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Morpheus 2.0 review:

Morpheus 2.0

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The Good Well-organized interface; delivers solid search results; nicely integrated messenger and media manager; unobtrusive advertising.

The Bad Initial searches take a long time.

The Bottom Line After months of hemming and hawing, Streamcast finally delivers a new and improved version of its popular file-sharing app.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

Review Sections

After a turbulent year, Morpheus has come roaring back with a new version worthy of its former good reputation. When Streamcast first moved to the Gnutella network and released version 1.9, it also inadvertently moved its client out of the top spot among peer-to-peer file-sharing apps; Morpheus 1.9 just didn't have the chutzpah of earlier versions. Now, with version 2.0, Streamcast regains its position among competitors such as LimeWire and iMesh. After a turbulent year, Morpheus has come roaring back with a new version worthy of its former good reputation. When Streamcast first moved to the Gnutella network and released version 1.9, it also inadvertently moved its client out of the top spot among peer-to-peer file-sharing apps; Morpheus 1.9 just didn't have the chutzpah of earlier versions. Now, with version 2.0, Streamcast regains its position among competitors such as LimeWire and iMesh.

Cartoonish interface
Downloading and installing Morpheus took less than five minutes, thanks to wicked-smooth wizards. The first thing you'll notice about version 2.0's interface is the new, colorful Superman-style M logo, which gleams and changes colors while you're searching. Overall, the interface looks great and is well organized. You'll find big buttons for searching and managing media, and despite the lame icons--two of them look like boomerangs or bats, we couldn't tell--they're easy to use. Originally part of version 1.9's $9.95 Premium package, Morpheus Messenger, which lets you hold videoconferences and chat with folks on AOL Instant Messenger, is now free, but its features didn't exactly bowl us over. When you first click the Messenger button on the top right, nothing seems to happen, but no worries; the buttons initiate a download. Once the messenger app is installed, Morpheus launches it immediately.

Slow start on searches
With Morpheus 2.0, you'll notice full-featured searching capabilities--the heart of any file-sharing application. A power meter tells you how many servers you are connected to, while search results show how likely you are to be able to download any given file. You won't find a column for bit rate, but you can easily access that info by clicking an individual file. Morpheus also lets you refine your search for audio, images, video, documents, and software, and it allows you to run multiple queries.

Our first searches after installation took an extraordinarily long time to return results, but once we got going, Morpheus delivered. Subsequent launches returned results more quickly. The program also installs Morpheus Shopping, a branded version of BuyersPort.com powered by Wurld Media. If you register for this service, direct marketers can access your information and purchasing data. However, Wurld Media claims that it doesn't share your information with third parties. (For more information, please refer to BuyersPort's privacy policy.) Three cheers for Streamcast--we didn't have to contend with a single browser pop-up ad while we ran the program, and Morpheus limits advertising to unobtrusive banners.

Getting better all the time
Morpheus 2.0 is more than competitive with other Gnutella clients. It gets big props for its clean interface and lack of ad-related interference. Give this music file-sharing app another try.

Clean and easy to use, version 2.0's interface showcases big buttons that quickly take you to different parts of the program.

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