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 ?
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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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.