updated 8/31/2005 9:37:26 PM ET 2005-09-01T01:37:26

EDonkey, a popular software program for sharing video and other large files over the Internet, now accounts for the biggest slice of online file-sharing, according to a study comparing the top four file-swapping programs.

EDonkey eclipsed BitTorrent for the top share of online file-sharing traffic, according to an analysis of such traffic by Britain-based research firm CacheLogic.

The study, conducted over six weeks beginning in June, only looked at the volume of data moving over the eDonkey, BitTorrent, Gnutella and Kazaa's FastTrack file-swapping networks, not at how many individual users or files they had, said Nicholas Fraka, marketing manager for CacheLogic. They thus favored eDonkey and BitTorrent because of their use for larger files.

BitTorrent, which grew in popularity in recent years given its ability to transfer large files much more efficiently, had accounted for a little more than 50 percent of all file-sharing traffic and 30 percent of all traffic on the Internet, according to a previous CacheLogic analysis last year.

Since then, the entertainment industry has gone after operators of Web sites hosting marker files used by BitTorrent to locate other file-swappers online.

In the new study, eDonkey accounted for 51 percent of the file-sharing traffic, compared with 34 percent for BitTorrent.

FastTrack, the network tapped by users of the Kazaa file-sharing program, accounted for 10 percent of file-sharing traffic, while Gnutella, popular for swapping audio, carried 6 percent, according to the study.

CacheLogic's analysis involved direct packet monitoring of data streams from Internet service providers. Video files, which tend to be larger, made up 61 percent of volume. Files in the MP3 format remain the most common audio files shared.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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