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Qtrax Logo 2013.png
Developer(s) LTDnetwork Inc.[1]
Stable release 2013.08.07.002 / August 7, 2013
Operating system Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
Type Ad-supported, Media player
License Proprietary (freeware)
Website qtrax.com

Qtrax is an ad-supported digital music service aimed at providing high-quality downloads via Mac and PC.[2] The New York based company now holds license agreements with a number of major and independent labels.[2] CEO Alan Klepfisz has stated that maintaining compensation for copyright holders while capturing part of the 95 percent marketshare that continues to download illegally is the ambition behind Qtrax's current model.[2]


Qtrax currently allows music fans to download free music from three of the major labels – EMI, Sony Music and Universal Music Group[3] The Qtrax client has been created on the Microsoft Silverlight Platform.[4] The service is free to use with registration and generates revenue by a combination of advertising and strategic partnerships.[5] Qtrax service includes band pages complete with links to YouTube videos, Ticketmaster ticket searches, Amazon purchase links, and a Wikipedia link.[3] Users can interact socially by creating playlists and sending music recommendations to friends.[6]

The files utilize Microsoft's Windows Media Digital Rights Management. This platform ensures the ad-supported application continues to offer free access to music files.[7]


As of March 20, 2009, the following is a list of the currently signed contracts:

On 6 May 2008, UMG (Universal Music Group), the largest of the record labels, signed a deal with Qtrax.[15] Qtrax stated that the entire catalogue of songs from artists under the Universal label will be available.[16]


The company announced the launch of its service in January 2008, at the music industry's global conference MIDEM in Cannes. Qtrax claimed to have obtained licenses to distribute the music of the big four music record labels: EMI, SonyBMG, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.[17][18][19] In the days leading up to the announcement, the stock price of Qtrax's parent company, Brilliant Digital, reached a 52 week high.[20] However, within days, it became clear to the media that several of the material claims made by the company were untrue.

When asked to explain, Qtrax stated that they felt they had "been unfairly crucified because a competitor tried to damage" them, and that they did "have industry agreements including with the major labels." although the "ink hadn't dried" on some of the deals. Qtrax also announced that it still planned to deliver on its promises "within months".[21]

In January 2008, the internet policing company, Web Sheriff notified Qtrax that regardless of whether the music companies supported the service, individual artists would have to give their approval.[22] It was also reported that many of the images on the Qtrax web site were unlicensed.[23]

On March 18, 2008, Italian digital music website MusicBlob[24] found that apparently several CD compilations of the Ultra Rare Trax series, a pirate CD series circulated on CD during the 1990s and dedicated to artists such as KLF, Kraftwerk, Duran Duran and others, are listed in the Qtrax catalogue as if they were legitimate release.

International availability[edit]

Currently, the product is available in 68 countries.[25]

Previously the company had missed its North American and Asian Pacific launch dates[26][27]


  1. ^ "Qtrax - Legal Disclaimer". 
  2. ^ a b c Morrissey, Janet (2011-09-03). "O.K., Downloaders, Let’s Try This Song Again". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2012-02-01. 
  3. ^ a b url=http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/03/qtrax-is-back
  4. ^ url=http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/03/qtrax-is-back/
  5. ^ Van Buskirk, Eliot (2011-03-04). "Surprise! Qtrax, The ‘Free and Legal Music Downloads' Service, Is Back". Wired. 
  6. ^ url=http://smarthouse.com.au/iPods_And_Portable_Players/Music_Download_Sites/U7B3P5K8?page=1
  7. ^ url=http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2008/01/qtraxs-free-ad-based-p2p-gnutella-meets-zune-esque-drm.ars
  8. ^ EMI Music becomes the first major music company to make its catalogue available to Qtrax: the world's first ad-supported, legitimate P2P service, archived from the original on 29 November 2014 
  9. ^ Euroinvestor http://www.euroinvestor.co.uk/news/story.aspx?id=9765135
  10. ^ Engadget http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/04/qtrax-says-it-now-has-deals-with-major-labels-doesnt-actually/
  11. ^ Van Buskirk, Eliot (2008-02-28). "Qtrax Has Active Deal with TVT Records | Listening Post from Wired.com". Blog.wired.com. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  12. ^ "Warner Music Group and Qtrax Sign a Digital Licensing Agreement". Sev.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  13. ^ Billboard June 2008 http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i51cfa2a984208f3053d12c36bed491d2
  14. ^ Wired December 2008 http://www.wired.com/listening_post/2008/12/qtrax-signs-thi/
  15. ^ Sherwin, Adam (May 8, 2008). "Free legal downloads promised by Universal rights deal". The Times (London). Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ "UMG confirms deal with Qtrax to allow free music downloads", ABC 33/40 News, archived from the original on 29 November 2014 
  17. ^ "A Note From Allan Klepfisz « Qtrax Music Experience". Qtrax.wordpress.com. 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  18. ^ Lauria, Peter (2007-06-25). "New York Post - FILE-$HARING". 
  19. ^ Van Buskirk, Eliot (2008-01-26). "Wired - Major Labels Allow P2P Music Sharing on Qtrax". 
  20. ^ Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jan/29/business/fi-qtrax29/2
  21. ^ Times Online UK[dead link]
  22. ^ Sowa, Tom (2008-01-29). "Not even out the door and already the Web Sheriff is after Qtrax". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  23. ^ CNET http://news.cnet.com/webware/?keyword=Qtrax
  24. ^ "MusicBlob - Hey, there's pirate music in my Qtrax!". Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  25. ^ QTRAX launches free, legal music download service in ten countries
  26. ^ Financial Times http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/51c0de26-cd72-11de-8162-00144feabdc0.html?SID=google
  27. ^ Peoples, Glenn. "Business Matters: Digital Economy Bill, Bandcamp, Qtrax", Billboard.biz, December 28, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2010.

External links[edit]