[LINK] Qtrax

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun Jun 22 23:03:05 AEST 2008

Greg and Rick re Qtrax: as yet under-done, and download-each-play issues:

>> Regarding Qtrax: http://www.qtrax.com/ and http://www.qtrax.com/AU
>> Qtrax is the world’s first free and legal (P2P) digital music site.

Greg writes,

> Unfortunately, most of the claims made at launch were, to be polite,
> premature. The studios apparently hadn't actually signed up for the deal
> that Qtrax claimed to have in place. Now, 6 months later, downloads are
> starting to happen - if you are in the US. If you are outside the US,
> all you get is a pretty version of the Songbird media browser. How long
> until we get downloads like this is anybody's guess, however I expect
> that a lot of the content will remain US only for the foreseeable future.

Rick writes,
> A few observations.
> QTrax requires a special client. Not that that would stop anyone
> from downloading and installing it.
> Well, it would stop Linux and Max users. The software is an 11 MB
> ..EXE file, beta release. Windows XP + Vista only. Oh, and you must
> have Microsoft Dotnet Framework 2.0 installed.
> IIRC someone on Link eschewed the whole DotNet mess when it was
> required for some other product. All too hard and messy.
> Even thought the Qtrax site says available only in the USA for
> beta testing, I can download the beta here in Aus. I didn't complete
> the download since I cannot the EXE file except in a completely
> sandboxed virtual PC which kind of defeats the intent. cheers rickw

> A few more observations.
> This is *not* a P2P "music site". That is an oxymoronic term. This is
> a classic client-server downloading system.
> With a catch. From their FAQ:
>    "You can then play these files anytime you want in the Qtrax player.
>     You must be online to play Qtrax files."
> They still don't get it, do they?
> As if sitting logged into your own account on your own download
> computer to play music is going to fly.
> I wonder how long it will take to crack this sort of "bricking"?
> I think the protocol analysers are going to be running overtime
> for the next few weeks.
> It is only a matter of time (days?) before Qtrax music files are
> streamed outside of their little sandbox into the big bad world.
> Wait a minute, there is a security FAQ:
>    "Are the music files downloaded through Qtrax encoded with
>     Digital Rights Management (DRM)?
>     Yes.  DRM allows Qtrax to insure that artists and record labels
>     are properly compensated for their work.  DRM means that you can
>     play these music files on your computer or any Windows Mobile
>     devices that you own.  However, you cannot directly transfer these
>     files to other users.  At the same time, you are always free to
>     share these files with other users via Qtrax by sending them a
>     direct link to download the file.  Agreements with the various
>     music rights’ holders allow Qtrax to leverage the power of P2P
>     in a way that is 100% legal."
> So you can play the files offline. But only with a Windows mobile
> device. What, no iPod support? Of course not. The DRM would break.
> You cannot directly transfer to another user. Oh wait, you can,
> via P2P technology. Oh, no you can't. You can only send them a
> link to the file so they can download using client-server. So it
> ain't P2P. Or is it?
> Right.
> I think the marketing dept should let the techies proof read their
> copy before writing stuff like the above. cheers  rickw

Cheers G & R
Stephen Loosley
Victoria Australia

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