Why I wont be using Qtrax

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 29, 2008
Updated • Dec 3, 2012
Music, Music and Video

Qtrax hype has reached a climax yesterday with reviews on many blogs and websites. The funny thing about this is that the client was not officially available yet and either all those reviewers had beta access or were simply using press material issued by Qtrax to review the service. Well, the client is available now but before I look at it I would like to describe Qtrax in a few words.

Qtrax offers a software based on Mozilla Songbird that is supposed to offer millions of free and legal music downloads using Peer to Peer technologies. There was some confusion behind the scenes because Qtrax confirmed that they had agreements with all four major Music Industry players while all four denied those agreements, now what do you make of this ? If they don't know if there is an agreement or not how are we going to find out if the service is legit or not ?

The Qtrax client was available for download and I decided to give it a sneak peak. Some users who were using Songbird as well were reporting problems with their music library afterwards, so take care. The software has a 0.2 beta stamp but looks solid after installing. Everything is a bit slow here and there and the registration is not working in the player at all, I did get a blank Javascript window whenever I tried to register an account.

I'm not sure if you do need an account because there are no information whatsoever about the service, just some advertising on the homepage. I was able to register on the website directly by copying the link from the Qtrax player into the address bar of Firefox.

Registration was kinda smooth afterwards, you have to enter the usual information such as email address, username and birthday. The email has to be verified of course. The problem was that the email they send never arrived and that a second registration attempt lead to a Oops ! Requested resource is not available message. They seem to have server issues at the moment.

The player looks solid but is kinda slow and filled with advertisement. Downloads are not working yet, no information when this will be the case. You can add your music to the player but I'm not that sure what they are going to do with it. Offer it to other users of the service ? It's P2P after all ?

I don't really mind the server problems, many startups face those. That's not the reason why I will not take a second look at Qtrax. The main reason is that I simply do not need that service. Why would I want to download music with DRM that I can only play in a few devices, if any. There is zero information about compatibility on their website.

Since I can't download music right now and I can't register either I can't give you information about the music that you download. Are you forced to listen to it in the player (most likely) because of the advertisement ?

If I want to discover music I use a service like Last.fm instead. If I want to listen to music I use Internet Radio stations which I can legally record. I really can't see a reason for using Qtrax other than using it for the sake of using a somewhat legal P2P software and that reason is simply not good enough.


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  1. Justin said on November 30, 2011 at 10:18 am

    The warning message about AAC streams when you load streams is because you don’t have the free Orban AAC/aacPlus Player Plugin installed.


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Justin, thanks for the information.

  2. santosh said on December 1, 2011 at 12:43 am

    does this support AAC ? or only mp3 streaming

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

      I’d say it supports all pls streams but I have not tried that so cannot verify it 100%.

  3. Barnabas said on August 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you Martin for a most informative and viable solution (it allowed me to play streams from a Netherland internet radio station in my WMP)! Continued success to you!

    Barnabas (USA)

  4. AppleRome said on October 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Your steps’ recommendation is still valid until 7th October 2012.. Thank you very much !!

  5. Laura said on December 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you!

  6. sak2005 said on December 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    You must convert file.pls to file.m3u
    because file.pls open with winamp and file.m3u open with wmp.

  7. Lithium said on February 10, 2017 at 11:10 am

    2017 still kicking on Windows 7
    Thx a ton

  8. Dennis said on April 18, 2017 at 4:05 am

    Hey, even i can do it, i stumbled through it and it works great! The only instruction advice i will add as i had to figure this out, when the wmp box opens that says save or open the bar on right says wmp click that drop down and select “open pls in wmp” once you do that it will work . Took me quite some time to discover that as i am no computer expert by any means. Having said that, previously i had downloaded codec packages and something about aac. None did any good. This rocks, i listen to a lot of internet radio and a number of them have dropped flash player and getting wmp to work had been a nightmare. So many thanks for this great solution to another problem that Micro-Hell will not even address. Peace- Out

  9. stephen marshall said on March 19, 2019 at 2:07 am

    openplsinwmp came in a zip file. I unpacked it, and didn’t find anything that looks like an executable, and even the files in the “doc” folder were in a format windows didn’t recognize. I’m not stupid. you said it would open effortlessly. It didn’t. This a rabbit hole I don’t want to go down.

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