StreamCast Networks has added an e-commerce platform to the latest version
of the Morpheus peer-to-peer network as it looks to position the popular
file-sharing client as a potential money-earner.
The latest move to put a storefront within the Morpheus 2.0 upgrade again puts the P2P
space at the front and center of the debate into the legitimacy of the rogue
networks, which have grown in popularity among the file-sharing crowd.
StreamCast, a target of the recording industry in the ongoing legal brouhaha
over the sharing of digital music files, said the e-commerce portal built
into the Morpheus client would feature goods from partner companies.
The Morpheus Commerce Platform has been fitted with online payment
technology from iBill that lets consumers bill monthly recurring charges
directly. To get started, file-sharing fans must deposit $5.00 in a Morpheus
Wallet to make micro-payment purchases.
Another ambitious addition to the P2P client is Morpheus Tix, a feature that hawks
and delivers tickets to sporting events, music concerts and Broadway shows.
While it seems a logical step to use the popular network to push tickets and
e-commerce items, companies on the P2P bandwagon have found it near
impossible to make money by targeting consumers.
Morpheus, which competes directly with KaZaA, BearShare and Blubster, has
also found the going very tough in recent months. The patent company,
Franklin, Tennesee-based StreamCast has cut staff and rejiggered the
business plan to inject life into Morpheus but, among a crowd of
freeloaders, making money from file-sharing networks is never a sure thing.
“We’re confident that Morpheus 2.0 is the best peer-to-peer software
application on the market today,” said StreamCast CTO Darrell Smith. He
said the new iteration of the software continues to use the gnutella
open-source network but was “redesigned from the ground up to include
important innovations over earlier gnutella products.”
The long-awaited upgrade, which was delayed after technical glitches forced
Morpheus offline includes spiffy new features like file bundling, query
routing, download swarming and metadata catalogues.
A big hit among users in the upgrade is the search power meter that displays
the strength of a user’s connection to the P2P network. This helps to
figure out which files can be downloaded fastest and without interruption
once a user performs a search and gets hundreds of results.
StreamCast said the targeted search functionality allows users to search by
file type including audio, documents, images, software, and video. It can
run multiple searches simultaneously and target search results based on a
user’s connection strength.
It also adds a Morpheus Media Manager that lets users manage downloaded
files. All downloads and shared files are automatically organized in folders
so that they can be sifted. The folders are divided by category: documents,
audio, images, video and software.
Morpheus, which claims more than 100 million downloads worldwide, recently
inked a deal with security software firm McAfee
distribute the SecurityCenter anti-virus product within its P2P client.