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Cracking iTunes' DRM with JHymn

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the nuclear-escalation dept.

Media (Apple) 449

comforteagle writes "Howard Wen has interviewed 'FutureProof' of the JHymn project, a DRM removal application for iTunes song files laden, or 'crippled' as some say, to prevent filesharing. FutureProof tells us how Apple's DRM works, how to rip it out using JHymn, how they build on the work of 'DVD' Jon Johansen, and how to upgrade to that brand new iShuffle safely."

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What will Steve Jobs say? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509519)

Probably "Send the lawyers. Have him killed immediately."

Nothing, just as he's done for months now (4, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509621)

When Hymn first came out (under a different name) they released iTunes 4.6 almost right away which would not see files that the old Hymn had converted - by recognizing one aspect of the converted files that was particular to Hymn generated files.

Hymn released a fix in short order - I think back in July? It was a long time ago anyway. And since that time, Apple has done nothing to shut down project-hymn.org. And multiple releases of iTunes since then have done nothing to stop these files from playing - which it cannot do because they are now identical to files that you rip from CD yourself with AAC!!

If Apple could or would do anything about Hymn, they would have done it by now.

Since sales on ITMS have kept going up, no-one really cares if you can break the DRM or not.

I'm not sure if Hymn still does it, but it used to even keep the ID of the owner in the file to make it impractical to share on P2P networks (as it could easily be traced back to the owner). I thougt that was a nice touch to show it really was not meant for piracy.

I use Hymn myself, no to crack my master files but to break them so I can share them at work. The annoying thing about iTunes sharing is that if another user is not authorized to play a song it halts and brings up a dialogue, making true random play over another users library impractical. Once a co-worker and I even went so far as to authorize each others computer to play our music so that we could listen to the libraries of the other.

I don't feel like using DRM cracks for this use is at all like P2P, since it's just streaming the song and not transferring it - plus lots of people discover music they might not have otherwise and it helps those artists out (which I feel P2P does as well, but it's a different and much greyer case).

Re:Nothing, just as he's done for months now (2, Informative)

nightgeometry (661444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509708)

Actually itunes 4.7 breaks hymned files.

Re:Nothing, just as he's done for months now (4, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509959)

When Hymn first came out (under a different name) they released iTunes 4.6 almost right away which would not see files that the old Hymn had converted - by recognizing one aspect of the converted files that was particular to Hymn generated files.

Hymn released a fix in short order

Yeah, it was really annoying that Apple did that -- the entire reason for that uniqueness was to discourage copyright infringement by putting up a big red flag saying "this song was came from ITMS." Combined with the fact that it (still, hopefully) leaves the Apple user ID the hope was that Apple would sue copyright infringers (like the RIAA, only with an accurate way to tell who's infringing). Instead, Apple forced them to remove the feature, which was stupid because it was in Apple's own best interests to have it there in the first place!

I wouldn't call it a "fix;" I would call it a "regrettably necessary workaround of Apple's stupidity."

I don't feel like using DRM cracks for this use is at all like P2P, since it's just streaming the song and not transferring it...

Just FYI, there are several programs (for example, Leechster) that allow people to download from iTunes shares instead of just stream. It's still not in the same league as Kazaa, since you have to be in close physical (or logical, in the case of VPNs) proximity to use it, though.

Re:What will Steve Jobs say? (1)

phaln (579585) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509767)

Nah. I highly doubt Jobs will really do much. Hymn and FairPlay have been out long enough that unless people flock to it en masse, there's gonna be silence for the most part.

You know... (5, Funny)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509523)

At this point, I've decided to get out of the game. No IRC-crawling, no Kazaa, no DRM-breaking.

It's much easier to use the five-finger discount.

Re:You know... (1, Insightful)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509615)

It's much easier to use the five-finger discount.

I know you're joking, but that's just plain stealing! you're physically taking property from the store without paying for it. at least if you download it illegally, nobody loses anything (assuming that you wouldn't buy it otherwise, i know i don't at the high prices that some of these CDs sell at)

Re:You know... (5, Insightful)

Zork the Almighty (599344) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509700)

But the penalties for real stealing are much less than fake stealing.

Re:You know... (3, Insightful)

Leo McGarry (843676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509736)

In other words, it's harder to rationalize stealing from a real store than it is to rationalize stealing from an online-only store.

It's got nothing to do with either law or morality. It's just got to do with how far you're willing to delude yourself. Is that it?

Re:You know... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509818)

You completely missed the point. The point being: it's less of a headache to walk out of a store with a CD than it is to deal with DRM, and if you get caught stealing a CD, the punishment isn't as severe.

Re:You know... (2, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509824)

In other words, you like to take other people's words and give them a totally unrelated spin.

It's got nothing to do with either law or morality. It's just got to do with posting flamebaits and being smug. Is that it?

Re:You know... (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509850)

In other words, it's harder to rationalize stealing from a real store than it is to rationalize stealing from an online-only store.

Exactly how is it stealing from iTMS? Were details published on how to hack into Apple's servers and download the tracks stored there without paying for them?

Didn't think so.

MWAHAHAHA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509524)

First POST!

Re:MWAHAHAHA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509570)

third post you pathetic loser

Re:MWAHAHAHA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509585)

Agreed. First posts are so pathetic.
So 1980s

hope he doesnt get used (1)

cintyram (732034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509526)

dvd jon went had to go thru a lot of hell for what he did; ~ram

Re:hope he doesnt get used (2, Informative)

El Gordo Motoneta (821753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509706)

"dvd jon went had to go thru a lot of hell for what he did"

Dvd jon proved to us that we have a right to use our purchased media in whatever way
we see fit as long as we don't break copyright (or other) law.

EULA? what EULA!? I'm copying music from my computer to my mp3 player, then
on to another computer, all for my personal use, in the privacy of my home.
No law broken here.

Slashdotted Already! (1, Troll)

djlurch (781932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509539)

The project site is: http://www.hymn-project.org/jhymndoc/ [hymn-project.org] It has already been slashdotted.

Re:Slashdotted Already! (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509743)

The project site is: http://www.hymn-project.org/jhymndoc/ It has already been slashdotted.

As predicted by the RIAA agents. Well done, boys! *evil chuckle*

Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509541)

Manual for the Modern Slashdotter

Golden Rule: You must base your worldview entirely on Slashdot headlines. You must ignore the innaccuracy and editorial shortcomings of the Slashdot staff. You must buy into the groupthink of the comment threads. This is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE.

- Post the lamest, most obvious, and most unfunny jokes imaginable. They will be modded up "+5 Funny." Even Malda couldn't stand it any longer and made Funny mods not count toward karma.

- Everything involving Linux is flawless and perfect.

- Anything involving Mozilla is flawless and perfect. Ignore that Mozilla marks security flaws as "confidential" and keeps them secret. Ignore that this is something Microsoft is endlessly bashed for. Ignore that Firefox has had several severe security flaws, especially for a browser used by so little of the market (1% according to Google Zeitgeist).

- Whenever someone has a criticism of the current moderation system, refer to Taco's "future moderation system."

- You must lean left. You must obsess over George W. Bush and make Bush jokes whenever possible, no matter how irrelevant to the topic. In political articles, you must upmod anti-Bush comments and downmod independent or pro-Bush comments. Use the "Overrated" moderator whenever possible. Remember, Taco is going to fix this in "the future moderation system."

- Use the term "FUD" religiously in everyday conversation. When someone puts out something that disagrees with your worldview, call it FUD matter-of-factly as a way to dismiss the points it raises. Demonization is far easier than debating the issues.

- Whenever Linux Torvalds says anything, it is newsworthy and infallible. Linus does not make mistakes. When he says he doesn't bother looking at the source code of competitors like Solaris [slashdot.org] because he's not interested, herald it as the "wonderful attitude of Linus" even though such a comment coming from a Microsoft employee would get flamed as an example of their arrogance and closed-minded attitude.

- Believe articles like "Microsoft Violates Human Rights In China," based entirely on the idea that Microsoft is evil because Windows is used by the government there. Ignore the fact that China has its own custom Linux distribution called Red Flag Linux. Slashdot is unbiased and holy.

- Ignore that Slashdot is corporate-owned, by a company called OSTG that employs Rob Malda and makes money off selling OSS products. Ignore the conflict of interests in running a "tech news" site that coincidentally posts articles critical of competitors. Ignore that if Microsoft owned a tech news site that did the same, it would be criticized for it.

- Pretend that Linux is ready for the desktop, even though it took you two hours to set up your soundcard, mouse scroll wheel, and 3D card. Ignore that the real reason you refuse to acknowledge that Linux sucks on the desktop is because you don't want to diminish your sense of accomplishment in getting it up and running. Make sure to confuse this sense of accomplishment with the feeling that you have "more control" in a Linux system compared to a Windows system.

- Pretend there's nothing wrong with endless submissions accepted from Roland Piquepaille, who makes several thousand thanks to Slashdot linking to his blog that links to the original article, rather than Slashdot just linking to the original article and cutting out the pointless middle-man. It's okay for Malda to shrug it off as though Slashdot should never consider ethics or morals.

Please redistribute this at will.

Re:Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (-1, Offtopic)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509564)


Please redistribute this at will.

Why? That was all drilled into our heads during indoctrination at the re-education camp.

Re:Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509607)

OMG! You're right. I've been misled all of this time. I'm so glad to be free of the brainwashing! I can't believe I was so gullible to actually believe that Open Source works. I'm going to burn my computer, by a new Packard-Bell, and load Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2. I'm going to do my American duty. After all, Open Source is run by a bunch of communists anyway... *runs away humming happy tunes* jk :)

Re:Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509738)

I made my original post to prove a point: most people on Slashdot are zealots for the causes they support. They are quick to bash opposing viewpoints, but slow to recognize the flaws in theirs.

As for me, I'm a Mac user, so I am in a much better position than Linux zealots. Why? Our platform actually works.

Mod parent Overrated! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509694)

Mod parent Overrated!

Re:Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509750)

You forgot the first rule:

Ignore diatribes that have nothing to do with the original post!

Re:Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509778)

Yes, there is some truth in those statements.

But it reminds me of what my friend said when he came back from a Republican convention... "Man, there wasn't any Democrats at that convention. How come?".

Or my sister when she came back from Mass at a Catholic church... "I didn't see one Mormon there! What's up with that?".

And I guess at a place where lots of FOSS people visit, you will certainly find pro-FOSS attitude... how shocking!

Re:Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509926)

... Zell was there.

I loved Air America Radio's coverage of the convention... the song that one show used as the theme song at one point was "Little Lies" by Fleetwood Mac.

Re:Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509939)

Zell's a fucking idiot.

Re:Manual for the Modern Slashdotter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509785)

Wow, someone is hurting. Would you like a hug?

DRM (-1, Offtopic)

ndtechnologies (814381) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509543)

Isn't it retarded that we have to crack DRM anyway? I also find it highly amusing that most of the artists that cry about losing money due to file sharing are bands that already have millions, such as Metallisuck, or Metallica rather. Support indie bands!http://www.ind-music.com/ [ind-music.com]

Re:DRM (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509614)

Relevant link here! [campchaos.com]

Re:DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509695)

yeah, slashdotters should listen to cool underground stuff like Linkin Park and Nickelback. They Rox and they sing about individuality and deep things.

Nice spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509728)

Too bad there isn't anything worth listening to your piece of shit indie website

How long? (1)

maotx (765127) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509544)

And when will the suing start?

I love this shit (5, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509546)

I hope stuff like this teaches companies no one wins with DRM. Not themselves, as they're made look incompetent when DRM is cracked ("Protected CDs" rippeable pressing CTRL?), and certainly not their customers.

If it's digital, and the end user can see / hear it, it can be copied. Perfectly. Deal with it, and make it interesting to buy instead of pirating.

Re:I love this shit (2, Informative)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509575)

"Protected CDs" rippeable pressing CTRL



That was shift.

Re:I love this shit (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509578)

"When we first went to talk to these record companies -- you know, it was a while ago. It took us 18 months. And at first we said: None of this technology that you're talking about's gonna work. We have Ph.D.'s here, that know the stuff cold, and we don't believe it's possible to protect digital content."
-- STEVE JOBS

Re:I love this shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509711)

phd = pregnant hemaphrodite dominatrix

Re:I love this shit (2, Insightful)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509602)

i see your point to a degree, but it's also a fact that no matter how good the product is, no matter how low the price is, no matter how compelling the offerings are, some, non-negligible amount of people will "pirate," and think nothing of gaining personal enjoyment (or worse, profit) at the expense of others, including creators, right holders, distributors and above all, respecting/paying consumers.

i don't know the proper way to deal with it. but i can see why DRM is being used. i don't think it's as black and white as, "it'll never work, so just quit it."

Re:I love this shit (3, Insightful)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509667)

Given. So why bother a paying user if your product is going to be pirated anyway? It's a battle you can't win; you might as well accept it as a price of doing buisness. I've been saying this for games aswell, where "no-cd" patches are simply necessary in order to play the game without it becoming an annoyance.
You just can't keep digital media from being pirated. It's as simple as that. Try a different aproach.

For example, i like buying CDs. I like having a nice, pressed, shiny CD with a good looking booklet. I like buying books, and i like buying DVDs.
I also download a lot, even though i usually end up buying what i really like. I would buy a lot more, but the thing is, music/dvds and even books are still way too expensive. Why not lowering the price, knowing that you'll still make a profit? (no, i don't beleive $20 for a CD is reasonable)

Re:I love this shit (1)

Antonymous Flower (848759) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509906)

In support of and in contrast to your point: Half-Life 2. It sold like mad. If people believe in a product it will succeed. However, it also had DRM. I'd say it worked for them, too.

What is that old saying... (4, Funny)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509551)

'If you encrypt it, they will come...'

Windows DRM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509565)

sorta off-topic, but does anyone have any info on getting around movie DRM in Windows? protected wmv's seem to be the latest craze, any tools out there that might help lift that protection?

Why crack it? (4, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509569)

If you didn't want DRM, you'd buy the CD. It seems like a lot of hassle to set up an account, buy the music, download the music, crack the music, then convert the music to get to the same end result.

Admittedly, without the thrill of "fighting the man", but in this case "the man" is giving you virtually everything you asked for (inexpensive music you can try before you buy with the ability to download exactly what you want and make mix CDs, which you could then rip as well without needing this tool.) Now Apple is going to have to crack down again.

What does this win us? The music industry can point to this as another example of why the restrictions need to be in the hardware and the hardware manufacturers are already in their pocket as far as the next generation of motherboards are concerned. Thanks to the pirates, those of us who buy the stuff again have to pay with further restrictions.

Re:Why crack it? (2)

TLLOTS (827806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509595)

Actually DRM is steadily becoming more common on CD's today as well, so your alternative isn't truly anymore viable than just downloading it and removing the DRM components. At least downloading it you get to choose what songs you want, rather than buying a cd with two good songs and sixteen crap ones.

Re:Why crack it? (5, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509605)

If you didn't want DRM, you'd buy the CD. It seems like a lot of hassle to set up an account, buy the music, download the music, crack the music, then convert the music to get to the same end result.

I wasn't aware you were able to get custom made mix CDs at stores with tracks numbering in the 100s of thousands. Cool.

Obviously iTunes is popular because some people don't like to spend $13+ on an entire album when they only want one song. They want to make their own mixes and still not have DRM on them I guess.

Re:Why crack it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509627)

Or people just like stealing, especially if their credit sucks so much they can't buy anything.

Re:Why crack it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509737)

Another post without swearing!
Congrats!!!

Once again your backup plan takes care of it though.

Re:Why crack it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509762)

As the grandparent said, if you really want to circumvent the copy protection, you can just burn a CD, and rip that to MP3s. Sure, it just means more effort to get the same final result, but ensuring that the deterrent is there (however minor) is enough to get the RIAA folks to agree to distribute through iTunes.

there is no DRM when you burn it as audio (2, Interesting)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509869)

once you make your mix CD and burn it as an audio CD all DRM is gone. if you give that mix to your friend Todd and he rips it to his machine (Mac/M$?Linux/bla) there will be no DRM on it anyway.

iTunes has some limit to the number of burns a playlist can have...... but you can either change the playlist by mixing around one song, or take one burnt CD and just use disc copy on that "master" cd.

Re:Why crack it? (1)

BlurredWeasel (723480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509608)

Because I have an ipod and I love it and just put music on it. But when I'm at home, I want to listen to music on my linux media center. As soon as itunes comes to linux, I'll stop cracking my downloads.

Re:Why crack it? (1)

Macadamizer (194404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509626)

Exactly. Have the posts on here rip on the RIAA, saying they must change their distribution system or die, that they must give the users access to cheaply downloadable content.

Then iTunes comes along, and now we have access to cheap, downloadable content. Has that stopped (or even impacted) file sharing in any significant way? Has that stopped people from STILL complaining?

If this is the standard reaction -- if someone comes up with something, we'll crack it and still figure out a way to get it for free -- then I can totally see why the RIAA and others are pushing for more and more restrictions. Look, iTunes gives you what you want, and it still isn't good enough. Why should the RIAA and others believe that ANYTHING they do will ever be good enough?

Re:Why crack it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509642)

A dollar a track is cheap, but not nearly cheap enough, unless you got raw uncompressed (or at least, lossless) audio files.

Re:Why crack it? (1)

Macadamizer (194404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509677)

Well then, what is the right price? What price would you pay where it would be worth it to you to own a legal copy of a song?

Re:Why crack it? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509941)

I'd say probably around 50 cents American for a compressed song. The songs I've downloaded from legal services suck big time on quality, considering I like to play this stuff on my stereo, and not on some shitty little portable player where one doesn't have much expectation of whiz-bang-pow sound.

Most mp3s I downloaded from Kazaa (don't do this any more, being a good citizen now) sounded fairly good on my stereo.

Re:Why crack it? (1)

darnok (650458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509720)

> Then iTunes comes along, and now we have access to
> cheap, downloadable content. Has that stopped (or
> even impacted) file sharing in any significant
> way? Has that stopped people from STILL
> complaining?

I think what happened is that the RIAA made such a fuss about prosecuting "pirates", nailing 12yo kids and grandmothers in the process, that they've built up a huge amount of bad feeling towards them. Worse, while doing that, the RIAA member companies (who exist to *market* product in a form that people want to buy it) apparently did nothing to try to service the digital music buying market at all; Napster et al stepped in to fill this hole, and got nailed out of existence by the RIAA who still didn't provide a viable alternative.

Bottom line: the RIAA had a chance to build and control the digital music distribution market while it was in its infancy and standards hadn't yet developed, and they totally blew it. In ESR-speak, it's already transitioned from a cathedral to a bazaar, and won't ever be going back.

At this point, even if record companies started releasing 1c songs with DRM protection, people would be cracking them (a) because they can, and (b) because they dislike the RIAA that much. For way beyond a critical mass of people, RIAA=bad.

Re:Why crack it? (1)

Macadamizer (194404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509768)

Unfortunately, you are probably right. Which means that if the "pirates" (for lack of a better word) are never going to stop, then the RIAA, MPAA and other organizations aren't going to either.

Personally, if I were offering tunes for a buck, and a bunch of folks said even if it were a penny they wouldn't pay, just out of spite, I would not only not lower my prices to a penny, but I would double, triple, or even quadruple (or whatever-tuple) my efforts to take legal action against everyone.

I hope that doesn't happen, but I bet it will...

And in case you haven't noticed, I don't think the RIAA is exactly reeling from all of the negative publicity over there legal activies, except here on Slashdot, the EFF and similarly-minded websites...

Re:Why crack it? (4, Informative)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509958)

But your implication is that the RIAA is actually asking what people would want to pay for music. Apparently they aren't.

These are people who make a business running artists into the ground. The cartel has effectively monopolized the music industry, shooting themselves in the foot in the process.

Think about it: what's the RIAA's big justification for the high cost of CDs and the reason they financially destroy so many artists? They claim they have to take a big risk on artists, as it's expensive to produce, tour, promote, etc.

Who said rockstars need to have their every whim catered to? Who drove the cost of music videos through the roof? Who demands artists pay $20,000/hour for some "big name" producer to hit a few buttons in Pro Tools? Who demands artists pay thousands an hour for studio time? Who created this bloated, overinflated, cookie cutter music market where it's ridiculously expensive to get exposure? Who helped create the radio station conglomerates like Clear Channel and Infinity? Who created this situation where it's prohibitively difficult for non-affiliated artists to get more than small, local exposure?

The whole point, is the industry is solely responsible for this situation they're in. They flat-out lie in press releases. They slander their own customers, and treat them like criminals. They charge too much for a lackluster service, and now we're supposed to feel sorry for them? When's the last time the industry showed any good will towards its customers?

No, the RIAA isn't listening; they're oblivious and out of touch. No one wants DRM. Yet they insist on it. We want more reasonably priced music, but they won't give that to us, either. Yet they've created an environment where it's exceedingly difficult to be exposed to music that isn't being actively pimped by them! And now we're supposed to bend over and take it in the ass while they use one law to make an end-run around another and screw us out of our rights?

[b]Fuck them and the horse they rode in on[b/].

The truly stupid thing about this is that iTunes already provides a mechanism for doing what JHymn does - burn a CD, re-rip it. Problem solved. All JHymn does is streamline the process a bit.

Re:Why crack it? (1)

kardar (636122) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509730)

If someone wanted to start something, (i.e. cheap, downloadable content), cut out the middle men (maybe ./ could do this too :) - it couldn't happen. Not with the major labels, anyway. The major labels won't allow you to offer cheap, downloadable content that isn't DRM. It just won't happen.

iTunes doesn't give you everything - although it is a workable format. If you could set the price of the tracks lower, say 50 cents or whatever, and, as an artist, cut a deal with iTunes yourself - this would be much closer to the ideal.

We're still dealing with the major labels here, at least for the most part. Pretty traditional stuff, more or less - of course, with some exceptions.

Seriously - no one should be afraid of releasing multimedia content without any controls on it. It makes no difference. People will copy, people will share, it's just a fact of life. Forget about it - focus on your music, focus on getting a good deal with the distributor, and everything will be fine.

By far the biggest problems any artist is going to have to face are the managers and agents constantly taking a cut, the monolithic labels, the expensive producers, and his or her own ego. Not file sharing; not cracking of DRM.

DRM-free is the key to success! Geez, you could even charge MORE for it!

Re:Why crack it? (1)

ParadoxDruid (602583) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509630)

Admittedly, without the thrill of "fighting the man", but in this case "the man" is giving you virtually everything you asked for... (emphasis mine)

This is exactly the problem. The customer is the one (potentially) paying the company money-- if they want customer support, they would provide what customers want, not "virtually" what they want. That intentionally-included lack of desired functionality is the whole concern.

Re:Why crack it? (1)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509748)

That intentionally-included lack of desired functionality is the whole concern.
Just exactly what "lack of desired functionality" is there in this case?

Re:Why crack it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509857)

Playing my purchase music on my squeezebox.

Squeezebox? (1)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509892)

So, um, daddy never sleeps at night?

Re:Why crack it? (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509709)

If you didn't want DRM, you'd buy the CD.

What CD are you talking about? The one with half a dozen obscure blues songs and a bit of Humphery Littleton? Oh, look! It doesn't exist.

You dickhead, the point of iTunes is the ability to buy single tracks. If I wanted whole CDs worth I'd buy them, since they're cheaper and higher quality. Only a retard would buy entire albums on iTunes, DRM or not.

What does this win us?

It wins us nothing, it just stops us losing. You know: losing the rights that we have to listen to a song anywhere and forever, regardless of future whims of hardware and firmware. Christ, why don't you just post all your money to the RIAA and be done with it, you grubbly little patsy.

TWW

Re:Why crack it? (1)

Tarous Zars (769077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509756)

I have purchased a bunch of Songs from iTunes. I like that i can preview before I buy and that I only have to buy what I like. A few months ago I had to reinstall my OS. I backed up everything important, including my iTunes songs, But it never really crossed my mind that I should deauthorize my iTunes account before erasing my computer. When I reinstalled my OS and iTunes I realized that I would have to use another iTunes authorization to listen to my music.

Sure it was my mistake, but not being able to listen to my music on one of my computers because it slipped my mind to deauthorize before I reinstalled sucks. I use jHymn just to make sure I can listen to iTunes on all of my computers. If something happens to one of my computers, I can still listen to my music.

Re:Why crack it? (2, Informative)

returnoftheyeti (678724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509775)

The biggest draw of Itunes is that is is instant gratifaction. You hear a clip, you want the album, you get it NOW!

No driving to the store, hunting through overpriced bins, etc... And after you purchase that music, and saved it to your fileserver, you want to be able to listen to it wherever, whenever. So rip the DRM out of it and play it on your MP3 player, your Linux box, your toster, whatever.

Plus, My g/f just bought an album off of ITunes for $10. Some obscure band that she just had to have a copy of their album. You think my local Worst Buy stock that album. I doubt it. Amazon.com had it for 17.99, plus a week for shipping. Of course the first thing she asked me was to put it on her USB thumb drive so she could listen to it at work. I told her se couldnt, because she could only listen to it on Itunes, and of corse she cant install Itunes at work. So I learned to use Hymn and ripped it to MP3 and she annoyed her coworkers all day playing New Age Goth music

Re:Why crack it? (2, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509801)

Why crack it? Why not just buy the CD and rip it?

1 - Because the CD probably has DRM on it too, these days.

2 - Because even if you get a non-DRMed CD, eventually, someday, downloaded music may become the normal way to buy music, and CDs will go the way of the vinyl LP.

Either way, you're going to need a way to get rid of the DRM so that you can listen to your own music as you see fit.

Re:Why crack it? (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509816)

Wasn't that stardate 1173?

HAND

Re:Why crack it? (4, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509836)

" If you didn't want DRM, you'd buy the CD. It seems like a lot of hassle to set up an account, buy the music, download the music, crack the music, then convert the music to get to the same end result."

Why should I buy an entire CD when I can buy the two or three songs I want via a brillant interface that's better than any other online music service? And its not a hassle. One-time setup of account, 99c a song and a quick run of Jhymn is hardly a hassle.

"but in this case "the man" is giving you virtually everything you asked for (inexpensive music you can try before you buy with the ability to download exactly what you want and make mix CDs, which you could then rip as well without needing this tool.) "

So circumventing Apple's DRM one way is okay but another way isn't? Wow, great logic. Let me ask, if I record to a tape from my audio out of a DRM file is that illegal as well? If the end result is the same what's the difference? Who is being harmed when the end result in a unencrypted file in EVERY SINGLE CASE. What because your taking the extra step of going DRM-CD-RIP and someone else goes DRM-RIP your method is somehow better for Apple? In what way? Why are you even suggesting Burning and Ripping? Are you one of those people who upload all of your Itunes music to P2P? Oh no wait, that's what you Apple defenders are constantly accusing us paying customers of doing.

"What does this win us? The music industry can point to this as another example of why the restrictions need to be in the hardware and the hardware manufacturers are already in their pocket as far as the next generation of motherboards are concerned"

Or they could point to the built in loophole of ripping from CD which rendered Apples DRM useless from day one.

"Thanks to the pirates,"

Excuse me? Pirates? Who? The people who PAID APPLE for each and every song and use a program which ONLY works if your the one who purchased the music in the first place? Yea those bastards!

The Pirates are on P2P sharing songs they never bought. The people using this tool aren't pirates. Get it straight already. And get over your holier than thou, how you dare use a product in a way other then intended attitude. You've benefitted more from reverse engineering and people using products in ways not intended then you could possibly imagine.

Re:Why crack it? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509960)

One reason for removing the DRM is so you can use devices like this [rokulabs.com] and this [slimdevices.com] . iTunes is already in an encoded format that these devices can play, its just the DRM that is preventing it.

Prevent filesharing? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509603)

for iTunes song files laden, or 'crippled' as some say, to prevent filesharing.

or crippled files to prevent me from doing whatever I want with the files I BOUGHT, thankyouverymuch. I don't share, I don't pirate, but I demand total freedom when it comes to changing from one's format to another.

Re:Prevent filesharing? (2, Insightful)

newwind (717529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509898)

Then it does not sound like you want to buy iTunes. Why would you support something that you do not agree with?

Well that explains why hymn-project.org aint there (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509613)

It's being slashdotted. Holy Jobs!, Robin!

I just used JHymn (3, Informative)

adamgee (700745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509623)

To churn through 10 GB of music I had either purchased through iTunes, or ripped myself using AAC (drinking the koolaid made me use AAC over MP3). All legally obtained. Why? TiVo desktop cannot play AAC/m4p files, only MP3. So I either spring $200+ for and airport card and airport express to stream my music to the stereo, or convert it to something more useable. Worked like a charm. I wouldn't have to do it if Apple/TiVo would get it together and let me use my music on the gear I already own.

Re:I just used JHymn (1)

BurntNickel (841511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509741)

Not a bad idea if they could do that. Yet another excuse, err, reason to get a TiVo.

Re:I just used JHymn (1)

dlelash (235648) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509829)

I believe you can convert regular AAC to MP3 within iTunes, without needing any other program. It's only the Music Store files that are protected.

Re:I just used JHymn (1)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509974)

I believe you can convert regular AAC to MP3 within iTunes,

I'm looking for that now...

There's an option to burn mp3s onto a CD (Edit: Preferences: Burning), and if you import music you can import as an MP3 (But it's twice the size as an AAC).

I don't see any option to convert your AAC's to MP3s on the HD.

Personally, we haven't had any problem with simply copying the AAC to another computer (Copy to portable storage/DVD, bring storage to friends house, copy to their computer).

Re:I just used JHymn (2, Interesting)

edge_crumbler (709889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509910)

This is EXACTLY why I want to use it too. I have just got a new mobile phone that does AAC and I want to play the tunes I bought off ITMS but I don't want the hassle of having two sets of music, one DRM free and the other not for my iPod.

apple zealots - start your engines (0, Redundant)

Saeger (456549) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509654)

Ooo. I can't wait to hear the apple zealots rant again against THIS instance in reverse engineering. "I mean, come on people, Apple is trying to play fair here! why can't you just accept this little DRM compromise?! Wah wah."

Re:apple zealots - start your engines (3, Insightful)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509781)

Ok, I'll bite.

If it weren't for Apple's DRM on the music sold through the iTMS, there would be no iTMS. No way to buy that one track you like. No way to support the artists that deserve the support. None at all.

Your turn.

bizn4tch (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509662)

charnel housE. The it. Its mission is and its long term [amazingkreskin.com] laaged behind,

HYMN Workings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509683)

If jHYMN is anything like the original HYMN, it should be pointed out that only owners of the file have the ability to strip the tune of its DRM. When your iTunes library is authorized to play a song, it downloads the part of the key that HYMN needs to strip the file. So stealing whatever tunes you can get your hands on and then cracking them does not work.

Not quiet any more (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509696)

What have been the recent legal actions, if any, that Apple has tried to take against the hymn project?

FP: Things have been quiet. I'm thinking that hymn has figured less into Apple's latest actions than their efforts against Real's Harmony project, with hymn and its derivatives simply being regarded as collateral damage.

It's not quiet any more. Not once it hits Slashdot!

Re:Not quiet any more (1)

El Gordo Motoneta (821753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509749)

It's not quiet any more. Not once it hits Slashdot!


Insert "shit hitting fan" sound effect here.

Re:Not quiet any more (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509787)

Hymn has been on Slashdot before. My theory is Apple doesn't care all that much. Supposedly, they didn't want DRM in the first place, and they fought the RIAA over it for a while, and finally came to the present compromise (the iTMS DRM is not as restrictive as the RIAA wanted, but more restrictive than Apple wanted).

Now, that's all rumor, so who knows. But if I had to guess, i'd say Apple doesn't care very much about their customers cracking the DRM. Other companies trying to mimic the DRM for use on other online stores or other audio players, however, is a different story.

FairPlay LIMITS sharing, doesn't prevent it (3, Insightful)

Queer Boy (451309) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509747)

FairPlay limits filesharing, it doesn't prevent it. Computers just have to be on a local network and they can listen to all your music whenever you want. I forget how many as Apple has INCREASED the number of people you can share with since they came out with FairPlay.

You can also burn any iTunes track to CD. Only limit is you can only burn 5 copies of a playlist before you have to change the songs in the playlist. Which means if you or your friend spring for the cost of a CD, you can share any song you like, as many times as you like, with whomever you like, just like other physical media.

I think that's a super middle-ground. Steve Jobs has discussed MANY times that DRM will be cracked, but FairPlay is pretty good. Apple puts a sticker on all their iPods that says, "Please don't steal music." Please point me to a better approach to DRM or filesharing scheme. Yes, DRM sucks, but it's not going anywhere if you want to use downloaded RIAA music.

Re:FairPlay LIMITS sharing, doesn't prevent it (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509847)

For that matter, FairPlay does not prevent file sharing at all. You're free to do whatever you want with the DRMed file, including posting it on Kazaa and mailing it to all your friends. What it limits is *playing back* the file, which is the right you are paying to obtain.

"Computers just have to be on a local network and they can listen to all your music whenever you want" is not quite accurate. A computer must be authorized under the owning account to stream a protected AAC, and it can only be authorized under one account at a time. So if all the computers belong to you, there are no problems. But it does not let you share purchased music with everyone on your LAN automatically (unless you give them your ITMS account, which is a bad idea since it's linked to your credit card).

iTunes set the best standard (4, Insightful)

augustz (18082) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509757)

I love folks complaining about "crippled" iTunes songs.

They forget that Apple has SET THE STANDARD for sensible DRM that is reasonable for the consumer.

I've been around a long time, and have seen plenty of stupid stuff. Divx (in the DVD space) moved things back, lawsuits and claims about the mp3 format itself, a joke.

But I've also got a sense of history. Before apple came along legal online music was GHASTLY.

You think iTunes is "laden" and "crippled" with DRM? People have forgotten that before apple came along there was a fragmented music space with DRM that meant you couldn't move songs between computers, burn them to CD's, and stores run by companies that were no fun to do business with. Subs, if you canceled, your music vanished.

For most folks, fairplay is actually fair. Most people don't end up playing on more then five computers. Unlimited burns of a song, and seven burns of a specific CD are reasonably fair. The authorization process isn't terribly painful.

Remember, the RIAA used to claim on their dumb soundbyting site that making a tape copy of a CD was copyright infringment. And they were probably right, it was.

The one big issues with iTunes are lack of open source support (tricky, but they should do better here) and the lock-in to iPods as the portable music player for the service. The issue is that software needs to provide the DRM. Luckily for apple they've got a reasonable ipod product. This lockin will have to evolve though of course, open source and linux are not supported so far.

But from a DRM perspective, they really moved the industry forward. If the media companies had their way we'd be stuck with Sony's ATRAC format.

So, complaints and props to apple.

Re:iTunes set the best standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509800)

So, complaints and props to apple.

Little Freudian slip there? I think you meant to say "So, compliments and props to Apple."

Re:iTunes set the best standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509842)

the reason they lock you into the ipod is because that is how they make there money, they make jack shit actually selling the music

Shill or just don't care about your rights? (4, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509859)

With Apple DRM, Apple can take away your use privileges whenever it feels like it. Sure they're being "reasonable" now, but soon enough they will tighten the noose, just like TiVo is doing with ads over fast forward and blocking you from saving the Sopranos.

If you give up control, you get what you deserve.

Re:Shill or just don't care about your rights? (1)

newwind (717529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509936)

How in the world are they going to take away my privilege of burning the CDs I burned when I bought the music?

I'd like to think I'm not cracking anything here.. (3, Interesting)

nvrrobx (71970) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509770)

I use this to remove the DRM from my legally purchased iTMS files so I can play them on my Phatbox in my car and on my Media Center PC. I'm not distributing them to friends, I'm just doing what I would have otherwise done by burning to CD then ripping back to HD.

Probably still illegal nonetheless, but I really don't feel very 37331 when I do it.

Where does it all end? (1)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509825)

My goodness, what the heck is wrong with $0.99 a song? I thought the complaint was that $18-20 for an album was too high?

What is so unreasonable about paying a fair price for music? Is free the only fair price?

Jon Johansen? (1)

Sh33p (854315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509826)

"how they build on the work of 'DVD' Jon Johansen" Jon Johansen? A 16-year-old boy? It was actually some anonymous german guy who cracked the dvd protection, Jon Johansen even admitted that in an open letter.

Re:Jon Johansen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11509843)

Link please? Back up your claim.

Re:Jon Johansen? (1)

Sh33p (854315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509885)

http://www.sethf.com/infothought/blog/archives/000 106.html

Watch It They Could Water Mark It! (1)

JTWebMan (809821) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509864)

I think they just went about it wrong. If they really wanted to they could easily hide a water mark style where they could get the user that downloaded the file and the date. So when they find it on the share they can just get it from the song it self. They have been doing that to movies that are shown in theaters. JT

Burn, Hollywood, Burn (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11509886)

If the media companies are planning their entire future bizmodels on DRM, just a lamebrained extension of their old "value through scarcity" model, their entire industry will go up like a burning house of cards. Often. Whenever a single person publishes a crack tool like this, hundreds of man-years of DRM engineering, negotiation and marketing go up in smoke. 10 years into the game, and these media companies don't have an inkling of the network effect, and how it has already changed their world completely. For better (near-free distribution) and worse (no privilege of control by publishers). At least they're not making any new content worth consuming, or their demise might hurt the culture, rather than remake the economy.
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