not ditch the .torrent format entirely and rely solely on Magnet links. The .torrent files hold crucial information that is needed to start the downloading process, and this information has to be available in the swarm.
A Bittorrent magnet link contains all the information needed to start downloading the files from peers directly. It is a server-less way of retrieving the right information to start downloading the requested files. A magnet link therefor is theoretically all that is needed to download files from other peers in the Bittorrent network. Magnet links can be distributed by email, messaging and other forms of communication but are most often found on the torrent sites that usually offer both torrent and magnet links to their users.
The full magnet link would look like this: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:5dee65101db281ac9c46344cd6b175cdcad53426&dn=download. Detailed information about additional Magnet Link parameters are listed on Wikipedia. One useful parameter that has not been mentioned yet is the as= parameter which contains encrypted information about a download source. This speeds up the process of finding the first peers.
The end users on the other hand benefit from Magnet Links as well. All they need is the link to start downloading the files which makes them independent from torrent indexers. It also allows them to distribute the information more easily. Torrent indexers remain on the other hand the main source of information for new files that are available for download. 2b1af7f3a8