StreamCast has released a test version of its file-sharing software that taps into all major file-swapping networks, including Kazaa. New file-swapping applications are bridging formerly separate networks, promising to improve the efficiency of peer-to-peer searches and sharpen competition among rival software developers.
On Thursday, StreamCast Networks released a new test version of its Morpheus software. The application, for the first time, taps into all the major file-trading networks, including Kazaa, the world's largest, from which StreamCast was unceremoniously ejected several years ago. Other, smaller software programs such as Shareaza and the Macintosh-based Poisoned have had similar multi-network search capabilities for some time, but StreamCast is the first major commercial company to go down this route. Peer-to-peer interoperability could provide a boon for end users, because it could give them access to a wider variety of content and swapping partners. But it also could be a setback for companies, such as Kazaa distributor Sharman Networks, that include advertising and other commercial features. If Morpheus and other companies successfully offer universal peer-to-peer searching, they could immediately match, or even exceed, the available library of files on rival networks, regardless of how many people use their software.
The drive toward building bridges between networks appears well under way, driven by independent, noncommercial programmers as well as companies seeking to capture the benefits of Kazaa's huge user base for themselves.
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News source: ZDNet UK