Amazingly Inaccurate

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.

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18 Responses to “Amazingly Inaccurate”

  1. nice post- not to mention… what a LAME comparison, regarding the logo. Just because they both have the letter “Q”, that means the logos are the same? What should they do- spell Qtrax different? What an idiot.

    • No doubt. I ended up spending a few minutes looking at the two logos trying to figure out what the point was. I want my few minutes back.

  2. luckybleu Says:

    I tried posting a “different opinion” on that site 3 times (nothing to radical) the posts either would’nt post or were instantly taken down ,finally my IP address was blocked, This guy has alterior motives for sure. Saturday I sent a Qtrax invite to my 10 year old nephew ,who has an older computer and a windows xp o.s. and within 5 min him and my 4 year old neice were happily downloading taylor swift and the jonas bros. Mike Barthel is full of sh*t. I think he must be using web tv.Seems more than a little apple biased,1.29 or free ?? …no brainer

    • Glad to know the kiddies are getting their goods. I find it strange that there was really only one slightly differing opinion. Obviously, it went out to the masses of people who follow Qtrax news (if I got it). I thought the point of an opinion-based blog was to allow opinions.

      • there’s a couple of good comments on that blog. The truth of the matter is, we’ve been dealing with that negative attitude for a while now, and I don;t think it will go away until the kinks are ironed out. I guess in some ways it’s a good sign that people are so competitive . Intelligent people will see right through it

  3. yes, thanks for the post.

  4. Reading Idolator you can almost smell the fear behind the arrogance. His Granny Smith is over-ripe.

    Qtraxer, thanks from all of us that have to read the endless spin.

  5. Regardless of the debate about how long it took to download the application, Mike should go back and download an album. It will take less than two minutes and he can play it straight away with excellent sound quality. If he wasn’t deliberately trying to rain on Qtrax’s parade he would admit it’s a pretty decent site for something that’s free. I suspect he won’t, which means in the future we can ignore him.

  6. harrysdog Says:

    another one im afraid…

    http://arstechnica.com/media/news/2009/04/hands-on-free-but-inconvenient-music-doesnt-work-for-qtrax.ars

    for me …it worked like a dream first time… (I also re-did from scratch after reading original article)…. how come these techie writes have so many problems…

    love they way they moan about having to jump through hoops…..yeha one time you have to click on a few MS links…install some stuff once.. then thats it…

    Mind you… I have had the QuickTime and streaming error.. think I just ignored them… but you need to get rid of this kind of thing…

  7. harrysdog Says:

    Why dont you record a little video clip ..with a timer …of the entire installation process,finding music /downloading etc..(make a point of the install being one time only)……stick it on the qtrax support site.. then just point to that when these sites make such BS claims

  8. morechocolate Says:

    outstanding! A+ for both content and style! you got talent, kid.

    now about that trasher you shredded – there’s a whole army of ’em (we all know this is a war, right?). googalerts pop into my inbox continually – and every freakin link is more blogger sabotage. not to mention plagiarism – they all propagate the same ssshhi…stuff. and geeeeez! – when are they gonna get passed the whole midem deal? who are these blogger “authorities” anyway? they don’t DO anything – they only write about what other people do.

    imo with billion$ at stake apple knows the big Q is a big threat – and they’ve turned their blogger army loose in an all-out effort to crush the threat.

    but they will fail bc the consumer will decide who wins the war. the best product will prevail.

    p.s. quiznos sounds good for lunch.

    • Thanks. I’m not going to go full conspiracy theory yet, but it’s a possibility. What I find flabbergasting is that there are people who believe this crap. Just reading some of the comments is what makes is scary. Who puts their faith in a blogger? Oh wait…did I just say that out loud?

      Quiznos was just rated one of the least healthy fast food restaurants. Mmmm…deadly toasty. I’m going too.

      Here’s the irony of it all. I actually downloaded the latest version of Skype to compare the two processes. I figured, Skype’s cool enough right? Turns out, Skype came infected with the Trojan Horse virus which has my computer running at 1/4 speed right now and I’m actually buying the damn virus blocking software right now to get rid of it. There’s your conspiracy theory. The virus removing software people are infecting computers and selling their own software to get rid of the virus. Seems like a money maker to me. Add one more sucker to the list. F-n Skype.

  9. Qtraxer…absolutely fantastic come back for what appears to be an endless stream of sabotage…A conspiracy theory?????…reminds me of a few episodes from the X Files…I totally believe there are huge dollars at risk here and market share. There are those who will stop at nothing to mislead consumers by dishing out the same old BS…I am convinced that most of these BASHERS are on one or more of the competition’s payroll.

    Enough of my conspiracy theories….out side of the US, I believe you will find that most people will be more accepting of the qtrax model and will be excited as hell to have access to the worlds largest music library. We Americans are far to spoiled with wanting everything at the click of a button and will bitch it we have to one second longer than we thought we should have to…

    With the potential of 300 million Chinese subscribers using one specific web site for their music downloads and of those users 80 % are spending in excess of 2.5 hrs per day downloading music…let’s just say for the sake of argument that 1% of those customers will be unhappy with the speed or complexity of the Qtrax platform….I will take the 99% all day long….

    My only question is can Oracle handle the volume 🙂 LOL

  10. harrysdog Says:

    I’ve been BASHING away watching videos of lady gagga.. phwooar dirty little minx.

    has qtrax launched in the UK yet…ive got too much time and my eyesight’s fading

  11. I like harrysdog idea. Qtraxer would it be possible for you to put a little video together? It would be nice to put something fresh up on youtube. Let us know if you would do it, pretty please? Thanks

    • I’m sure they’ll do all the promotion necessary when the time is right, but that time isn’t now.

      • morechocolate Says:

        you’re “sure”…and “that time isn’t now.” your reply conveys authority. are you sure? if so, how? or is this just your opinion?

  12. I guess you are right David. On another note, would it be possible to tell us how many people are currently using Qtrax, and how many songs are available up to date? Thanks

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