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Is Qtrax the Future of Digital Music?

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220px-Qtrax Well as of now, no.

Today marks the two-week anniversary of Qtrax’s beta release to the public, and while the thought of having all four major record labels agreeing to license agreements sounded revolutionary, as of now it is nothing more than a pipe dream.

As many others have said, Qtrax’s initial launch may go down as one of the worst in recent history. Announced at the beginning of the 2008, Qtrax is supposed to be the Napster of 2008; users of the Qtrax service download the Qtrax software at the site, register for the service, and proceed to download as many songs as they please from the database of 25 million songs. In order to pay the record labels, each song has an advertisement at the beginning of the song and Microsoft Windows Media DRM applied to it in order to curb illegal copying of the songs. The Qtrax software is also laced with multiple advertisements across the top and right side of the viewport.

Eager to try out the software for myself, I proceeded to the Qtrax website and attempted to download the software to no avail. The problem: there was no download link! I gave up on downloading Qtrax for the night, even though the beta was supposed to be released at this point. The next day I managed to download the Qtrax software on my laptop and install it for the first time. As I booted up the Qtrax software for the first time and I was presented with this screen:qtrax

When you are planning on making a release of software that is supposed to become a competitor to iTunes, this is definitely not the way to do it. After failing to get anywhere on Qtrax again (mind you this is 2 days after the release) I gave up on Qtrax again.

As of today Qtrax is still in limbo. The four major labels have not agreed to a license agreement with Qtrax, and the users of the software still cannot download songs from the software. I tried to register an account today and when I clicked on the ‘Check Availability’ link on for my user ID I was given a friendly ‘about:blank’ page. Even with all these problems I still feel that Qtrax will be able to pull out of the mess they are in right now and get their service going. They already have the hype from multiple blogs/media outlets and tons of potential users, now all they need is the actual music.


Written by Daryn

February 11, 2008 at 1:40 am

Posted in Music, Review, Technology