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QTRAX Free and Legal Music
Developer(s)LTDnetwork Inc.[1]
Stable release
2013.08.07.002 / January 30, 2015
Operating systemWindows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X, All Windows, All Mac
TypeAd-supported, Media player
LicenseProprietary (freeware)

QTRAX was an ad-supported digital music service that provides Downloads, Streaming and Radio via Mac and PC (and on Android and iOS from February 2015). CEO Allan Klepfisz has stated that maintaining compensation for copyright holders while capturing part of the 95 percent marketshare that continues to download music illegally is the ambition behind Qtrax's current model.

QTRAX launched a new initiative, the ARTIST MANIFESTO, on 27 January 2015, aimed at providing music artists with better compensation for digital music consumed via its (and others) digital music services.

QTRAX Artist Manifesto - A Better Deal for Artists

The New York-based company which held license agreements with a number of major and independent labels closed following a Tel-Aviv District Court order.[2]

QTRAX allowed music fans to download free and legal music (Download, Stream, Radio) with a selection of millions of tracks from major labels.[3] The Qtrax Player client has been created on the Microsoft Silverlight Platform.[4] The service was totally free to use with registration and generates revenue by a combination of advertising and strategic partnerships.[4] Qtrax value-added service included band pages complete with links to YouTube videos, Ticketmaster ticket searches, Amazon purchase links, and a Wikipedia link.[3] Users could interact socially by creating playlists and sending music recommendations to friends.[5]

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.[6]


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.[7][8][9] In the days leading up to the announcement, the stock price of Qtrax's parent company, Brilliant Digital, reached a 52-week high.[10] 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".[11]

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.[12] It was also reported that many of the images on the Qtrax web site were unlicensed.[13]

On March 18, 2008, Italian digital music website MusicBlob[14] found that apparently several CD compilations of the Ultra Rare Trax series, a bootlegged CD series circulated on CD during the 1990s and dedicated to artists such as The KLF, Kraftwerk, Duran Duran and others, are listed in the Qtrax catalogue as if they were legitimate release.

On April 25, 2015, The Telegraph [15] reported that despite Qtrax's self-claimed approach of being pro-artists, it owes its employees thousands of dollars in unpaid salaries. The former employees are reporting accordingly in their Facebook page[16] and their blog.[17]

International availability[edit]

In 2011 the QTRAX Music Service was available in 68 countries.[18]


  1. ^ [1] Archived May 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Going to Liquidation!". Qtrax Unpaid Staff. 27 December 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Surprise! Qtrax, The 'Free and Legal Music Downloads' Service, Is Back". WIRED. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  4. ^ a b "Surprise! Qtrax, The 'Free and Legal Music Downloads' Service, Is Back". WIRED. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  5. ^ "Qtrax: New Oz Free Digital Music Service.. And Its Legal". Archived from the original on April 11, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  6. ^ Fisher, Ken (2008-01-28). "Qtrax's free, ad-based P2P: Gnutella meets Zune-esque DRM". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  7. ^ "A Note From Allan Klepfisz | Qtrax Music Experience". Qtrax.wordpress.com. 2009-07-17. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  8. ^ [2] Archived January 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Major Labels Allow P2P Music Sharing on Qtrax". Archived from the original on January 28, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2008.
  10. ^ "Qtrax jumped gun on online deal, labels say - latimes". Articles.latimes.com. 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  11. ^ [3] Archived October 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Software - CNET". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  14. ^ "MusicBlob - Hey, there's pirate music in my Qtrax!". Musicblob.it. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
  15. ^ "Qtrax, the company that wants to fix musicians' pay, hasn't paid its own staff". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-04-25.
  16. ^ "Qtrax Unpaid Former Staff Manifesto". Facebook.com. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  17. ^ "Qtrax Unpaid Staff | Free Music and Artists' Rights are great, but PAYING YOUR EMPLOYEES is better". Exqtrax.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2015-09-05.
  18. ^ "QTRAX launches free, legal music download service in ten countries". Telematicsnews.info. 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2015-09-05.