With CD sales in free fall and legal downloads yet to fill the gap, the music industry has reluctantly embraced the file-sharing technology that threatened to destroy it. Qtrax (the site is currently down so I linked to the google cache page of the site so you can still see it), a digital service announced today, promises a catalogue of more than 25 million songs that users can download to keep, free and with no limit on the number of tracks.
The service has been endorsed by the very same record companies - including EMI, Universal Music and Warner Music – that have chased file-sharers through the courts in a doomed attempt to prevent piracy. The gamble is that fans will put up with a limited amount of advertising around the Qtrax website’s jukebox in return for authorised use of almost every song available.
The singer James Blunt gave Qtrax a cautious welcome. “I’m amazed that we now accept that people steal music,” he said. “I was taught not to steal sweets from a sweet shop. But I want to learn how this service works, given the condition the music industry is in.”
You can read more here.
Update: Qtrax is back up. Check it out here.
-Would you deal with Digital Rights Management and advertising for free music?
-What do you think about this? Blunt's statement?
-If you currently use iTunes or another service, will you move to Qtrax?
-Does this seem right to you?