Monday, April 20, 2009

Qtrax decides it's not hobbled enough

Last time we mentioned perpetual online punchline QTrax, it generated a comment (from, I'm sure, a real person who genuinely cared about QTrax) suggesting that we're taking money from Apple in order to rubbish the competition.

We're not. And, frankly, QTrax isn't competing with iTunes. It might be up against the ghost of SpiralFrog and whatever it is Napster are doing now, but not iTunes.

Still, as if the repeated launching and then non-appearance of the service hasn't already made you wonder if it wasn't all a cosmic joke, then this press release from BuyDRM might:

BuyDRM, a Microsoft-licensed PlayReady DRM solutions and service provider, successfully launched its KeyOS Silverlight DRM offering with Qtrax. Utilizing BuyDRM’s KeyOS technology, Qtrax will be able to expand their customer base and increase revenues. The KeyOS Silverlight DRM Solution provides a dedicated, scaleable and robust platform for Qtrax to securely deliver content to the majority of Internet users.

Not just DRM, but DRM wrapped up in Silverlight? That's like someone not just spitting in your chips, but then wrapping the chips up tightly in gaffer tape.
"We have been using KeyOS for over a year now and have been highly anticipating the launch of Silverlight DRM powered by PlayReady. With support for PCs, Mac and soon Linux, the KeyOS Silverlight DRM Solution will allow us to tap into previously inaccessible audiences- immediately increasing our customer reach, relevance and revenue," said J. Christopher Roe, CTO of Qtrax.

This assumes, of course, that everyone who could run Silverlight will, and that's quite an assumption. Certainly, the NBA in America dropped Silverlight this season, giving as one reason that the need to install Micrsoft's product is a barrier to use.

Admitted, it's not an impossible barrier, but why choose something that requires a hefty install process? After all, what online music services are selling is convenience - and if you can get the same songs elsewhere more conveniently, why wouldn't you?

Still, you might just get away with it if you had prime mover advantage. Oh...

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