Normally, I’m a good sport about the ribbing of Qtrax. Hell, I’ll be the first one to admit that things haven’t gone so smoothly and I get of the enormity of that understatement. I’ll even let most of the opinions of others following our story go unchecked, regardless of how factual, opinion-laced or ignorant they are. Frankly, I enjoy the dialog and there is usually something to be learned or gained by simply listening. I’m assuming that consumers are aware that anyone can post anything they want online in blogs, tweets, emails, comments etc. and there is a massive chasm between genuine journalism and the un-checked, sloppy posts of your average blogger (see: Qtrax Music Experience). Yet every once in a while, someone goes too far, and needs a good old-fashioned bitch slap regardless of how small and insignificant their writing is. Such is the case following the post titled: Qtrax: More Frustrating than Q*Bert on a blog called Idolator.
The title was good. I thought I was in for a treat. Sadly, that’s the only thing that was good. I thought of providing a running commentary against the entire story, which is so far from the truth, but realized that would seem petty and would ultimately bore the hell out of readers. So, I’ll trust that you’ve gone to the above story and read it. Go ahead do it now, it’s fine. I’ll wait. Done? Did you read the comments? OK, I’ll wait a bit longer. Cool. Now, here’s my response to you, Mike Barthal, “the amazingly inaccurate blogger” or “the guy with the slowest computer and access on the planet.”
1. If you’re going to count the steps and time it took to download an application that provides you with free and legal music downloads, you should probably know what a “step” is. I counted only 15 actual steps to downloading and installing the application and downloading and playing music, which is about the same as Skype, iTunes, Google Chrome, and come to think of it, most other applications that require registration and action. Just so you know for your future posts, noticing logos, getting drinks, sitting there waiting, admiring bookmarks, reading about FAQs etc. are not steps in acquiring music on Qtrax. You know this, you were just trying to be funny and entertaining. I get that, but if someone comes away with the notion that it takes 34 actual steps to get music on Qtrax, well, then you’ve just lied to your readers.
2. I really started to feel sorry for you with all the time you spent during the download process. Could it be that I simply forgot how damn long it takes to download this beast (a third of the size of iTunes) of an application? Maybe. So, I uninstalled Qtrax and went through the process again. Readers (both of you) of this blog know that I’m not likely going to get a job with the Geek Squad any time soon, so don’t think I’ve got a huge IT advantage. However, I can install a program, have a 2 year old lap top with an Intel Core Duo 2 processor (shazam!) and a high-speed wireless router connected to a cable modem. Let me know if I went too fast for you there, as I can tell I went all nerdlinger there for a moment. Here’s a quick comparison:
a. Installation time. Mike: 10 minutes. Me: 18 seconds
b. Launch time. Mike: 5 minutes. Me: 10 seconds.
c. Music download time: 5 minutes. Me: 2 seconds.
d. Playing song (verify track): Mike: 1 minute. Me: 6 seconds
Now, maybe I’m just a brilliant super-user that should consider a career in something other than writing or digital media, but the whole process didn’t even allow me enough time to get a drink–and I like to drink. To top it off, it was all done in Firefox. That very same browser that you mentioned the downloader doesn’t work in. Damn, ended a sentence in a preposition. See what you made me do?
3. Here’s Mike’s summary, followed by my summary.
Total time: 45 minutes.
Result: A country cover of “Fat Bottom Girls.”
Was it worth it? Not really, no.
Overall impression? It’s like a shitty version of iTunes where you can download some random free songs. So maybe people will like that!
Total time: 3-4 minutes.
Result: Lady GaGa’s “Poker Face”
Was it worth it? Yes, if you like free music.
Overall impression? Thanks for the free music. It didn’t cost me anything which is totally unlike anything on iTunes. Plus,
Qtrax has all the catalogs of all the major labels and a ton of indies, hardly random at all. I bet most people will like that.
Mike, either you are less tech-savvy than me (which is hard to imagine), you need to update your service from dial-up, upgrade your computer from a Commodore 64 or start feeding that hamster some higher protein rodent mix to get a steady power supply. I’m sorry it took so much time. Speaking of that, I’m actually counting about 21 minutes of time for you, but you say 45 minutes. Did you actually go to another site and look up “Fat Bottom Girls?” Seriously, did you? It happens to the best of us, buddy–next thing you know, the whole morning’s shot.
Now, I realize that you’ll have to consider the source on this information. I’m obviously going to take the pro-Qtrax side of most arguments. I understand that the site and the download/installation process need some work. I appreciate any and all comments, especially ones that take a fair critical look at what we’re offering. Like I said, it totally helps us out. However, when a bogus story gets posted and has comments that actually thank the author for an inaccurate portrayal of the facts which support his dislike of our site, then we have to speak up. So, Mike Barthal and the Idolator team, we welcome your comments and criticism. We appreciate you taking note of our service. We applaud your efforts to inform the masses. We give you props for stating your opinions. We just wish you would take the time (really, it only takes about 3-4 minutes if you’re equipped with my space age technology) to get the story straight.
However, what’s really sad about the story, is what’s posted on Mike’s page on the site. Even though some 600 people viewed the story and 6 comments were made, one thing breaks my heart. As it so viciously states on Mike’s page on the blog, “Mike Barthal has no friends.” Seriously, someone change that.
This entry was posted on April 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm and is filed under ad supported, Blog, Free Music, Music, Music Download, P2P, Qtrax, Qtrax Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.