Another free music downloads service launches today. Qtrax is a free and legal download service that uses P2P technology via its own modified Mozilla type browser (which currently looks similar to Songbird’s last make-over).
Digital rights management is used and with a future Mac compatible version due on March 18th it’s raised some questions as to how Qtrax is going to make audio files that will be iPod compatible but still feature a DRM restricted technology that hasn’t been licensed from Apple.
So far the public have been wary of advert-supported free music services and maybe cautious of being tied to subscription based services such as emusic whilst iTunes continues to offer the ease of a per track or per album payment model and is slowly removing its own DRM where possible.
Meanwhile Amazon has announced that its current US-only DRM free mp3 downloads service will become available outside the US sometime this year.
The iTunes competition hots up but currently Apples music downloads service is still the market leader.
Update: Qtrax may have been a little premature in announcing signed deals with the major record companies as many now deny reaching deals with Qtrax that would allow their music to be offered for free. Until those deals are finalised their service will no doubt remain just a bold promise.