Morpheus updates P-to-P software

Saying that it is taking longer than anticipated to roll out its newfangled Morpheus 2.0 peer-to-peer (P-to-P) file swapping software, StreamCast Networks Inc. released an interim update to the current Morpheus Preview Edition Monday.

The upgrade, dubbed Morpheus 1.9, boasts a host of new features that set it apart from the current version, which was rapidly cobbled together when the company switched from the FastTrack P-to-P technology platform to the open-source Gnutella platform last March. The switch came after more than a million of Morpheus users were shut out of the Morpheus network in what the company called a massive denial-of-service (DOS) attack. The 1.9 version is still based on Gnutella but is not Mac compatible.

The latest version of the software gives evidence to the new direction the company hopes to take the P-to-P application with the 2.0 version, making it a cornerstone on which to build other services and applications. Morpheus 1.9 includes a chat client, dubbed Morpheus Messenger, which is compatible with America Online Inc.'s (AOL) Instant Messenger (AIM). Additionally, a Plus version of the messenger offers full-motion video conferencing for a fee of US$9.95 for three months, or $24.95 a year.

The new software also includes Morpheus Shopping Club, an e-commerce platform that offers users cash rewards when they make purchases with the company's retail partners.

Morpheus 1.9 users can also enroll in the Morpheus Minutes program that provides users with competitively priced long-distance phone service. The service, which is billed to the user's phone bill, costs $4.95 a month and then 5.9 cents per minute for state-to-state calls. If users chose to have it billed to their credit card, they pay $4.50 a month and then 4.5 cents a minute.

The new features make Morpheus 1.9 a far cry from the preview edition, which is more of a pure P-to-P file swapping application.

StreamCast, formerly known as MusicCity Networks Inc., did not say Monday when the 2.0 version would be rolled out, or what other services and features it had up its sleeve.

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Scarlet Pruitt

PC World
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