January 27, 2008 9:35 AM PST

Legal file-sharing service touts free music with ads

Qtrax says it will launch with 25 million to 30 million copyrighted tracks with backing from major labels.

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I am not, really, understanding this...
>> "Qtrax is not the first service to offer free songs for download with advertising support".

>> "Qtrax executives said the company's digital rights management technology will count the number of times each song has been played in order to fairly compensate artists and rights' holders, without restricting consumer use."

The "tracks" will be track-able, and "DRMed"..? If the number of times the "song" is played can be counted, it [the music] cannot actually be unencumbered music-tracks. So, I guess this is another streaming-music service (or, only playable through special software)..?

And, the model will be for "compensation"... each time the -product- is -used-..? Honestly, I think thats kinda scary as a, core, business-philosophy.

Frankly, I dont like the entire idea of having music (or any other, so-called, "intellectual", or "artistic", property... for that matter) changed into a, perpetual, "service" (controlled by, external, interests... beyond my control). The power, and abuses, inherent within such a, -you never own it- philosophy, have already been made very apparent. Perhaps, that is why Im having a hard-time seeing this as anything other than, pretty much... adapting the -consumer- to the "music industrys" model... and not the other way around.

And, finally...

>> "Music companies have been badly hit as fans flocked to P2P services like Limewire and e-Donkey to download millions of free songs rather than buy CDs or legal downloads from Apple's iTunes digital store"..?

I believe that the only investigations of the -true impact- of "P2P" on "sales" have all been hotly-contested. Basically, the "music industry" says one thing, and almost every other study seems to conclude something else.

So, I am not truly comfortable with the -carrot- of "free music", when backed-up by the -stick- of "DRM" (...and never truly controlling my music). And, I do not think that this is really providing what consumers are actually asking for (...reasonably-priced music, which allows them all of their basic consumer-rights). Therefore, this does not seem to actually be providing greater-value. Anyway, thats my opinion. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Posted by Gayle Edwards (262 comments )
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let's file this one with the rest of the 'me too' music sites... 3 years ago this might have been interesting.. ..WHO CARES.
Posted by music_hater (2 comments )
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Ya know what I'm waiting for?
I'm hoping for a service that is totally advertiser funded that intersperses songs with ads.

Make it so that you can listen to the songs while you're capturing them so you can decide whether you want to keep it or now.

And, make it wireless too!

No, wait, I think I've just invented FM with a tape deck.
Posted by kkohnen (107 comments )
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Rhapsody, A Legal Alternative
I've been using Real Network's Rhapsody subscription service, for a year now. I like it a lot.

Rhapsody has a very extensive library of music. It's only $13.99/month, and I can listen to anything I want, any time I want, Ad Free.

They do offer albums for sale/download, for only $0.79/song. However, they are only now starting to switch to mp3, from .rax (AAC with DRM), and Windows Media Audio files (.wma), with DRM.

You can download directly to some devices, like the Napster-to-go service. However, this doesn't include the iPod.

As a musician myself, I like to support the musicians that supply me with the music I love so much. So, recently I bought an album I already obtained/tried through P2P. I bought it and downloaded it as .wma files, rather than Real's .rax. I was very disappointed when I tried to drag the .wma files into iTunes, to find that they were DRM "protected" files, and although I had purchased them, could not copy them into iTunes. (The industry still has a looooonnnng way to go.)
Posted by juddrizzo (6 comments )
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Deezer.com does just that already
Peter Butler in Download Dispatch seems not to believe such a music distribution scheme could ever see the day, but IT ALREADY EXISTS.

Here in France I listen to free music each day on deezer.com. There is a sleek player, with some non-intrusive ads on the side. This service appears to reserve access of most titles to only people connecting to Internet from France due to territorial right limitations, but you can still go try some titles that are available to you internationally.

I suppose Deezer will open to more countries in near future. It seems they have effective agreements with SONY BMG, BELIEVE, BECAUSE, IRIS DISTRIBUTION.

You can also upload your own titles in a P2P fashion, although I never tried it in this way and I read that the uploaded title will only appear once it has won approval from the Deezer team.

This looks to me like the best way to distribute music.
Posted by fhville (1 comment )
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