Long time ago it was Audiogalaxy. Splendid peer-to-peer file-sharing application.
Thanks to Audiogalaxy I got lots of hard-to-find songs. Unfortunately I lost them all during a computer upgrade.
Then it was Napster. Not as good as Audiogalaxy- in my opinion of course- but still good enough to find songs.
It was good until all that legal trouble with Metallica that felt robbed and sued Napster for loss of money.
The revamp Napster was a pay for song application and honestly speaking I don’t know if it’s got the same popularity as before the scandal.
Now it’s a new kid on the block, named Qtrax which boasts a selection of up to 30 million tracks.
Actually Qtrax has been launched sometimes in 2002 but shut down after a few months to avoid legal trouble.
Now the company is working with major record labels: Warner Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and EMI Group and the downloading is free.
To take advantage of the legally free service, the user need to download the Qtrax software which displays advertising while the user is searching and downloading songs.
The site will feature music videos, interviews and even tracks from live concerts recorded the night before.
What’s the catch? Here it is: downloads come with copy-protection technology, namely digital-rights management (DRM). Meaning that you can’t burn copies to CD, but you can store it indefinitely on PCs and transfer onto portable music players.
So far it’s not available for iPods and Macintosh computers. Allegedly it would be as early as March.
It remains to be seen if Apple would take some steps to block Qtrax files from working on iPods. Apple has its own version of DRM dubbed FairPlay.