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Napster Has Been Cracked

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the who-thought-it-would-take-this-long dept.

Music 616

Sabathius writes "Users have found a way to skirt copy protection on Napster Inc's portable music subscription service just days after its high-profile launch, potentially letting them make CDs with hundreds of thousands of songs for free...""

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huhuhu (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698246)

fristage postage is mine

Man... (5, Funny)

Curtman (556920) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698248)

Never saw that one coming.

Re:Man... (5, Funny)

yogikoudou (806237) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698287)

Well I guess they were using SHA-1 [slashdot.org] ...

Re:Man... (5, Insightful)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698296)

To be fair, this is a far more crude hack than Hymn.

Hymn (the iTunes DRM remover) keeps the encoded data encoded, simply removes the copy protection, wheras this takes the decompressed audio, writes it as a wav file to the disk. As a result, if you want to encode it to save space, say, WMA, or ogg or MP3, you're losing more information (I suppose you could also go with FLAC, but that's a lot of space for a mediocre bitrate WMA version anyway).

All in all, I'd say wait for a better way of bypassing the DRM before you hog up to the Napster smorgasboard.

Between this news and their superbowl add... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698310)

I think Napster will finally be ok....

Samurai Porn? [samuraiwar.org] Better than falling in a pit.

posted already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698249)

wasnt this posted yesterday?

Damn...must not be very high quality songs... (1, Funny)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698250)

...if you can fit "hundreds of thousands" onto one CD.
Seriously, though, who didn't see this coming?

Re:Damn...must not be very high quality songs... (1)

ghoti (60903) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698274)

...if you can fit "hundreds of thousands" onto one CD.

Only depends on the bitrate ;)

Re:Damn...must not be very high quality songs... (1)

lakerdonald (825553) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698332)

Bitrate: 5 bits per second

Re:Damn...must not be very high quality songs... (0, Flamebait)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698299)

"CDs" it is plural....try again.

Re:Damn...must not be very high quality songs... (1)

templest (705025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698306)

I think what it meant was, "you have access to hundreds of thousands of songs, that you can use to make any CD with".

Re:Damn...must not be very high quality songs... (4, Funny)

avgjoe62 (558860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698307)

Seriously, though, who didn't see this coming?

Uhm... Napster?

So much for the business model...

Whatever (4, Insightful)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698251)

So long as the audio comes out speakers at some point you will always be able to grab the analog signal and re-encode it to whatever format you want... this isn't some breakthrough... It's called recording the analog output...

Re:Whatever (5, Informative)

rsidd (6328) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698286)

On linux, so long as you're playing via /dev/dsp you can always grab the digital signal, for example via vsound [xenoclast.org] . I wouldn't be surprised if that's possible with MacOS X too, or even Windows.

Re:Whatever (5, Informative)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698313)

Yes... OSX can do it too! [rogueamoeba.com]

Re:Whatever (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698314)

I don't see why you couldn't create a fake audio driver for Windows that let you swipe the digital signal. Or a fake CD-RW to steal to the MP3s iTunes lets you download.

And of course the DarkNet paper showed us all what we already knew: With DRM, you have to give the user everything needed to play the file. That includes the cryptography algorithm and the key. Thus, all DRM is breakable.

Re:Whatever (3, Interesting)

Troed (102527) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698327)

With DRM, you have to give the user everything needed to play the file. That includes the cryptography algorithm and the key. Thus, all DRM is breakable.

Bollocks - you're assuming you have complete control of the execution environment. That is not the case on some platforms (cellphones springs to mind) and there are incentives (I'm sure you know the acronym) to make a "secure platform" within our normal open platforms to reach the same goal.

Re:Whatever (1)

theWrkncacnter (562232) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698382)

Or a fake CD-RW to steal to the MP3s iTunes lets you download Why use a fake one? I do it all the time with a real one.

Re:Whatever (5, Funny)

Curtman (556920) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698315)

so long as you're playing via /dev/dsp you can always grab the digital signal

Quiet you. If my next soundblaster comes with some new fangled Macrovision, it'll be your fault.

Or would that be Macroaudio?

Re:Whatever (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698324)

You are correct. A simple cable from line out to line in will work, as long as you have software that can sort out the two different streams, and a computer that can decode and encode at the same time.(or two computers)

This trick though uses Winamp's output plugins Instead of audio you set it to convert to wav. No encoding so it's faster. Then you can Encode to mp3's later.

Re:Whatever (2, Informative)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698338)

Actually, it captures it from the sound card (in Windows, you can record sound card output), so at that point, it's still digital.

Good quality too.

Re:Whatever (1)

lakerdonald (825553) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698420)

Or if you're really poor/old fashioned/stupid, you could capture the output from the speakers on a tape recorder.

Copied Music (5, Funny)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698252)

Oh No...

Now the name Napster will be tried to illegally copied music... and after all the paid of the good number of that company...

Re:Copied Music (2)

JohnHegarty (453016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698276)

eh... ment the good name of the company......

preview....preview....preview....

Re:Copied Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698317)

Did you mean "tied" instead of "tried"?

Lol, drink some coffee or something before you type.

Re:Copied Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698333)

Yeah I read that post like 5 times and it didn't make any sense until I read the two corrections beneath it.

Re:Copied Music (1)

crunk (844923) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698360)

"Now the name Napster will be tried to illegally copied music... and after all the paid of the good number of that company..."

What?

Old News (5, Insightful)

samtihen (798412) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698256)

Oh this has been explained for a while: http://marv.kordix.com/archives/000400.html [kordix.com]

All that is happening is that people are grabbing the actual output of the song, and dropping it into a wav file. This will ALWAYS happen with any kind of copy protection. If you let users actually hear (music) or see (movies/tv) the content, there will always be a way to get it. At the absolute worst, people can just set up a tape recorder and grab it from that.

Regardless, the point is that it is STILL ILLEGAL to abuse. Until you can get people to stop breaking the law voluntarily (via fair pricing and good business practices), all media/content companies will have to keep playing this game. What they need to realize is that they are always going to lose.

Re:Old News (5, Informative)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698300)

>All that is happening is that people are grabbing the actual output of the song, and dropping it into a wav file. This will ALWAYS happen with any kind of copy protection. If you let users actually hear (music) or see (movies/tv) the content, there will always be a way to get it. At the absolute worst, people can just set up a tape recorder and grab it from that.

you are absolutely right, however, the difference here is, napster is a subscription model. (with a free trial to boot.) so the circumvention of the DRM means you get as many songs as you want for little or no money. music download sites, like iTMS or MSN, you have to pay first, then crack it all you want... so media/content companies aren't quite "losing" there to the same degree...

Re:Old News (1)

Dantu (840928) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698309)

>>STILL ILLEGAL to abuse

True, but I think that from a legal standpoint it is slightly harder to abuse analog copying, since you inherently lose quality, bolstering your fair-use defense. Of course if you just move to Canada you can get all the music you want in exchange for paying more for media.

Re:Old News (2, Informative)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698346)

I think that from a legal standpoint it is slightly harder to abuse analog copying, since you inherently lose quality, bolstering your fair-use defense.

Unless you want to keep uncompressed audio, you will lose quality using this hack.

You should look up fair use [copyright.gov] , it is much more restrictive than you seem to think it is.

Re:Old News (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698352)

If you let users actually hear (music) or see (movies/tv) the content, there will always be a way to get it.

Not if you build the copy protection into the user...

Re:Old News (2, Informative)

cccc828 (740705) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698368)

> Regardless, the point is that it is STILL ILLEGAL to abuse.

Where? Here in Austria it is perfectly legal to make a copy of any CD/DVD for private use. It is even legal to use Filesharing networks for _downloading_ music.

So, no it is not illegal to make a copy of DRM polluted files.

Re:Old News (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698378)

As far as I know, doing this trick for movies is a lot more difficult. You have to grab each frame and dump that into one file. This will result in a HUGE file. Then it has to be re-encoded. I'm not saying it's impossible, but the movie industry has a little while until people will use this trick routinely. That is to say, that have some time while the music industry works to solve this problem.

Just a few years ago, the quality of pirated movies wasn't that good. Now it's nearly DVD quality at just around a gig for some movies. So eventually copying movies from screen grabs might be feasible.

Re:Old News (0, Redundant)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698380)

"Until you can get people to stop breaking the law voluntarily (via fair pricing and good business practices)"

Yes, heaven forbid we ask people to stop breaking the law because it's WRONG.

But I forgot, in today's society of instant gratification and moral relativism, anything can be justified by our wants.

Re:Old News (2, Interesting)

radja (58949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698412)

last time I checked (about 90 minutes ago), it was still completely legal to copy from radio, copy from TV, or copy from napster (at least here in the netherlands).

Sounds like it's time for the RIAA... (2, Funny)

spezz (150943) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698258)

...to close the barn door

Re:Sounds like it's time for the RIAA... (2, Interesting)

A Drake Man (809441) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698410)

Napster beat 'em to it. They now limit the number of downloads using the Free 14 day offer to 11 megs... Right below the "Download Napster" button ;)

So it appears that they are at least a MITE worried about the old "non-profit" days of Napster coming back...only with a MUCH better search engine, and all with the SAME quality!

Re:Sounds like it's time for the RIAA... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698417)

First the RIAA has to find the barn or learn what a barn looks like......

Free? (4, Funny)

danormsby (529805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698261)

I thought all music downloaded from the internet was free?

Re:Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698289)

No!

All music downloaded from the Internet is THEFT! And you will go to HELL for it!!!

muhahahahahahahahaha

Re:Free? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698375)

I thought all music downloaded from the internet was free?

I don't see this as "Flamebait", I see it as a defense, although the RIAA and the judge might not see it that way. (ok, maybe is was a Troll with slightly Funny overtones...)

While "Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse" it can still make the difference in sentencing if you can sell it to the judge. Frankly, I haven't heard that much new music I would care to pay for OR download for free recently. Maybe its because I'm getting older, but all the new music kinda sounds alike to me.

Except Gretchen Wilson, which was my sole new music purchase of 2004. Pretty bad when the majority of new music isn't even worth stealing.

So What, all they are doing is re-recording it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698263)

Any protected media could be duped using that method.

Uhhuh, and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698264)

Why is this news? Nothing hard about doing this. It's not like they broke the encryption.

Just wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698265)

Haven't you been able to do this for a while?

Article Text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698266)

Users bypass copy protection on portable Napster
16 February 2005

LOS ANGELES: Users have found a way to skirt copy protection on Napster Inc's portable music subscription service just days after its high-profile launch, potentially letting them make CDs with hundreds of thousands of songs for free.

Such users are already providing instructions to other would-be song burners through technology websites like BoingBoing.

Napster is currently offering a free trial of its new Napster To Go service, which will enable users for a monthly $US15 ($NZ21.21) fee to download as much music as they want and transfer it to a portable device. They can also pay 99 cents for each track they want to burn to a CD.

That "rental" model for digital entertainment, backed by giant software concern Microsoft Corp and others, is getting its most serious mass-market tryout yet with Napster to Go.

But, according to various websites, thwarting the intellectual property protections of the service is as easy as a free software patch.

Engadget.com said by installing the digital music programme Winamp and then adding a secondary programme to Winamp called Output Stacker, users could convert the digitally protected files from one format to another that can then be burned, unencumbered, onto CDs.

"We're not going to advise you to do anything untoward, but apparently if you install Winamp along with the Output Stacker plug-in you can convert those protected WMA files to WAV files and then burn them to CD without paying a penny. Or at least an extra penny," Engadget.com said in an item on its site.

A spokeswoman for Napster said that such endeavours were nothing new and the company was not too concerned.

"The DRM (digital rights management) is intact. Basically, people are just recording off a sound card. This is nothing new and people could do this with any legitimate service if they want to use a sound card," she said.

"This kind of attack has been around for a long time and it's just because of our higher profile that it has sparked such interest," she said.

She said the company had no record of who was doing the illicit recording.

"The bottom line is that people are always going to find a way to get around the system, although we give people a way to enjoy music while respecting artists' rights," she said.

The "new" Napster has positioned itself as the chief competitor to Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes service, which dominates the digital download market.

The original Napster was a free-for-all that let millions of users download and share songs for free - before the music industry forced it into bankruptcy with successful legal challenges.

American Technology Research analyst PJ McNealy said that no matter how protected a music file is, you can capture the output and save it on the hard drive.

"Now, portable subscriptions are a bigger bullseye or goal for people," he said, and added: "Who reads TFA anyway?"

Napster unveiled the portable subscription earlier this month, backed by a $US30 million ad campaign attacking rival Apple's iTunes service and its ubiquitous iPod digital music player.

Until recently, music subscription services have been somewhat restricted in their ability to transfer songs they provide to portable players, while Apple has sold millions of portable iPods by allowing users to buy songs from iTunes and store them on iPods.

But Napster uses a new digital rights management software from Microsoft called Janus to enable the portable transfers.

Aw Crap (5, Informative)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698268)

The jig is up. I was hoping I'd finish my 14-day trial before anyone found out about this. Oh well, I got 8 gigs already, and I can get more today.

I use a program called tunebite [tunebite.com] that plays the files back and records them to MP3, as well as copying over album/artist metadata from the tags.

Hopefully I can get everything copied before they fix it (if they ever can fix it).

Re:Aw Crap (1)

thenextpresident (559469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698335)

My thoughts exactly. I was so happy about finding this, and then yesterday evening, I started reading about Napster being broken, and all I could think of was "Great! Now the world knows."

And yes, tunebite is really nice.

Re:Aw Crap (4, Interesting)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698384)

The trick is, they can't fix that.

Possible workarounds for them:

subverting the system (MS can do that) to allow locking the soundcard
We can simply code a virtual soundcard driver.
restricting Janus to work only if your soundcard has a driver signed by Microsoft's key (at the cost of breaking it for many people)
We can use cards with extended functions.
blocking all cards with such "extended functions" when Janus is in use
At the cost of some quality, we can use the analog route, by simply plugging the card's speaker output into some other device.

Re:Aw Crap (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698403)

You only got 8 gigs in 14 days??

I'm gonna have to ask you for your badge and keyboard. You're suspended!

Oh dear (5, Insightful)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698269)

"The DRM (digital rights management) is intact. Basically, people are just recording off a sound card. This is nothing new and people could do this with any legitimate service if they want to use a sound card," she said.

"This kind of attack has been around for a long time and it's just because of our higher profile that it has sparked such interest," she said.

But isn't this the point? All it takes a little software tool and suddenly everyone can do it. You can't just "ignore" attacks - because the attackers certainly wont.

Simon.

What they actually mean is... (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698366)

..."we're powerless to stop it".

Don't think it isn't being worked on, just not by Napster. You can read more about Secure Audio Path [microsoft.com] here. Of course, the next step is a simple loopback-cable to another sound card (your input will be disabled while doing secure playback). The next step is to add a broadcast flag to the signal, only to have people circumvent it. Then they'll go for Secure Digital speakers. Then people will record with a high-fidelity microphone. And some time after they ban A/D converters, we will win (or the digital society we've made will collapse, whichever comes first).

Kjella

impossible to prevent (1)

HexRei (515117) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698270)

This kind of "cracking" is impossible to prevent, if the software runs on a standard PC. And even if that were somehow secured, the analog hole would still exist.

I wish people had a clue. (1)

MSFanBoi (695480) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698271)

This has been a well known work around for Napster, or just about any DRM recording, for a LONG time. Copy the protected song with a modified version of WinAMP to a WMA file, then convert the WMA file to a WAV file, then do whatever you want with the WAV file, make it a MP3, stick it in your nose... whatever. Newsflash... not....

Serves them right (1)

solaufein (576986) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698272)

Somehow, this does not come as a big suprise to me. Either from the standpoint of their past and how little regard they most likely have for copyright, or even just from DRM in general. I personally am an iTunes user, but their DRM at least allows you to play your music without a subscription, unlike Napster (or at least that is what it looked like.)

All I can say is.... (0, Flamebait)

BladesP9 (722608) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698273)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEH After all the bitching they did regarding iTunes music store and things of that nature - I am glad that this happened. With any luck, the music industry will lose faith in them and they will completely fold. Even iTunes doesn't have a viable method of removing the copy protection aside from simply burning the songs to CD ... **AFTER** you've bought them I'm going to sign up for napster now to get my free songs before the get put out of business. This is wonderful news for we iPod owners.

Re:All I can say is.... (1)

astrokid (779104) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698357)

um...JHymn removes the DRM from iTunes purchased songs. JHymn Article on Slashdot [slashdot.org]
Link to the main site [hymn-project.org]

Who thought, it would take Slashdot this long? (3, Informative)

mi (197448) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698278)

to post the story?

"Growsing about rejected submissions" my behind -- I submitted a better worded snap with more informative links two days ago...

WinAmp has pulled the plug-in in question from their site, it seems...

Easily hacked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698280)

Yea, I was reading napster was easily hacked by bypassing the serial key entry.

Now, to make my point, this means you can create music files for free. The is not what napster intended. Hopefully they can release a new version to fix this bug.

Well Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698281)

It involves a plugin for winamp that essentially just allows someone to record it off the card.

"The DRM (digital rights management) is intact. Basically, people are just recording off a sound card. This is nothing new and people could do this with any legitimate service if they want to use a sound card"

In short the attack that everyone has known all along was difficult, if not impossible, to stop.

There truly is nothing to see her. Move along.

Samurai Porn? [samuraiwar.org] What took them so long?

It looks like (1)

camcloud1 (758094) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698282)

someone let the cat out of the bag ;)

If you don't have time to RTFA... (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698283)

Here you have the OTS summary:

LOS ANGELES: Users have found a way to skirt copy protection on Napster Inc's portable music subscription service just days after its high-profile launch, potentially letting them make CDs with hundreds of thousands of songs for free.

Napster is currently offering a free trial of its new Napster To Go service, which will enable users for a monthly $US15 ($NZ21.21) fee to download as much music as they want and transfer it to a portable device.

Engadget.com said by installing the digital music programme Winamp and then adding a secondary programme to Winamp called Output Stacker, users could convert the digitally protected files from one format to another that can then be burned, unencumbered, onto CDs.

The original Napster was a free-for-all that let millions of users download and share songs for free - before the music industry forced it into bankruptcy with successful legal challenges.

Napster unveiled the portable subscription earlier this month, backed by a $US30 million ad campaign attacking rival Apple's iTunes service and its ubiquitous iPod digital music player.

Until recently, music subscription services have been somewhat restricted in their ability to transfer songs they provide to portable players, while Apple has sold millions of portable iPods by allowing users to buy songs from iTunes and store them on iPods.

Re:If you don't have time to RTFA... (4, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698331)

Until recently, music subscription services have been somewhat restricted in their ability to transfer songs they provide to portable players, while Apple has sold millions of portable iPods by allowing users to buy songs from iTunes and store them on iPods

Divide the number of songs sold on iTunes by the number of iPods sold, and it works out to only something like 5 or 10 albums per iPod. Unless people are buying much much bigger players than they need for some reason, it looks like people are mostly putting things other than iTMS music on their iPods.

That Napster business plan in full (4, Funny)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698284)

1. Launch DRM'd subscription-based music service. Nobody joins it but RIAA backs your model and you get lots of good music.
2. Wait for DRM to be cracked, in, ooh, three or four days.
3. Your subscriptions suddenly rocket
4. PROFIT!

That's not a crack (3, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698285)

Sticking something on the output of the media player that saves a copy of the bits is not a crack.

Re:That's not a crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698311)

nah dude itz true tha napsta has been h4x0r3d quick post it on slashdot

Re:That's not a crack (2, Insightful)

sdMMk (857216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698381)

Damn right. This is the degree of technology that makes the slashdot front page now - it's like some MSN channel.

NOT flamebait but FACT.

Hardly hacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698288)

Does recording off the soundcard really count as hacking? If they could do it without having to play back the files, i.e. in an hour instead of the full two weeks [kordix.com] , that would be more of an achievement.

Janus (1)

penfold69 (471774) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698290)


But Napster uses a new digital rights management software from Microsoft called Janus to enable the portable transfers.


Janus, the god of Beginnings....

http://www.meridiangraphics.net/janus.htm [meridiangraphics.net]

Or otherwise known as the god of two faces. How appropriate for Microsoft.

Re:Janus (1)

grahamdrew (589499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698400)

I'm also remembering a made for TV movie based on Tom Clancy's NetForce (of the same name) in which a very Bill Gates-esk figure attempts to gain control of the Internet by mallicious code in his next-gen product, Janus.

Given the circumstances, I think we can say that Janus IS mallicious code. Life imitates art...
Andrew Beard

Typical Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698298)

Always a bit behind on "breaking news". Didn't this happen about a month ago?

Are we not just talking about the analog hole (3, Insightful)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698301)

Isn't this just a plugin to WinAmp the grabs the output stream from napsters software going to the sound card and "records" it? As far as I can tell you would still have to manually name/tag the files unless your happy with generic names. Also, a five minute song will take five minutes to capture. OPh and it captures as an uncompressed wav so you would need to convert it to your prefered format.

Re:Are we not just talking about the analog hole (4, Informative)

natemc (860276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698359)

get the LAME output plug in [sourceforge.net] , it will create and tag an mp3 for you

I wouldn't say cracked (4, Informative)

Daath (225404) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698316)

It's not actually been cracked - They can't make real digital 1:1 copies of the songs - What they do is record from the sound card. That's not so bad if you just want to burn them to CD, but if you want to re-encode from WAV to Ogg or MP3, the quality will deteriorate further...
You can do this will *all* DRM media, nothing new here - It's only because it's Napster (woohoooo) that people think it's revolutionary. It isn't.

Re:I wouldn't say cracked (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698379)

Actually, it's getting grabbed shortly before it hits the soundcard, which makes it digital. But no, it's not really a "crack", and no, it's nothing all that special. What it really stems from is the fact that Winamp is an open platform, and people can write whatever plugins for it they want.

The question, considering that Winamp is a product of AOL, is this: which will happen first?
* Napster locks down their protected format so that Winamp can't open it (probably a short term fix)
* AOL locks down Winamp so that you can only run "trusted" output plugins

Isn't that ironic? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698319)

Actually no, it isn't. Hypocritical, cynical, coincidental, more likely. But still I find it amusing that crackers get cracked, pirates get pirated, violators get violated. Can they see how we, musicians, feel now? Or would they rather say: Oh, we got cracked, but that's OK because the information wants to be free? I doubt it. I hope they can feel what I felt when I had to quit playing guitar and start working in accounting because we couldn't sell our albums. The funny thing is that we haven't been playing and recording anything since 1999 but the old songs from the albums that we couldn't sell are still on P2P. The sad thing is that there will be no more songs for us, so I hope you enjoy listening to the old ones. This is the real world folks. You decided that you don't want new music from us and we will respect your choice, working in banks, driving delivery trucks and flipping freaking hamburgers. This is your choice. In capitalism you vote with your wallet.

No, its not ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698418)

"hope they can feel what I felt when I had to quit playing guitar and start working in accounting because we couldn't sell our albums"

Dude, that doesn't make any sense.

If you were unknown, piracy wouldn't hurt you. Why? Because no one cares enough about you to pirate your music.

If you were known and really famous, piracy wouldn't hurt you. Why? Because you're making so much money that if you lose a few sales, it just means you have to give up a few lines at the party tonight.

If you never made it, its probably because you guys just weren't that good. Not because of Napster or Bearshare.

Impact? (4, Insightful)

tuomasr (721846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698322)

So what's the point? The main thing of Napster is that you can legally download songs off the internet. Circumventing copyright protection schemes is illegal, at least here in Finland. So why not download the songs illegally in the first place? Of course there's the RIAA-factor but if you don't share, is there a problem as getting caught propably isn't that likely.

Are There Actual Napster Subscribers? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698329)

I've never heard of anyone actually using Napster.

Do such people really exist?

Well, its come full circle. (4, Funny)

GatesGhost (850912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698330)

napster just keeps finding a way to provide free music. lol. talk about irony.

Broadcast flag has been cracked (5, Funny)

RandoX (828285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698334)

Apparently, users have been sitting in front of their TV with a camcorder...

marketing in desguise (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698337)

i think MS is just kicking up a stink because they havent yet got thier media distribution service up (trust me, there thinking about it. napster were probably aware of this 'flaw' but decided that it would actually make the service more appealing. what really gets me into a cold, exited yet scared sweat, is the thought that "Fritz" DRM hardware may actually become a reality...i can sense the revolt already

It's a matter of time (2, Insightful)

ragingtory (833483) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698347)

I see this as a matter of time. Sure - I could route the stuff through Winamp - but is that worth my $15 a month? The reason I'd pay to download music (apart from supporting artists, etc) is to save time. I could download it from Kazaa - but with all the polluted files - I'd just as soon pay my $1 a song or $15 a month or whatever and save myself the effort of sorting through the files.

listen up MBA know-it-alls! (2, Insightful)

10am-bedtime (11106) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698348)

good administration (remember the "A" in "MBA"?) requires understanding how to meld the ideal (scamming --er-- making lots of money from your suckers --er-- clients/consumers) w/ the real (in this context, the fact that digital anything is infinitely reproducible w/ infinitessimal cost).

when you forget that and start thinking that the "M" stands for "marketing", you lose. your loss may be immediate or it may be drawn out, but in the end that is not where you want to be. sure, a few years in $lopping it up in the trough before it all goes to shit is a worthy aspiration -- if that's what you believe, fine.

if technical people (those more rooted in reality than you) tell you it's not going to fly, do everyone a favor and listen to them. maybe you will stop being such pompous jackasses w/ a little practice.

Napster v.s. iTunes (5, Funny)

thenextpresident (559469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698349)

Hehe
iTunes: $0.99 per song.
Napster: 14 day free trial: All the songs you can download and copy to MP3.

Hrm... =)

Not cracked (5, Informative)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698350)

The DRM wasn't cracked, simply the output of the file was redirected back into a WAV (or MP3) without any DRM - akin to doing a tape to tape copy.

Napster have already responded on their site (link in top right) and basically said the same thing. They also rightly pointed out (i think, as i've not tried) that this would be a 1:1 copy, so a 60 minute album would take you the same amount of time to copy - which isn't going to be much fun to do lots of.

Apparantly rumour has it that Steve Jobs contacted music executives, pointing them to the site and the Napster CEO countered by pointing out several sites which showed you how to do the same with iTunes files. I'm not sure how true this is.

Interestingly enough, the Winamp plugin required to do this - Output Stacker - was pulled from the winamp site. Which I find a little odd, since there are perfectly legal uses for the plugin - so I don't understand why they're playing censorer (to be safe?)

If anyone knows where to get it from, it would be appreciated since Googles cache shows no homepage and a Google search of the author gives only a set of links to a non-working winamp.com URL.

Re:Not cracked (1)

thenextpresident (559469) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698362)

Just to be clear, you don't need the Winamp plugin to do this. Unless I am mistaken, Output Stacker converted to WAV which pretty much just makes a bigger file.

There are other programs like tunebite that convert right to mp3. Sure, they cost a bit of money, but they work.

Napster (and everything else). (2, Funny)

spankers (456500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698353)

Golly... you mean it's possible to record the output of the soundcard. Wow... everything's cracked then.. including /. editors for posting this story.

Here's an idea (1)

Laurentiu (830504) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698356)

Whatever DRM formatted song => (D/A C) => Sound (Oops!) => (A/D C) => MP3

The obvious solution is to implant all humans at birth with a DAC able to play DRMs directly into your brain. Then the copy protection can be encoded directly in the implanted chips (/sarcasm).

From the summary ... (1)

magefile (776388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698365)

Woot! Hundreds of thousands of songs on a CD. What kind of new laser are we using - it's gotta be better than BluRay, with that kind of performance.

Re:From the summary ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11698388)

Notice the plural of "CD". Not *a* CD, but CDs.

Not possible according to Microsoft (2, Interesting)

Husgaard (858362) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698372)

They have Secure Audio Path [microsoft.com] to protect against attacks like this, and give the impression that this is used with all sound drivers.

Unfortunately after DMCA it is illegal to demonstrate that this is not the case.

The music industry should sue Microsoft for misleading them to publish millions of songs in a basically unprotected format.

Steve is such a nice guy... (2, Informative)

magicRob (815117) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698373)

That he dropped the RIAA an email. [latimes.com]

At least with iTunes once you've bought a track, you've paid for it. Who really cares what you do with it after. Everyone is getting their slice of the action.

The subscription model, once "cracked" means you can download as much as you want, remove the DRM and then download some more. All for $15/month (or whatever they're charging). The RIAA misses out on their cut... no doubt making their blood boil

what compression! (0, Redundant)

hankaholic (32239) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698374)

Users have found a way to skirt copy protection [...] potentially letting them make CDs with hundreds of thousands of songs for free...

Wow, I don't think I've ever fit more than around two hundred songs on a CD.

How will skirting copy protection allow me to make CDs that hold hundreds of thousands?

"For free" ? (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698389)

Ok, you can sign up for a 2 week trial.

You can download music continuously for the entire 2 week period and convert directly to wav.

There are 1,209,600 seconds in a 2 week period.
Assuming roughly 4 minutes per track, gives 5040 maximum songs per free account per fortnight.

During that time, you cannot listen to any other music, or play games (sound card needed for most..) or reboot.

Having a faster broadband connection won't help you, because the songs have to be played at normal speed.

How exactly does this add up to hundreds of thousands of songs for free?

Is this the same as the MPAA/RIAA saying because your a wicked filesharer, you uploaded a song thousands of times?

its buncum, and the people who will go to this much trouble would be better recording the radio.

And Apple... (3, Funny)

gmajor (514414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698392)

Steve Jobs reportedly e-mailed record company executives a link to a blog detailing the hack. He apparently wants to paint Napster as an insecure service, no different from its original form all the while portraying iTunes as secure (PlayFair anyone?)

Ruthless business tactics IMHO, dare I say reminiscent of the Redmond giant. I wish he'd let consumers decide which service is better rather than try to sabatoge Napster with his industry connections and FUD.

(Disclaimer: Heard this as a rumor - I wasn't exactly CCed on Steve's e-mail - but I had no reason to disbelieve the source).

Napter CTO responds (5, Informative)

graiz (647982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698395)

A response from the Napster CTO taken from the homepage of Napster.com:
----

It has come to our attention that there are a number of inaccurate statements posted by various sources on the Internet regarding the security of Napster and Napster To Go. As Napster's CTO, I would like to officially state that neither Napster To Go, Napster, nor Windows Media DRM have been hacked. In the interest of providing the most accurate information to consumers, the following is some background on the subject.

There is a program that allows a user to record the playback of tracks directly from the computer's sound card. This process can be likened to the way people used to record songs from the radio onto cassette tapes, but instead of capturing the music on a tape, the file is converted into a new, unprotected digital format. This program does not break the encryption of the files, which can only be recorded one at a time making the process quite laborious. It would take 10 hours to convert 10 hours of music in this manner. It is important to note that this program is not specific to Napster; files from all legal subscription and pay-per-download services can be copied in this way.

We hope that the information provided above clarifies the matter and puts questions regarding the security of Napster and Napster To Go to rest. Napster's mission is to provide consumers with a legal environment in which they can experience and discover the world's largest collection of digital music. We believe that artists should be compensated for their work and intellectual property rights should be respected. While we acknowledge there are always going to be those who do not share our belief, we remain committed to providing the most enjoyable and flexible digital music experience for those who do.

So what... (1)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698409)

Anyone who steals music this way is ending up with a much less than perfect copy of the song they want. I would venture to say that this person would never have bought the CD to begin with, and probably would have gotten the song from some other means, this just makes it easier.

It does not however invalidate Napster's Business Model, crappy though it may be.

This is nothing new. This has been going on with "Rhapsody" and "Replay Music" for a long time now.

Next step from RIAA (1)

KZigurs (638781) | more than 9 years ago | (#11698416)

"Those greedy bastards users listen to our music for free even when they pay us! Outrageous! No more music for them! Shut the factories! Hide the artists. No tune should be left in their vicinity!"
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