Qtrax Courts Controversy, Big Label Deals In Question

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Qtrax boldly announced its beta launch this weekend, though major label negotiations remain unresolved.

The ad-supported download destination has been bubbling for some time, and the company chose the setting of Midem in Cannes for its official beta release.

In the unveiling, Qtrax chief executive Allan Klepfisz promised “free music that won’t get you arrested,” and outlined a P2P-based offering layered with advertisements.  The New York-based Qtrax will offer access to 25 million songs, unlimited downloads, and freedom from spyware, adware, download costs and subscription fees.

But not everyone is on board.  Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and EMI denied that licensing had been finalized, according to various reports.  Those discussions could soon be resolved, though the presence of DRM-protected tracks – and iPod-incompatibility – also presents a hurdle towards consumer adoption.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.