Eish!!: Free/Legal music downloads too good to be true

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Free/Legal music downloads too good to be true

It seems that the promise of free and legal music downloads was a little premature. Much excitement has been generated around the online community around the launch of Qtrax. Qtrax claimed to have the buy-in from the four big record labels, for free Peer to Peer downloads of their artists tracks. They went live today. Being a music lover, I took the gap presented by being in a different timezone and downloaded their software and registered this morning. Here's my experience.

Firstly, when registering, although they have some 'obscure' territories like Argentina, there was no South African option in their 'Country' download box. Whether this is done purposefully or not, I have not been able to ascertain.
Secondly, the promise of being able to access artists from the major labels has not materialised. Despite claims to the contrary since April last year, even on their website, Reuters have reported that both Sony BMG and Warner music have publicly denied that they have signed any agreements with Qtrax. The agreements they signed was to test paid downloads and these contracts have since expired. I gave this a test and searched their catalog for Bruce Springsteen, an artist I know is signed to Sony BMG. His catalog is found and itemised, but you cannot download. This function, the pop up claims, will be coming soon.
Thirdly, after browsing the service for about fifteen minutes the service suddenly became unavailable. Server problems? High traffic volumes? Court action threats? Time will tell.

In short, the old adage, of too good to be true seem to apply.

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