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TiVo-like Application for XM Radio Under Fire

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the bloop-bloop-ding dept.

Music 415

Strudelkugel writes "USA Today reports: 'Catching Blondie's reunion tour broadcast at 4 in the morning wasn't an option for XM satellite radio subscriber and single father Scott MacLean. "I was missing concerts that were being broadcasted when I was asleep or out," he said. So the 35-year-old computer programmer from Ottawa, Ontario, wrote a piece of software that let him record the show directly onto his PC hard drive while he snoozed.' As expected, the lawyers are coming out. Seems like a good idea, though. This capability might actually entice me to get an XM radio."

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Bleh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084803)

They're just upset because they're planning on introducing a similar feature in a couple months. I don't see how this is much different than something like Total Recorder [highcriteria.com] . Just recording for yourself (time shifting) is perfectly legal fair use.

Re:Bleh (1)

crtfdgk (807485) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084842)

So he writes a program to do something that lawyers will obviously get on his case for, and then tells a ton of people

However, I would be surprised if they offered such a feature, simply because of things like this. It's just one more way for people to try and do things legally but get hit by DRM and whatnot. It's becoming unpopular business.

Re:Bleh (1)

goosman (145634) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084933)

Anyone have a link to his software? I use and like TotalRecorder, but I'd love to have a look at what he did.

Re: Link to software page (3, Insightful)

qubezz (520511) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084970)

http://nerosoft.com/TimeTrax/index.asp [nerosoft.com]

Since XM made the SDK for the USB XM radio in question, this is ridiculous. I don't see how this software could do anything but get them more subscribers & sell more radios. Go ahead and shoot yourself in the foot XM.

Re: Link to software page (5, Informative)

qubezz (520511) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085019)

It also looks like Slashdot is a little behind on this news, it's been discussed since Tuesday on the XM developer's forum http://www.xmfan.com/viewtopic.php?t=27670 [xmfan.com] .

One interesting post by the developer indicates that he has purged purchaser's personal information from his database:

As there has been some concern about contact information held by me, I have changed my database so that the only information stored is the issued key number. Email addresses and any other identifying information about purchasers is discarded immediately after the credit card validation process has completed.
The key number is derived from a one-way hash using your radio ID and some other internal information. It will work only with your radio, however no information (including the radio ID) can be derived from it.

Re:Bleh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085064)

Agreed, they're just pissed that their big product launch, which has presumably cost them millions of dollars, has been pre-empted by a guy working in his proverbial garage.

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fp? (-1, Troll)

me3head (621221) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084808)

fp? can it be true?

Re:fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084816)

nope

Wow... (0, Offtopic)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084810)

Wow. So this is the buy that wrote Microsoft Sound Recorder?

BDC (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084813)

Cock

A few bits.... (5, Insightful)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084814)

From TFA-

Music labels fear that the convenience of MacLean's software will lead millions more to copy and distribute songs over file-sharing networks such as KaZaA, a music industry source said.

"Millions more"? Aren't there a hell of a lot of people sharing music as it is? Something like 60 million people?

Even if all 2.1 million subscribers jump on the bandwagon, 2 million subcribers (Q2 - 2004, XM website) seems like a drop in the bucket.....TFA states that only something like 2400 subscribers have gotten a copy. 400 have paid.....The RIAA's got plenty more people to sue, and an archaic business model to sustain......

A thought though - if they aren't sharing, but only recording copies to listen to, doesn't that fall under fair use somewhere? Time shifting != illegal, right?

"
the Recording Industry Association of America said his organization had not reviewed the software, but said that in principle it was disturbed by the idea."

Tell us something we don't already know......

-thewldisntenuff

Re:A few bits.... (2, Funny)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084857)

"Music labels fear that the convenience of MacLean's software will lead millions more to copy and distribute songs over file-sharing networks such as KaZaA, a music industry source said."

I guess they missed Streamripper and others like it then... I'm surprised none of them has had a stroke yet from all the stress they give themselves.

Re:A few bits.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085025)


Streamripper is fucking useless since most webcasts overlap songs anyway. And it does a shitty job guessing when one begins and one ends. Good idea, just doesn't work.

Re:A few bits.... (4, Informative)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085075)


the Recording Industry Association of America said his organization had not reviewed the software

Interestingly, the programmer is from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Out of the RIAA's jurisdiction.

RIAA unleaches army of lawyers (5, Funny)

rune2 (547599) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084818)

in 3, 2, 1...

Re:RIAA unleaches army of lawyers (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084884)

The MPAA already lost that battle for them. There is no way that a device which has as its primary purpose time shifting can be contributory negligence unless the entire premise of Sony vs Universal is overturned by another supreme court ruling (which would be a travesty).

Re:RIAA unleaches army of lawyers (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084911)

Actually, I am guessing that RIAA is going to keep the army leaching.

First Post! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084819)

Damn, it feels good...

No DMCA violation required... (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084824)

There really isn't much hacking involved in making this application.

The XM-PCR device is an XM tuner that is controled by USB, but returns its audio to the PC by the line in port on a soundcard. The audio is digital comming off the XM signal, but it's analog by the time it leaves the black box. So, all the computer needs to do is activate a recorder on the line in port and away it goes...

There's drivers on the XM site for Windows, Mac and Linux. They're actively encuraging development, so it's not surprising somebody would come up with this idea.

Re:No DMCA violation required... (4, Interesting)

ALpaca2500 (125123) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084922)

The audio is digital comming off the XM signal, but it's analog by the time it leaves the black box

there's a mod too add a TOSlink connector to the xm pcr, which provides digital out. i dont have it on mine, but according to some tests people did, it's slightly better than the line out, with less white noise.

Re:No DMCA violation required... (4, Informative)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085062)

It hardly seems worth it; I have Sirius, and despite fanatics from both XM and Sirius, the sound is not even close to CD quality. Its better than FM in dynamic range, but inferior to FM because it suffers from a signficant amount of digital artifacts.

These are not important in a car, but don't stand up to any kind of critical listening.

Its a tempest in a teapot.

laws (4, Insightful)

rwven (663186) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084829)

What laws exactly is this breaking?

Re:laws (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084854)

Just wait long enough... I'm sure they'll be able to buy some laws with which to prosecute.

Re:laws (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084864)

I'd be very worried for the sake of our TiVos if there is a law against this...

Because all this software does is timeshift the analog output of a digital content reciever. Sure, there's a little concern that it creates the files in a non-encrypted format so that it can be shared, but any TV capture device can do the same. Really, there's not much difference between this setup and having a DVR connected to a DirecTV box. It's the same thing, automated control of the reciever and then recording the output.

Re:laws (5, Insightful)

gid (5195) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084888)

You see, it's just like a tape recorder, but because it's on a computer, it's illegal, get it?

Re:laws (5, Funny)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084927)

As expected, the lawyers are coming out.

I'm no follower of Debbie Harry either, but dragging the poor guy into court for being a fan is going too far.

They should be cracking down on real criminals.

J Lo fans.

Re:laws (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084966)

I suspect that soon, we will start applying laws retroactively. Yes, I know it is against the constitution, but that does not seem to stop this admin/congress these days.

Re:laws (1)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085083)

They already have with sex offender registries. The Supreme Court ruled that it wasn't ex post facto because the main goal wasn't punitive, but I believe it was a 5-4 decision.

Re:laws (4, Insightful)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084973)

The Cue: Cat "this isn't how we told you to use it" Law

Re:laws (5, Insightful)

Wavicle (181176) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084984)

Exactly none. But that doesn't really matter much. Here are a few choice quotes from the article:
"The RIAA and XM are both busy figuring out
if any copyright laws and user agreements have been broken.
"That program is something we don't condone ...
It's our expectation they will be shut down," he added. "We're also researching any potential legal violations."
So they're predicting a shutdown even though they've no idea if it is breaking any laws. You can translate this as "Our revenues are $20million a month, we can afford lawyers who will bury this person under frivolous litigation until he's bankrupt. And hey, if we can find a law that will support us, then we could win in court assuming it manages to go all the way to a judgement"

It's pretty much all posturing. The company is working on the same exact thing which they are going to sell for an additional monthly fee. Of course there will shortly be an open source competitor up on sourceforge (assuming there isn't already).

Re:laws (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085047)

What laws exactly is this breaking?

None, but it really doesn't matter if you have enough money.

In "the land of the free" you can drown anyone else in legal fees until they stop doing whatever it is you don't like.

This is because, for some stupid reason, we think poor people don't have a right to a lawyer in a "civil" case. This is why large corporations are able to make private citizens their bitch. Even if you're right, if you run out of money for lawyers before they do, you're fucked.

haha (5, Funny)

Rotkiv (807314) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084837)

Catching Blondie's reunion tour broadcast at 4 in the morning wasn't an option for XM satellite radio subscriber

So he stayed up till 4AM programming.

XM biting a hand that feeds it? (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084839)

From the XM site itself... [xmradio.com]

The XM PCR revolution is in full effect. Across the XM Nation, we're excited to see independent developers creating fantastic new versions of the XM PCR software for a wide range of platforms including Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

So they want people to come up with creative software to use the XM PCR unit, but just not this way?...

thoughts (2, Insightful)

danoatvulaw (625376) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084846)

I've got to be honest - I dont see how the RIAA lawyers can come down on this one. This kind of "Tivo like" software seems to be just a natural extension of the VCR time shifting as mentioned in the Sony Betamax case. As such, it is a perfectly legal use, regardless of what the RIAA fears that it will or could be used for.

Just my .02

Re:thoughts (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084885)

Unfortunately for us, the RIAA lawyers consider the Sony Betamax case a mistake by the Supreme Court that they one day hope to get reversed. It's about time fair use got an affirmative law behind it rather than relying on common law traditions that aren't quite as binding as a real law.

Re:thoughts - Just your 2 cents + $1M more (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085031)

I dont see how the RIAA lawyers can come down on this one.

Easy. Too easy. Doesn't matter if you're right -- if you can't afford to defend yourself. He'll likely cave, rather than pay what it would cost to win in court. That's what's wrong with the USA legal system. Being right can still break you against a well-funded, throughly corrupt, opponent.

He wouldn't get into problems... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084850)

...if he used OGG VORBIS. Can you imagine the RIAA's press release about some guy converting a radio broadcast into some "ogg" files? I don't think so.

crazy (1, Insightful)

StevenHenderson (806391) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084852)

So the 35-year-old computer programmer from Ottawa, Ontario, wrote a piece of software that let him record the show directly onto his PC hard drive while he snoozed

Just like a legal timer record function on a VCR. How in the hell are the lawyers expecting to beat that precedent?

Easy. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084987)

The hope to beat it by buying off those in DC that write new laws.

Re:Easy. (2, Informative)

quacking duck (607555) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085080)

Funny thing though--he lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. U.S. legislation has no bearing on this, barring political pressure to "harmonize" our respective copyright laws (Canada's are a bit more sane for the time being).

No Easy to Use Software? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084855)

"Music labels fear that the convenience of MacLean's software will lead millions more to copy and distribute songs over file-sharing networks such as KaZaA, a music industry source said."

So they're suing him for creating easy to use software... great... time to sue Microsoft because everyone claims Windows is the easiest!

WTF? (4, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084858)

From the article, for those who didn't RTFA
"We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library," RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said.

Analog tape recorders have allowed people to add broadcasts to their music libraries since before I was born.

All this software does is make it a little more convienent than plugging an analog tape recorder into your XM receiver. It's stupid that they'd even consult their lawyers about this.

LK

Re:WTF? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084971)

The RIAA wish to make it illegal and is trying to use the 'plague' of P2P to make it illegal. They think they have lost too much money because people are able to record songs of the radio.

Digital Rights Enforcement (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084860)

The more they restrict things the less I want their products. I'm already not buying so I guess that means I never will. It's a lot easier to live without non-free music than to live with it!

What consumers want (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084863)

I still don't get how broadcast stations don't understand that people want stuff on demand. Tivo like products simple take a bad idea, and present it in a convient form for the consumer. Simply because a consumer wants to enjoy a service they pay for in they're own way, they assume that everyone is simply going to take everything broadcast and redistrubte it.

I've been using a free trial of Rhapsody, and I think this will be the future of broadcast for almost anything except for news or live events. (I'm not recommending Rhapsody for personal use, I doubt I'm going to continue using the service, as I only really enjoy the comedy section, and I only listen to Stephen Lynch and Monty Python)

They didn't see this one coming? (5, Insightful)

mrinella (548257) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084868)

They release a radio with USB connectivity and are surprised when someone figures out a neat and easy way to "Tivo" their content? Funniest reference in the article was to the fact that the RIAA and XM are busy figuring out if any copyright laws or user agreements were broken. Management really should have gotten a handle on this before the product was released.

Re:They didn't see this one coming? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084995)

Somehow, I think XM knows that there's no copyright law being broken. They're just going through the motions so that they can claim they did with the RIAA goes asking them how they let this happen...

Who own's the content?..... (2, Insightful)

james_in_denver (757233) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084873)

Seems to me that he has a contract with XM Radio to "consume" their product. How and when he "consumes" their product is his business. XM-Radio is the service provider, this guy is the consumer. Pretty much standard consumer/UCC law. What he does with the product after the fact is entirely his business. IANAL....though maybe I should have been.....

why do I keep hitting the hjkl(s) key all the time in this editor?......

It is a Tape Recorder (0, Redundant)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084874)

Well it works just like one. I think that they will have a hard time forcing him to shut it down. It is XM RADIO which still operates like radio! I fail to see why a judge would see to treat it differently from a regular radio and a tape recorder. Just because it MIGHT be used for mass distribution does not mean that it has.

Digital FM (2, Insightful)

squidinkcalligraphy (558677) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084876)

When digital radio (music + sub-band containing song information) becomes mainstream, won't this type of software bring 'piracy' to the masses? Save every song onto your computer with appropriate ID3 tag, scan through every day and find the ones you like, delete the ones you don't. Even easier than recording internet radio.

Re:Digital FM (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084902)

I wouldn't be surprised if the music licensing powers will start to contractually require XM to somehow "muck" the start/end of all songs by having some sort of DJ chatter or station identifier sounder play to make sure that at least the seconds at the edge of the song are disturbed from being a "perfect" copy of the song.

Re:Digital FM (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085109)

Isn't the point of XM radio to avoid DJ chatter messing up your music? I damn well wouldn't pay for that!!

Frightening Snippet (4, Interesting)

jmt9581 (554192) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084896)

A spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America said his organization had not reviewed the software, but said that in principle it was disturbed by the idea. "We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library," RIAA spokesman Jonathan Lamy said.

The RIAA and XM are both busy figuring out if any copyright laws and user agreements have been broken.

Nowhere in the article is there any mention of fair use rights or the legality of this sort of software. The RIAA is obviously very concerned about this, as it would definitely affect their willingness to release entire albums over the air. Blah.

Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084906)

Hey, maybe this will lead to the RIAA prohibiting the use of their music on radio and TV.

The real problem (1)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084994)

The problem is valid.

When you buy an album (be it a CD, on iTunes, wherever) you are paying the artist (and RIAA, unfortunately) for the right to repeatedly perform the work for your personal pleasure (no commercial broadcasts).

When a song comes in over the radio, only a (relatively small) fee is paid for the song to be used commercially and repeatedly.

If all users just grabbed their songs off broadcasts, then either artists wouldn't make any money (since there'd be a small handful of stations paying paltry payments for each album) or the cost of running a radio station would become higher than would ever be feasible to sustain (as each song would cost $1,000's to license to play on the air).

Songs coming from the radio are intended for listeners to hear once for every time the radio airs it.

Talk all you want about the RIAAs business model, you simply can't possibly claim there's any shred of hope of making money when people just snag all theirs songs off of radio.

Re:The real problem (4, Interesting)

base3 (539820) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085026)

Talk all you want about the RIAAs business model, you simply can't possibly claim there's any shred of hope of making money when people just snag all theirs songs off of radio.

Exactly. Which explains why the music industry was utterly destroyed by the cassette recorder, and finished off by ISA FM radio cards.

Re:The real problem (1)

ALpaca2500 (125123) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085048)

i might record a song off xm radio and listen to it an indefinite amount of times, but i'm still paying $10 a month for the xm radio. i'm not going to amass a library of songs, and then suddenly cancel my subscription.

i still want to hear new music. and xm it's not my only source of music. i'm still buying CDs from the same artists i have been, and new artists that i like. i'm sure someone who's willing to pay for radio instead of listeneing to fm is somewhat of a music enthusiast, and does the same.

so, my guess is that people recording songs off of fm, and having software to do it automatically, is not going to cause much harm...

Re:The real problem (1)

amalcon (472105) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085057)

you are paying the artist

Technically yes, but the fee is again relatively small (as little as 75c per album, and only for absolutely huge albums does that make up for the ridiculous entry costs to the industry).

It's still impossible to legislate against this sort of thing; if I'm literally throwing copyrighted material through the air for all to hear, I've given up any measure of control. The ony reason radio has not been crushed as a medium is that it's integral to the process of telling consumers what they want to listen to.

Re:Frightening Snippet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085099)

Nowhere in the article is there any mention of fair use rights or the legality of this sort of software. The RIAA is obviously very concerned about this, as it would definitely affect their willingness to release entire albums over the air. Blah.

Caught between a rock and a hard place, aren't they? See, they can't make any money if they don't let people listen to the music but if they let people listen to the music they just might record it and then they can't make enough money...

Ass wipes! They simply will not be happy until they collect a fee for each ear every time anyone listens to each and every play! $20 million a month is a quarter of a $billion every year and it still isn't enough!

Getting owned the RIAA is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084909)

Hehe, The RIAA are being hit from all sides now it seems.

Not a big deal.... (2, Interesting)

FollowThisLogic (710628) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084910)

XM (Delphi) is coming out with the Skyfi2 pretty soon, which will have TiVo-like qualities... you can pause the radio and play it later, up to 30 minutes. It's only a matter of time for other features to take off.

Sirius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10084916)

When will you people learn?

Get Sirius, not xm

Since when is XM legally available in Canada? (4, Interesting)

Graemee (524726) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084919)

Since our air waves are ruled by the CRTC overlords, when did they allow XM to sell it's services.

From the XM FAQ

Is XM Service available in Canada and Mexico?
XM is only licensed to provide service to the US (All states except Alaska and Hawaii), its territories and adjacent waters. XM's satellite signal reaches into portions of Canada and Mexico near the U.S. borders however, XM's service is not currently sold in Canada, Mexico or any other region outside of the continental United States.


Sounds like a grey market resale. Similar to the DBS grey market. You get an US address and subscribe. Since the border is not microwave proof we can pick up the signals.

I think he should be more worried about the CRTC coming for him.

Re:Since when is XM legally available in Canada? (3, Interesting)

legojenn (462946) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084956)

I asked XM about service in Canada was told that the satellite was finely tuned and purchasing XM would probably be a waste of money. Considering I spend most of my time in Ottawa, which is close to the US, Montreal, which is closer or in New York State, I am surprised it would not work.

Could it really be that they are afraid of the big, bad CRTC?

Re:Since when is XM legally available in Canada? (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085054)

A: They can't legally sell the XM service into Canada because their channels don't have anywhere close to meeting the CanCon the CRTC would impose on them. They'll likely never even bother to seek permission.

B: XM's satellite signals are aimed towards the USA because, well, nearly all signal they send outside of the US borders would be a total waste of energy. They could legally paint all of Canada with signal with a broad beam that also hits part of the USA thanks to the "we'll tolerate each other's signal splashes" deal between the nations, but since they'll never be allowed to openly sell up there, they might as well direct their signal to where paying customers actually will be.

Re:Since when is XM legally available in Canada? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085041)

Since the border is not microwave proof we can pick up the signals.
Crap now I gotta buy some Canadian tinfoil for my hats too.

dish network users already have this w/Sirrus! (4, Interesting)

another misanthrope (688068) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084929)

If you get a PVR from Dish Network (they now carry Sirrus) you can already grab digital music... does that mean I should be wary of a subpoena now?

I usually just pause the station for 50 or 60 mins before I listen and then just FF through the songs I don't like. I don't feel like a criminal

Re:dish network users already have this w/Sirrus! (2, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084998)

Sirius [sirius.com] has better sound quality anyway, plus free online streaming (at reduced quality) and exclusive NFL coverage.

You could even make a similar setup with a standalone Sirius tuner, if you don't mind a little hacking (and I know you don't, Slashdotters...). Just get any Sirius receiver, attach its line out and an IR transmitter to your PC, and change the station with infrared. Cake!

Re:dish network users already have this w/Sirrus! (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085074)

It sounds like Dish Network is willing to travel into a legal uncharted area that DirecTV and TiVo aren't willing to test. You can't pause any of DirecTV's Music Choice offerings with a DirecTiVo unit. There's a well documented work-around to record the music channels by typing a channel name into a auto-recording wish-list, but directly hitting the record button leads to an error message saying that the recording feature is not available "at this time"... hinting that it's a block TiVo could very easily lift if the legal environment makes it clear that it's safe to do so.

How to do it for free! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085118)

I know how to do that without paying subscription
Get a satellite DVB card for your computer.
Get program http://audiorip.dvbnetwork.com/
Point your dish to one of the DISH networks satellites or BellexpressVU.
I'll record radio stream directly to your computer. You can record multiple audio channels at the same time if they're in the same satellite transporder. And if you put the magic software that decripts the nagra encryption. then you can get the sirius radio channels and do exactly the same. You can also get the video channels and record them virgin Mpeg2 stream.

He Should Be More Worried About The RCMP (2, Insightful)

Big Z (6597) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084943)

Since last I looked XM isn't a licenced broadcast undertaking in Canada.

XM has been waiting for this. (3, Interesting)

Fiz Ocelot (642698) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084959)

They knew the sticky legal situation that would occur if they developed this, so they just left that to someone else. Now they have what I would consider a "killer app" for satellite radio without legal reprecussions. I'm even considering getting a home xm unit because of this, I already have it in my car.

Just what law do they imagine is being broken? (5, Insightful)

raytracer (51035) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084985)

Given the courts decisions which have established
time shifting as a legitimate use of consumer recording technology, it's damned hard to imagine what law they think consumers might be breaking. It is not illegal for me to tape every broadcast of a television show and to build my own personal library. It would seem very difficult to argue that doing the same thing using XM radio would be any different.

Dear XM (5, Interesting)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084989)

Dear XM,

Over the past few months, I have been evaluating purchasing and subscribing to a satellite radio service. I have been weighing pros and cons of both yours and the Sirrius service. I mostly came up with even hands. However, your recent disappointing legal actions against Scott MacLean have helped me make my final decision. I will not be purchasing or subscribing to any XM satellite radio service, and I will encourage my friends and neighbors to avoid your service as well.

Thanks for your help,
Jeff

Re:Dear XM (4, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085103)

Before you jump for Sirius, just notice that XM put out a piece of hardware that is surprisingly easy to control by homebrew code, and also outputs audio in the form of an easily recordable analog line out wire. I don't know of any Sirius unit that is similar to the XM PCR unit.

They haven't sued the guy, they've just had their lawyer send a nasty-worded letter that the software writer correctly knew he could ignore. So far they've just gone through the motions of being upset without actually doing anything to harm the guy.

Replace "TimeTrax" with "VCR"... (1)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 10 years ago | (#10084999)

and the problem is...?

With a VCR (now PVR on my digital satellite system) I have built up a library of movies over two decades. Oh heavens, here comes the MPAA!

Maybe INDUCE will REDUCE this.

One question. (1)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085001)

When will we get to send RIAA officials and lawyers to a small Pacific island and hunt them like rabid dogs?

I really need to know. Really bad.

So what's new? I do this now all the time... (4, Informative)

DrRobert (179090) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085002)

with a line in to the mac and AudioHijack Pro. You set a time and it records. I'm sure you don't need to write your own special software.

Re:So what's new? I do this now all the time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085073)

The difference, dipshit, is that your PC connects to the XM receiver and CHANGES THE CHANNELS over usb. Line-in and recording software isn't unique to your mac, but the ability to interface with XM is. Cripes, rtfa you lazy shit.

XM leaving out USB connectivity in new receivers (2, Informative)

havaloc (50551) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085008)

Rumor was that the new SkyFi 2 [xm411.com] was going to have USB connectivity built into the home cradles to provide XMPCR [xmradio.com] functionality. Now though, it seems like this will go away, which is a real shame. Also, the USAtoday article says that the most of the current radios cannot be hooked up to the computer, which is just wrong. Anything you can hear, can be recorded.
My question is, it seems pretty obvious to me that someone was going to do this, so why release the PCR at all? My guess is that they didn't want to offer online streaming like Sirius [sirius.com] and wanted to pick up extra subscriptions for PCRs. Look what that got them. In any case, XM has a neat product and is doing well.

this is getting out of control.... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085009)

the riaa and mpaa are really stretching the term 'copyright infringement' if they weren't already from the get-go.

how can recording a service you legally subscribe to for your own personal use be even thought of as being illegal?

unless he's using the recordings to sell as a product, or to re-broadcast himself, there is nothing remotely illegal about anything of this nature. and if there is, the laws need to be changed.

Missing adjective (2, Informative)

n3bulous (72591) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085017)

"The user can leave the software running unattended for hours and amass a vast library of songs."

Please insert "crappy" before "songs". I've had XM for a year and it's rare to hear two worthwhile songs back to back on any station. They seem to focus on "deep tracks", defined to be the stuff fans of the band don't even like.

After a few hours of listening to my friend's Sirius, I regretted choosing XM, and only chose XM because they seemed to have the subscriber numbers to last long term.

Terms of Service (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085021)

I think everyone is missing the obvious here... recording the service is against the Terms of Service that everyone agrees to when they sign up for XM.

What the fuck is going on (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085023)

Man I cannot BELIEVE that people are saying stuff like this with a straight face:

((("That's a product that's not authorized by XM," Chance Patterson, vice president of corporate affairs, told Reuters last week.)))

Excuse me, but why does the world need YOUR permission to record broadcasts? Can I set my coffee cup next to the radio and illegally alter it's temperature?

I know the law is fucked up right now but this kind of stuff still continues to amaze me.

Yes, it's not authorized by XM, so what?

((("That program is something we don't condone ... It's our expectation they will be shut down," he added. "We're also researching any potential legal violations.")))

I was actually thinking of buying an XM radio and recording shows was a *specific feature I wanted*. I was planning on writing my own program to do what this guy is selling. How hard can it be? When I was a kid I used to record the radio all the time, that's probably why I'm a big music buyer now.

I'm not going to bother. XM is spawned from the same primordial ooze that the RIAA crawled from. These guys are all the same. You can't even jerk off within 10 feet of their "licensed product" without paying a fee.

(((Michael McGuire, an analyst at technology research firm Gartner. "It's very hard for policy and copyright law to keep up with the pace of technological change.")))

What does copyright law need to do, make sure it gets in the way of any product that comes out? It's funny how we have this constitution that's supposed to be a firewall from government, but it has a big open port: the copyright clause. Pretty soon, are whole legal system will revolve around some form of copyright, since everything is based on information. Just amazing and frightening.

((("We remain concerned about any devices or software that permit listeners to transform a broadcast into a music library,")))

Un-fucking-believable. One thing is for certain, you're not transforming any of my money into vacations in Europe anytime soon, Mr. RIAA exec.

(((In a letter seen by Reuters, XM's lawyers told MacLean to .. provide the company with a list of purchasers.)))

And what will they do with that list I wonder? Report it to Tom Ridge? What on earth?????

20 years ago this kind of stuff would be great satire. I can't imagine what 20 years from now will be like. And honestly, I I don't want to.

They still don't get it. (2, Insightful)

upsidedown_duck (788782) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085058)


Why is it that entertainment producers work so hard to make their products not entertaining? To me, it seems pretty retarded, but, perhaps, I'm just not as wise and all-seeing as they are.

Hopefully the Opie and Anthony fans will be... (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085060)

making use of this, or something similar when they return to radio this fall.

What about the Radio Shark? (2, Interesting)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085077)

It's not for XM (yet), but I wonder how the RIAA feels about the Griffin Radio Shark? [griffintechnology.com]

They'll probably ignore it until there's a PC version.

No wonder (2, Funny)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085082)

Ugh - Blondie's reunion tour? No wonder he's single.

worse than suing file sharers (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085088)

Somehow I can't help but find this particularly disturbing. I can *almost* (almost, but not) find it logical that RIAA record companies would want to crack down on file sharing. But suing someone for writing software that records music?

Not only are there already millions of programs out there that can do the same job (ie, recording line-in from the soundcard), although they may not categorize and name the files, it is not exactly breaking news that people can record the radio.

People have been recording radio shows for decades, and I even know people who have recorded shows on their computers, because tapes don't last 2 hours. What exactly has this man done wrong? We are at the point where we are suing people for merely writing useful utilities. This is beyond "too far", it is plain disturbing.

I know how to do that without paying subscription (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10085090)

Get a satellite DVB card for your computer.
Get program http://audiorip.dvbnetwork.com/
Point your dish to one of the DISH networks satellites or BellexpressVU.
I'll record radio stream directly to your computer. You can record multiple audio channels at the same time if they're in the same satellite transporder. And if you put the magic software that decripts the nagra encryption. then you can get the sirius radio channels and do exactly the same.

They just won't give up... (5, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085094)

Listen, you can go get yourself the source code for JavaXM [sourceforge.net] or OpenXM [beerboys.com] and with a couple of other library files, you could probably hack this same functionality (take the song data off the digital stream, and record the audio to a file, which you name and categorize appropriately) in a couple of hours. And if you really want to do it with a nice GUI and stuff, you could do it with a few days work. As long as you make the thing and have it interface with a computer, AND you even encourage developers to write third party apps, there's not much you can do to prevent people from doing stuff like this.


I'm all for supporting the artists, but I am already paying 10 bucks a month for XM radio (actually it'll be about 21 a month, with my second radio, and the Opie and Anthony premium subscriptions). If I want to record a few songs for my own personal use, as long as I don't put them up on Kazaa, who the hell's business is that - this is supposed to be my damned right, and the artists ARE getting paid. XM needs to pull the stick out of its ass re: their EULA, and the RIAA needs to die.


You can't sell people on a product (the XM PCR) and the freedoms and flexibility it gives you (seriously, read their marketing copy selling these things), then get pissed when people start paying you money in order to take advantage of its freedoms and flexibility using third party software.

Re:They just won't give up... (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085107)

I couldn't agree more.

He raised the price on Tuesday to $29.95... (3, Funny)

Edward Teach (11577) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085104)

in anticipation of the extreme bandwidth costs associated with being slashdotted.

XM officially supports time shifting (3, Interesting)

gnugie (757363) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085111)

XM already has a product that allows time-shifting, although only for 30 minutes. It seems they're fully in support of your rights, as long as they get to control them. http://www.delphi.com/news/pressReleases/pr29451-0 8182004 [delphi.com]

"Provide a List of Purchasers?" (4, Insightful)

Didion Sprague (615213) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085112)

What's scary isn't the application itself -- it's the idea that a company can demand the list of purchasers.

WTF? They're going to go after people recording songs off the radio now?

Re:"Provide a List of Purchasers?" (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085120)

A company can demand anything it wants to demand. Doesn't mean they'll get it...

This calls for a new standard.... (5, Funny)

durtbag (694991) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085113)

We need to come up with a new, OSS, audio standard. Then name said standard ".jizz". This way, every time the press reports on the savage beat-downs the RIAA lawyers are handing out to people exercising fair use we'll at least get a laugh.

Imagine Sen. Hatch on the 5pm news:

"Jizz will destroy the hard work thousands of people. If we allow jizz to spread, thousands of jobs will be lost. Not to mention the kids, what will all this jizz everywhere do to the kids?"

USA Today... (2, Funny)

mikeage (119105) | more than 10 years ago | (#10085114)

in other news from USA Today:

"Number 2 is Number 1"
"America's Favorite Pencil"

USA Today... the newspaper that's not afraid to tell it like it is: Everything's going to be just fine

With apologies to the Simpsons...
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