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. stanley said on May 28, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    i tried to login my email bu its did not allow in now i am very lonely not playing and charting at the same time

  2. luckybleu said on July 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    qtrax is now up and running with music available for downloads (free Legal) with for now the catalogs of universal and emi with thousands of tracks being added daily I think you should give it a second look it will be compatible with all windows drm portable players it takes time to crack the thinking of major record labels

  3. Lurker said on May 11, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I am speechless at the comments here.

  4. waqar said on May 5, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Whats stupid is that they keep coming up with positive press releases without apologizing for their lack of service. They seriously disappoint time and time again.

    Signed agreements? Extremely profitable? Yeah, okay. Tell us that when it happens. Thanks Qtrax.

  5. app103 said on February 6, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    The thing that really bothers me about all of this and would stop me from trying it, no matter what, is a very important unanswered question I have.

    Found this on their about page: Qtrax and its components are developed by LTDnetwork Inc. a division of Brilliant Technologies Corporation.

    Brilliant??!! Is this the same Brilliant that gave us the lovely Kazaa piggyback spyware that sold your unused pc cycles, bandwidth, and hard drive space to others without your permission or knowledge?

    Another thing I would like to know is since it is based on open source software, does that mean if I download it, that I am also entitled to a copy of the source for Qtrax?

  6. Bob Carle said on February 4, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    I downloaded the Beta and it truly is Beta and a poor one at that. The tiny boxes on black, that are almost invisible, have to be searched for. The program start without numerous mouse clicks, it won’t download and there are no help screens to speak of.. I am sticking to iTunes…

  7. Kevo said on January 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    to be fair, the slow and bloat actually comes from songbird, not qtrax. I have been a songbird user since the beginning, they have yet to begin optimizing code to run faster and smoother. I too downloaded Qtrax, i just think there is alot of bugs and possibly some office politics that they are dealing with right now. This was definitely a premature announcement on the part of Qtrax.

    For those that have installed Qtrax, you can clearly see the signs that the Qtrax player is not quite done yet. many UI segments are still branded with songbird logos and wordings.

    On the other hand, i think Qtrax has opened up a can of worms with the use of songbird. Firefox extensions can easily be ported over to songbird/Qtrax and could allow users to make use of Qtrax in ways that they would not allow.

    I have already been able to run quite a few songbird plugins including ipod and usbmass plugins. You can disable the top banner advertisment by simply disabling the qtrax extension by going to tools > addons.

  8. Bob Jones said on January 29, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I tried it and had the same poor experience, it was a huge disappointment.

    I guess since they didn’t actually have contracts with any music groups like they claimed, they didn’t turn downloads on and I guess won’t for a while … so its just a bloated, slow, music player with advertisements? Yipee?

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