Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The World's Fastest Dot-Com Fizzle

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Monday a company called Qtrax announced that they were launching a peer to peer music sharing network with deals in place with the recording companies where advertising shown in the client software would go to pay musicians and songwriters. In just a day the network failed to launch and the big music companies stated that while they had talked to Qtrax there were no deals in place.

If this announcement was an attempt to jump start stalled negotiations then Qtrax has just played it's final card. Vaporware announcements are risky at least. It is also rumoured that songs distributed on Qtrax will use Microsoft's Windows Media Audio format with DRM.

This already means that songs from Qtrax will not work with iPods, which if they are trying to launch an online music service, iPod compatibility is so very essential because of Apple's huge market share in the portable music player market. If most people can't use the songs that Qtrax is offering on their iPods, then Qtrax probably won't get getting very far trying to convince the recording industry to let Qtrax to distribute music for free.

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