“A revamped online file-sharing service aims to woo legions of music fans by offering unlimited, free song downloads that are compatible with iPods, and all with the blessing of major recording companies,” Alex Veiga reports for The Associated Press.
MacDailyNews Note: UPDATE: 10:52am EST: Qtrax’s claim of having ‘all major labels’ disputed, no deals signed with Warner, EMI, Universal
“Qtrax, which makes its debut Sunday, is the latest online music venture counting on the lure of free music to draw in music fans and on advertising to pay the bills, namely record company licensing fees,” Veiga reports.
“Qtrax [allows] users tap into file-sharing networks to search for music, but downloads come with copy-protection technology known as digital-rights management, or DRM, to prevent users from burning copies to a CD and calculate how to divvy up advertising sales with labels,” Veiga reports. “Qtrax downloads can be stored indefinitely on PCs and transferred onto portable music players, however.”
“The service, which boasts a selection of up to 30 million tracks, also promises that its music downloads will be playable on Apple Inc.’s iPods and Macintosh computers as early as March,” Veiga reports. “That’s unusual, as iPods only playback unrestricted MP3s files or tracks with Apple’s proprietary version of DRM, dubbed FairPlay.”
MacDailyNews Note: All DRM is proprietary, not just Apple’s.
Veiga continues, “‘We’ve had a technical breakthrough which enables us to put songs on an iPod without any interference from FairPlay,’ said Allan Klepfisz, Qtrax’s president and chief executive. Klepfisz declined to give specifics on how Qtrax will make its audio files compatible with Apple devices, but noted that ‘Apple has nothing to do with it.'”
MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like a RealNetworks’ “Harmony”-type kludge.
Full article here.