QTrax announced its legal peer-to-peer music service at key music industry event Midem, in Cannes this weekend - and promises Mac and iPod support within weeks.

The company has secured licences to distribute music through its advertising-funded service from all the majors and many of the independent labels.

The service works by embedding DRM into songs exchanged online and is being launched with a catalogue of 25 million tracks, the company says.

The DRM counts plays in order to track royalty payments. Tracks exchanged through the service cannot be burnt to CD, but the company plans to ensure songs can be played on portable devices, including iPods.

Company president and CEO Allan Klepfisz promises that the ability to carry tracks on portable devices will be made available on 29 February; that the service will be made Mac-compatible by 18 March and that the company will introduce a solution to enable playback on iPods by 15 April.

The iPod solution doesn't require Apple's FairPlay DRM, with the company calling its iPod technology a "technical breakthrough", development of which "has nothing to do with Apple".

UPDATE: Since time of writing a BBC report has emerged which claims three of the major labels: Universal, Sony-BMG and EMI are denying QTrax' claims that they have reached a deal, while a deal with Warner Music remains unsigned. QTrax counters that the deal-making process has begun. Read the BBC report here.