Qtrax Begins Its Global Rollout: Free, Legal Music Sharing

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News Posted: Tue, Aug 18 2009 10:05 PM
Qtrax - the legal, ad-supported free music download site - will begin its worldwide launch in October, starting with the Asia-Pacific region.

Forstarters, it will operate in China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan,Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.The official date is Oct. 29, a Thursday. By year's end, it willofficially launch in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom,though it already has been available as a 1.0 "preview" download in the U.S.

It appears to be available only for Windows users who have Windows Media Player 11, Microsoft .Net 2.0 and DRM security update.



Qtrax was announced last year and has deals with all the major musiccompanies - EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, TVTRecords and Universal Music Group, among others. After downloading thesoftware, users can play any of the songs in the catalog that they wantand play those songs as often as they want, but only within the Qtraxclient. That's why they have to be used within Windows Media Player -they use Microsoft's digital rights management technology.



Qtraxgot the OK from the companies because it's supported by advertising,and is sharing revenue, naturally, with the "artists and rightsholders" (i.e., the music labels). The important part is that it'slegal, and users can play the songs as often as they want through Qtraxwithout fear of the RIAA. The first time you download a song from theservice, there's a lag of a few seconds for "authentication," but onceit's downloaded, users should be able to play songs at will, withoutdelay.

Users will be able to share music, though how, exactly, that will workis a bit unclear. According to the website, you can create a playlistof tracks and then e-mail that playlist to your friends.



Asia isthe first target for the global rollout, company officials said,because of the intense Internet use there. Qtrax President and CEOAllan Klepfisz said Internet users grew by 474.9 percent between 2000and 2008 (280.7 percent in the rest of the world) and 83.7 percent ofusers in China download music (in the U.S., that figure is 40 percent).  Qtrax is based in New York City and is asubsidiary of Brilliant Technologies Corporation, a publicly traded technology holding company.
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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Aug 18 2009 11:55 PM

two thumbs up for Aaron Neville

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Kiristo replied on Wed, Aug 19 2009 2:11 AM

^Can't say I agree with that.

What about all the possibly pirated music everyone already has, will their client play that too? Otherwise, I doubt folks who already have stolen their music will start going legit.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Aug 19 2009 8:19 AM

I was just saying I like the man in general. I see what you're saying on the way they'll manage content and rights though. That's a tough one but if they set up the advertising model properly and monetize their page views well, it's possible to pay for any song that goes up on the site.

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Lev_Astov replied on Wed, Aug 19 2009 6:18 PM

Wow, I had thought this died after its rollout nearly two years ago failed. I'll give this a go when I get home later.

And, Kiristo, since it is running within WMP, of course you can play your own music. Whether you can combine them within the same playlist as songs from Qtrax is a different issue, however.

><((((">Lev Astov

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