Qtrax, the free and legal P2P music network that promised 25 million songs from the four major record labels sounded too good to be true. It turns out that’s because it wasn’t true. The BBC reports that three of the four major labels have denied making agreements with the company, and the link promising a midnight software download is still inactive. Update: Silicon Alley Insider reports that Sony BMG also denies having a deal in place. Also, a loyal reader has sent us screen shots and explained the weirdness that’s going on with Qtrax, after the jump.[BBC]
Ross, a Giz reader, managed to download the software while it was still available and writes to tell us about his experience. The software seems pretty basic, and includes a player and a web browser (surfing Giz no less). However, when he tried to download a song, all he got was a message saying "Downloads coming soon!!".
He also tells us that the program came with a few bookmarks, including Skreemr, a web search engine for MP3s, and a section that promotes an add-on to make the songs iPod compatible. These links scream "dubious legality" to us, and the Qtrax program itself simply looks like a skin on the open-source Songbird API, where the iPod add-on comes from.
So what is the real story behind Qtrax? Were there ever major deals in place? Is someone getting fleeced? If you have any info, send it to us.
Thanks for the help, Ross!