Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple To Play Fairer With FairPlay?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the all's-fair dept.

Music 153

NewbieMonster writes "According to tech.co.uk, Apple is about to license its Fairplay DRM to Made for iPod accessory manufacturers. It's reported that Apple will also allow streaming of protected AAC content via USB. Could this signal a move to allowing other music players to access and play ITMS content?" From the article: "The expected announcements could signal a move on Apple's part to take some of the sting out of its Fairplay DRM which has come in for a great deal of criticism over recent months. It may also be a way of keeping Made For iPod makers onside, as the draw of the Microsoft Zune becomes stronger." Anyone noticed the draw of the Microsoft Zune becoming stronger?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

hmm.... (5, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639450)

Anyone noticed the draw of the Microsoft Zune becoming stronger?

.......no

Re:hmm.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17639524)

Does anybody out there have a way to get caked sperm out of their keyboard ? My tongue cant get in those little cracks.

Re:hmm.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640538)

Does anybody out there have a way to get caked sperm out of their keyboard ? My tongue cant get in those little cracks.

Practice.

Sorry, I thought you said Carnegie Hall. Never mind.

Re:hmm.... (5, Funny)

flyingsquid (813711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639542)

Anyone noticed the draw of the Microsoft Zune becoming stronger?


Come to think of it, I *do* notice a distinct sucking sensation coming from the Zune...

Re:hmm.... (3, Funny)

Psicopatico (1005433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640284)

No, it is a squirting sensation...

Re:hmm.... (4, Funny)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640528)

It's gone from suck to blow.

Re:hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17644936)

its sucking my will to live!

Black hole (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640680)

More than a suck, this has been a black hole for MS to throw money in.

There was a brief flurry of interest in Zune when it was released, but now we seem to be getting steady-state numbers.Only one model rates in amazon's top 25 MP3 players list (Apple takes out the first 5 or so entries).

Using "lemon" to describe Zune is an insult to citrus!

Re:Black hole (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640742)

Exactly like the PS3 :)

Re:Black hole (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644176)

I fail to see how. I'd get a PS3 just to play my PS1 and 2 games and watch Blu-ray movies. Being able to run Linux is a nice feature too, though I don't know if I'd bother. The PS3 has sold more than the PS2 did in the first couple of months of release, and obviously has catching up to do to other more abundant consoles, but it's nowhere near dead - yet. There are a lot of people on /. , but there are more gamers who aren't

Re:Black hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17645178)

not exactly.

PS3 is an upgrade. The analyst expect Sony to loose aprox 35 million customers on this generation, but still expect it to sell over 100 mill units based on installed userbase (from all the existing PS1/PS2 users). If we look on the sales so far, Sony is 2 week late on their salesnumbers, and analyst seriously expect Sony to reclaim part of this in their European release.

The Zune is a brand new release. They get nothing for free, so they have to succeed. Not making more press impact than so far, isn't good.

On the other hand, MS has Time & Money. While the Playstation ecosystem still outnumbered Xbox this christmas with 1,4 mill PS2 and 750 000 PS3, Xbox360 has left the abyssmal Xbox to its rightful place as junk. I think Xbox will continue eating of the PS userbase this year.

The next Zune might do the same.

wrong star type (2, Funny)

megacia (534566) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641708)

it's not a black hole, it's a brown dwarf.

Re:hmm.... (1)

Wabbit Wabbit (828630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642480)

It's squirting, you insensitive clod!

Re:hmm.... (1)

hawg2k (628081) | more than 7 years ago | (#17645834)

Wayne: "Well, it certainly does suck!" :)

Re:hmm.... (1)

genrader (563784) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640632)

The zune has died. was it penny arcade who did a little thing about zune users the other day?

Re:hmm.... (1)

THE anonymus coward (92468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641000)

yep here [penny-arcade.com] [penny-arcade]

Re:hmm.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643532)

Wow, I actually predicted this!

We had a discussion about why Steve Jobs was so interested in making MS develop an iPod clone. Most of last January, Steve used every possible public apperance to claim that MS had to take control over the full music experience and copy how Apple developed iPod. There had to be a reason.

And then Zune came, and Microsoft didn't just abadon their partners (by not using P4S as DRM), they screwed them first (making sure Zune didn't play P4S). This way they alienated all their current partners. And it made it extremly costly for Zune to enter the mobile marked. (MS is doing better in the mobile marked than they did in mp3 marked. Making a Zune phone is going to hurt them a lot more, than the destruction of the WMP marked.)

So I speculated that the perfect trick would be to license Fairplay to the former Windows partners. So over 24 months Apple has turned the competition from everybody against Apple to Everybody against Zune, a nice trick considering the problem with MS having enough money to change the world.

It solves the problem with the lawsuites against iTMS, it strengthens iTMS marked (and iTMS is now growing strong enough to actually be an important product at Apple), and Apple is still able to strengthen the iPod ecosystem independent of their partners. (Apple dosen't have to sell games og other features to other players).

But as someone points out, its not published yet.

No (1)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639480)

Maybe I missed something. Why is the Zune becoming more attractive?

I think I know. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640672)

It looks like a turd, so the fags [gaybuntu.com] are all excited about it.

Re:No (4, Funny)

Quiscalus (974387) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641744)

"Maybe I missed something. Why is the Zune becoming more attractive?"

My guess is these people [zunescene.com] can't get enough punishment to satisfy their 'masochistic tendencies||hatred of all things Apple||love for all things Microsoft||pseudo-metalhead-gamer-wannabe fantasies'.

Re:No (2, Funny)

Poltras (680608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641910)

You forgot the magnificient brown colored zune, which, I may say, I was almost happy to see was changed to a pink one... nah just kidding, I'm happy with m'iPod.

but seriously ... (3, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639510)

why was the zune thrown in there???? to start a flame war of course, no other reason, i mean whats a /. article without some micro bashing

Re:but seriously ... (0, Offtopic)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639726)

this is just my day... I point out the flamebait and get modded flamebait you guys are too funny. And yes I know this is off topic thank you very much, dont waste a mod point on me. give it to someone who deserves it

Re:but seriously ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643322)

Except that the pointless Zune reference is from TFA. Oops.

Isn't it cracked? (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639514)

Doesn't that mean that everyone has a license?

No (5, Informative)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639594)

No, it is not cracked.

The iTMS (iTunes Music Store) was cracked, meaning that people were able to buy DRM-free songs from iTMS using custom software. iTMS 6.0 changed that, and to date, it is not possible to buy unencrypted music from an account registered with iTMS 6.0 or higher. It's possible to run older iTMS versions (for now) and buy music, but some of us had extensive music purchases before we got our heads out of our butts and realized we wanted to play the music on something other than an iPod.

The DRM encryption itself is completely uncracked. IF you can get a hold of your decryption key, there is code to decrypt your music files. Apple has done a rather amazing job of keeping that key secured, though. It's pretty much impossible to pull it off of newer iPods, and I think it's not possible yet to extract it from a box with iTunes 6+.

If I'm wrong about that, let me know... I've got 250+ encrypted songs I'd really like to play on my Linux box with its superior sound setup, instead of on my iBook.

Re:No (3, Informative)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639802)

I've got 250+ encrypted songs I'd really like to play on my Linux box with its superior sound setup, instead of on my iBook.

You may already know about this, but here is how to un-DRM your songs: simply burn them to an audio CD, then re-import them from the CD's. Sure, you theoretically lose sound quality this way, but I cannot tell the difference, and I'll bet if I blindfolded you, you couldn't either.

This is a bit tedious when done by hand for a large number of songs. The only working Macintosh utility to automate this process that I know of is "DRM Dumpster," which uses a single CD-RW over and over to get the job done. Worked great for me. Other utilities seem to have bugs that prevented me from using them.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640602)

You may already know about this, but here is how to un-DRM your songs: simply burn them to an audio CD, then re-import them from the CD's. Sure, you theoretically lose sound quality this way, but I cannot tell the difference, and I'll bet if I blindfolded you, you couldn't either.

I'm surprised no one has made an AAC encoder specifically designed for this situation. Consider how lossy audio compression works. The 30000 ft overview would be that you simplify the input by throwing away some of it (hopefully, some of it that is inaudible), resulting in something that can be losslessly compressed.

When you take a lossy compressed song and expand that (e.g., burn to an audio CD), and want to compress that again, you don't need to throw any of it away to get something that will compress well, if you are trying to compress using the same compression system that was originally used. (If you were expanding an AAC file, and then wanted to compress with, say MP3, that would have to have some degradation, because AAC and MP3 would have different ideas of what needs to be thrown away). What this means is that it should be possible to design an AAC encoder that can take advantage of the knowledge that the input is the result of expanding a 128 kbit/second stereo AAC file, and compress back to something that matches that original AAC file.

I Just use Audio Hijack Pro (1)

Archeopteryx (4648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642320)

From http://www.rogueamoeba.com/ [rogueamoeba.com] to convert directly to MP-3 without using up one of my CD burns. Then I can load my iTunes into my Creative RAVE-MP. I just never saw the need to carry ALL of my music with me all the time. Just what I want for the drive I am about to take.

Re:I Just use Audio Hijack Pro (1)

faffod (905810) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642600)

there is no limit to the number of times you can burn a song purchased from the iTunes music store. There is a limit on the number of times you can burn a play list, but if you are only wanting to "work around" the DRM then this isn't a concern.

Re:No (1, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639816)

Wow... you sound really authoritative, but it seems [wikipedia.org] like you really [wikipedia.org] don't know what you're talking about [hymn-project.org] .

Re:No (0)

yoasif (969247) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639930)

mod parent up...

Re:No (4, Informative)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639976)

Wow... you sound really authoritative, but it seems like you really don't know what you're talking about.

Nothing in these links contradicts what the parent said. You can't buy unencrypted music with PyMusique anymore, and the DRM encryption is still unbroken. QTFairUse extracts AAC frames from memory, it does not break the encryption.

Re:No (2, Informative)

anethema (99553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640246)

It is true, all these programs basically exploit an almost analog-hole type situation. And most of them dont even work anymore.

None of them broke the encryption in the first place.

Re:No (1, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641234)

Most people don't usually "break encryption" when they crack copy control mechanisms. Breaking encryption is something people write scientific papers about.

To break copy control, you just re-implement the algorithm and find the keys. Or you let the original code run and grab the unencrypted output.. which is the simplest way.. and yeah, if I gave a shit about iTunes I'd give it a go, but yeah, I don't.

Re:No (1)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642482)

None of them broke the encryption in the first place.


You know, this is probably the core reason why Apple's FairPlay has come under such strong attack recently: People are getting impatient with waiting for the encryption to get cracked.

Re:No (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642654)

QTFairUse extracts AAC frames from memory, it does not break the encryption.

Well, if that'll get you the original compressed AAC version with absolutely zero loss (not even transcoding loss, nevermind the D/A/D loss of the analog hole), what more exactly do you need? Even if you found the key, the encryption is no more or less broken than it was before, they can ship a new version with a new key and a new memory location and you're back to square one again.

Re:No (3, Interesting)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642820)

All that needs to be done to make PyMusique again is to reverse-engineer the algorithm used to encrypt the store pages behind ssl, the algorithm that manipulates their keys, and the simple algorithm used to encrypt the files as they're transferred from the store (before per-user DRM is applied).

Not very difficult at all, just a bit time consuming.

(From the original author of PyTunes, which PyMusique is a GUI frontend to :P )

Re:No (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640102)

You're wrong on several counts. It used to be the trick to removing DRM was finding the keys. There were several ways to do this, including grabbing them from an iPod, or using a program that pretended to be iTunes and having the iTMS send you the keys. There were also programs that let you purchase music and would store it unencrypted. All of these methods ceased functioning with version 6.0. Prior to 7.0, iTunes would allow the creation and use of iTunes 4.9 accounts, but after 7.0 was released, they began requiring at least version 6.0, so there is no way to get the keys to your music.

At this point, if anybody knows how to get the keys for iTunes music, they're not talking. This doesn't mean DRM can't be removed. There is a program written in Python that latches onto iTunes like a debugger, has iTunes play DRMed songs, then grabs AAC frames after they've been decrypted but before they've been decoded. It then prevents iTunes from decoding and playing the audio, so a 5 minute song can be decrypted in less than 30 seconds, and it's a lossless transfer (as opposed to burning and ripping). Unfortunately, this program was written for Windows, and I don't believe anyone ever got it working on a Mac. If you can come up with a Windows box, one of the sibling posts has linked to it.

My interest was the same as yours. I had about $300 invested in my iTunes library, but my media center (and now all my other boxes) runs Linux. I certainly don't want to promote piracy, but I think it's perfectly legitimate to want your music library on a Linux box.

Re:No (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642270)

please excuse me if I cause anyone offense in saying this, but maybe if Mac users didn't refer to crackers as "scum" and other names, they wouldn't ostracize the platform. I do appreciate that crackers are finally being recognized by others as the freedom fighters I've always considered them to be. It's about time.

Re:No (2, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642472)

the zealots only noticed something was amiss now that steve has 'em all by the balls.

Re:No (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646622)

Yep, not only does he have them by the balls, but he's squeezing [slashdot.org] .

-Eric

Artie strikes again! (2, Informative)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643814)

I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Did grandparent call crackers scum? I didn't see that. Who called crackers scum? Some Mac users you know? And you don't think that there are Windows users calling crackers scum? I mean, this just smells of Artie McStrawman [crazyapplerumors.com] . Mac users aren't one person. There are many different Mac users. Some stupid, some not, just like with most other large groups of people.

Re:No (1)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17645174)

Please don't take offense when I mention that you knew what you were getting into when you signed up for a music service, encryption and all. The music you purchase (or don't purchase, as appears to be the case) is a luxury item, not essential to your survival, so it is beyond me to ascertain the justification for breaking the licensing agreements you willingly entered into. You can claim that it's the only way to get the music, but what you should be doing is asking yourself if it's necessary for your survival.

BTW, the term "freedom fighter" is all a matter of perspective. The Minutemen during the Revolution War were Freedom Fighters to one side, bloody-minded terrorists to another.

I don't particularly want DRM-ed music, but on the other hand, I don't want some two-bit cellar monkey with a hard-on for the latest Korn single to be the apparent spokesman for my rights. Personally, I would rather just boycott the entire industry until it's dead, then start over.

Re:No (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646116)

Cracking DRM is the only effective way to get across the message that it is an impossible proposition.

One Word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640576)

QTFairuse6.

Google it.

You do loose all tags, but it audio isn't re-encoded. It grabs the content after iTunes decrypts it and before it decodes it. It works well, though it works at 1x.

Re:No (2, Informative)

corellen (535840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640778)

try myFairTunes6_v0.5.8 is unnoffical beta version works with itunes 7.0.2.16 (version 0.5.7b was the latest official version) be warned though its a stream capture hack, it plays back your music via the itunes scripting interface and captures to lossless then reconverts to .m4a and re adds it back to your itunes library.

Re:No (1)

Xyde (415798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17645210)

Didn't DVD jon crack it a little while ago? I'm sure i remember seeing an article on it here.

Let me think... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17639566)

> Anyone noticed the draw of the Microsoft Zune becoming stronger?

Nope. No defective (DRMed) music players for me, iPod, Zune or otherwise.

again.... (5, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639584)

According to tech.co.uk, Apple is about to license its Fairplay DRM to Made for iPod accessory manufacturers. It's reported that Apple will also allow streaming of protected AAC content via USB. Could this signal a move to allowing other music players to access and play ITMS content?

Again, reinforcing the point that DRM isn't about preventing piracy, it's about maintaining control over other things. Like competitors in the marketplace.

Re:again.... (3, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639776)

Again, reinforcing the point that DRM isn't about preventing piracy, it's about maintaining control over other things. Like competitors in the marketplace.
ummmm NO SHIT? Steve Job himself said this to EVERYONE when they started the iTunes Music Store. The labels require it though (also to maintain control over your music unless you are living under a rock somewhere and wonder why about that too) so the honest question is, why not use it to your company's advantage when the people your licensing from require it anyway.

Only a business moron or naive fool would not.

you bought it... hook, line, and.... (2, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640358)

The labels require it though (also to maintain control over your music unless you are living under a rock somewhere and wonder why about that too)... why not use it to your company's advantage when the people your licensing from require it anyway.

That's false, and Apple loves that you believe it. The license holders don't "require it". Case-in-point, eMusic, which sells DRM-free MP3's [boingboing.net] . A ton of them. Johnny Cash, Dashboard Confessional, Credence Clearwater, Moby, the list goes on for miles.

Those songs are DRM-free on eMusic, but on iTunes, those same songs are locked down with Apple's Fairplay. The only one making that decision is Apple, and the only reason they make that decision is to lock in marketshare.

Re:you bought it... hook, line, and.... (3, Insightful)

Blondie-Wan (559212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640842)

Those songs are sold with DRM on iTunes because other songs from the major labels are sold that way, and iTunes doesn't discriminate by label to know whether to apply DRM or not. It's simply universally applied to everything sold there, in accordance with the wishes of the majors who sell there (and whose music, I'm sure, overwhelmingly dominates sales there as elsewhere).

eMusic doesn't have major label stuff precisely because it doesn't do DRM (well, that, plus it's not as lucrative). That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course; as an eMusic user myself for a fair while, I've come to realize one of the many benefits of the service is how it fosters discovering new/obscure music, and that's frankly easier without the same major label stuff one can get elsewhere anyway dominating the site and distracting one from the hidden real treasures. However, it does mean there's an additional factor that has to be taken into account when comparing DRMed iTunes to DRMless eMusic.

There are in fact a bunch of download services, both with DRM and without (iTunes, eMusic, Audio Lunchbox, Napster, etc.), and the line dividing the ones with major label material from ones without is the same line dividing the ones with DRM from ones without. There's a reason for that, and it's a lot bigger than Apple, since only one of the download services is theirs.

Re:you bought it... hook, line, and.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17641072)

Those songs are sold with DRM on iTunes because other songs from the major labels are sold that way, and iTunes doesn't discriminate by label to know whether to apply DRM or not. It's simply universally applied to everything sold there

...which is exactly the lie that Apple would love everyone to believe.... and the lie that will keep them on top, even when they no longer have the best product.

Re:you bought it... hook, line, and.... (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17645622)

oh your so full of it, its NOT a lie. It would be a lie if they DID infact have music on iTunes not DRMd but the fact is that they dont, because the major labels up until VERY recently have been of the camp of "no DRM bad bad"

Even now analysts are not sure how long this little group of "hmm maybe not so bad" camps in the labels will last. But your kidding yourself if you though that Apple was the cause of it 5 years ago. Many people wondered how the hell Apple would even be able to sell ANYTHING without there being some DRM on it.

Re:again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17640656)

Slashdot moderators prove your .sig true... lol

then how do you explain ... (2, Interesting)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643870)


Then how do you explain that *all* the labels on iTunes sell *all* that music in a higher quality (ie. not lossily compressed) unprotected form? It's called a CD.

DRM is pushed by tech companies like a narcotic and some music labels are stupid enough to buy into it.

It will *always* be possible for content to end up on the P2P networks in a "good enough" (for 95% of the audience) form anyway, and as soon as one person does it that nixes the value of the DRM to the label anyway.

Some labels might "want" DRM, but it is the illusion that they are buying, not the reality.

Re:then how do you explain ... (2, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17645666)

Then how do you explain that *all* the labels on iTunes sell *all* that music in a higher quality (ie. not lossily compressed) unprotected form? It's called a CD.
Easy, they havent found a DRM that works well on a CD without breaking things all over the place and making them look bad.

Sony, Universal, Warner and EMI have all used copy protection on their CDs recently to mixed results. So your idea that the labels are not pushing it is completely and totally false.

Re:then how do you explain ... (1)

DaveCar (189300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646556)


OK, I work for a record label (and distributor). We don't give a stuff about DRM and neither do the labels we distribute. They just want to sell records.to people that want to buy them.

Your move.

Re:again.... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646574)

The labels require it though

Funny, but a lot of music that's available on Emusic without DRM has DRM slapped onto it when the iTunes store sells it. So it would seem that it's NOT the studios that are requiring it (or, at least, not all of them).

-Eric

Re:again.... (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647490)

There was a time when Apple claimed that they'd rather not have DRM at all, that it's forced on them by the labels. Their actions and statements in the past two or three years now say that they really do like DRM.

am I missing something (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639600)

Outside of slashdot (an alternate reality where grandmothers use lunix and ogg vorbis is popular), who is criticizing fairplay? Is there anybody that doesn't think Zune is a turd?

Please, enlighten me.

Re:am I missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17639772)

I think they are referring to accessory makers in Apple's "Made For iPod" program. Apple maybe afraid that they would put support behind the Zune. Since Apple already has a less than stellar relationship with them.

Re:am I missing something (1, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639854)

Outside of slashdot (an alternate reality where grandmothers use lunix and ogg vorbis is popular), who is criticizing fairplay?
People who want to transfer files that they've bought to others without handing over the keys to their account. Like, for example, a father on Christmas morning who gives his son an iPod with Pirates of the Carribean loaded - but then he realizes he bought it with his own account, and the son will lose that file as soon as he syncs it with his own computer, unless he also gives his son one of his 5 "authorization" slots.

Is there anybody that doesn't think Zune is a turd?
I played with one for a few minutes in the store the other day, and the interface is at least as nice as the iPod's - perhaps a bit better. The screen is better for watching videos. The "squirting" seems too half-assed to be a valuable feature, though.

Now a question for you: is there anybody who actually likes the iPod's click wheel? At first, it seems like a cool gizmo, but then you realize how hard it is to move just one click at a time. You can move halfway across the screen with just a little flick, but you have to move s-l-o-w-l-y if you only want to move one stop. When you're searching through a long list, and you do the super-fast spin to activate letter searching mode, you're lucky if you can stop within one or two letters of the one you're looking for.

Re:am I missing something (0)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640258)


unless he also gives his son one of his 5 "authorization" slots.

Worse, is that if the son has his own account already, I don't believe that he can use both authorizations simultaneously.

If user A has 5 slots open, and user B has 5 slots open, can user B simultaneously use both music from A and B accounts, provided he consumes one slot on each? I don't think so.

I'd like to do this; my wife has music on an account on an iMac, and I have music of my own under my account on the same machine. However, I don't believe we can mix libraries, even on the same machine.

Re:am I missing something (1)

grrrl (110084) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640500)

Worse, is that if the son has his own account already, I don't believe that he can use both authorizations simultaneously.

Wrong - I use two iTunes accounts under one user on my computer (different countries), no problems with authorisations.

However, I don't believe we can mix libraries, even on the same machine.

You have heaps of options -
use the inbuilt "Sharing" feature of iTunes;
point both your iTunes libraries to the same directory (change permissions on the dir so you can both rw);
copy the songs into both Librarys (not sure if you would need to use two authorisations - I doubt it) - you could probably even use the iPod 'sync purchases' feature for this

Re:am I missing something (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640540)

I'd like to do this; my wife has music on an account on an iMac, and I have music of my own under my account on the same machine. However, I don't believe we can mix libraries, even on the same machine.
That's funny - my daughter and I do this all the time.

Re:am I missing something (1, Funny)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640496)

Now a question for you: is there anybody who actually likes the iPod's click wheel? At first, it seems like a cool gizmo, but then you realize how hard it is to move just one click at a time.
It is not a problem for those of us who do not have cerebral palsy.

Re:am I missing something (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641254)

Well then, I guess I and everyone I know who owns an iPod must have CP. Thanks for the diagnosis, Dr. Frist.

Re:am I missing something (1, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643838)

the interface is at least as nice as the iPod's - perhaps a bit better

No scroll wheel, nothing to even remotely replicate its functionality. It's just not an efficient interface.

Re:am I missing something (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644682)

The scroll wheel is the iPod's main flaw! The Zune has directional buttons, which you can press once to move one step at a time, or hold down to move a long way. That's more efficient than always scrolling past the item you want and then having to s-l-o-w-l-y scroll back to it.

Re:am I missing something (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644988)

The scroll wheel is the iPod's main flaw! The Zune has directional buttons, which you can press once to move one step at a time, or hold down to move a long way. That's more efficient than always scrolling past the item you want and then having to s-l-o-w-l-y scroll back to it.

Yeah, you're right, if you're slowly going down one item at a time, you're unlikely to overshoot your target.

Seriously, though, your answer simply makes no sense. Are you arguing that slow is better, or that fast is better? Because the scroll wheel can do both.

Re:am I missing something (1)

fanningj (942469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646784)

People who want to transfer files that they've bought to others without handing over the keys to their account. Like, for example, a father on Christmas morning who gives his son an iPod with Pirates of the Carribean loaded - but then he realizes he bought it with his own account, and the son will lose that file as soon as he syncs it with his own computer, unless he also gives his son one of his 5 "authorization" slots.
You could always gift the movie and then it would be authorised under the sons account.

Re:am I missing something (4, Insightful)

mgv (198488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639996)

Outside of slashdot (an alternate reality where grandmothers use lunix and ogg vorbis is popular), who is criticizing fairplay? Is there anybody that doesn't think Zune is a turd?

Not too many people.

In truth its not very restrictive, as far as the current policies go. And apple has defended the users against abuses from the RIAA (esp with increases in pricing).

In particular, the fact that you can authorise 5 machines and an unlimited number of ipods is good.

More importantly, you can reset the list of 5 machines once per year even if you have lost all your old machines. Which means that having your music work on a new machine isn't likely to be a problem, even if your old machines get stolen or reformatted before you could deauthorise them out of your list of 5 computers.

Not to mention that you can burn the music and rip it again anyway. Sure it loses quality, but if you are buying for quality alone, you wouldn't be using either iTunes or an iPod for that matter.

I'm not surprised that iTunes isn't yet hacked. Mostly because there aren't many reasons yet why a legit user would get pissed off.

The biggest thing they should offer (in my opinion) is the ability to redownload your music that you have purchased. In this situation you would be getting defacto off-site storage of your music, which would be a huge plus for the service that you wouldn't get with mp3's. Unless you consider bittorrent as your off site backup.

Anyway, DRM has worked against the RIAA. They thought it would give them control over the users. Instead it has given apple control of the RIAA.

Michael

Re:am I missing something (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640070)


Michael


What mythical world do you live in? iTunes doesn't have every major label - last I checked, some of them refuse to sign up because "the DRM is too lax". How is Apple in control again?

Re:am I missing something (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642704)

What mythical world do you live in? iTunes doesn't have every major label - last I checked, some of them refuse to sign up because "the DRM is too lax". How is Apple in control again?

Because those labels haven't been anywhere near to disrupt Apple's success and continued growth? Eventually Apple will be such a large sales channel, they have no choice but to fall in line. Unless they create a proper alternative (which the users will reject) it does them about as much good as staying on DOS and OS/2 did to prevent Mircosoft's monopoly.

Re:am I missing something (3, Insightful)

mgv (198488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643182)

What mythical world do you live in? iTunes doesn't have every major label - last I checked, some of them refuse to sign up because "the DRM is too lax". How is Apple in control again?

Because those labels haven't been anywhere near to disrupt Apple's success and continued growth? Eventually Apple will be such a large sales channel, they have no choice but to fall in line.

I have to agree with Kjella.

Look at Apple Corp (the Beatles). I'm willing to wager money that they are about to start releasing music using iTunes. Certainly you have to wonder why else Steve Jobs had their albums splashed everywhere in his keynote speech.

The label's have two real choices: Fairplay for the iPod, or no DRM. The fact that they are starting to sell songs without DRM says how scared they are of apple.

The trouble is that if they use any other DRM, the percentage of the market that they get is so small it isn't worth having. Not to mention the debacle that microsoft produced when it abandoned its "plays for sure" platform for the Zune. I wouldn't want to be selling music to any of those WMA players - the users there might forget to blame microsoft and blame the label when the music they bought 6 months ago now can't be played on a Zune, or pretty much any new hardware that's coming out.

I'm not trying to defend apple for its DRM, but if you look at what happened with iTunes when the music store was cracked - basically they moved to a new version of iTunes but kept the old version still working, even though people were downloading music and bypassing the DRM. To my knowledge, you can still do this with the old version of iTunes if you really want to, but certainly nobody suffered from the DRM being bypassed.

The net effect of this is that the RIAA, if it wants DRM, has to use Apple. Anything else is probably worse than pointless the way microsoft is playing with WMA.

And if they have to use fairplay, they do so on apple's terms. A point which they are just starting to realise.

Michael

I think Jobs simply likes the Beatles' music (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643872)

Certainly you have to wonder why else Steve Jobs had their albums splashed everywhere in his keynote speech.

This may sound quaint, but I think he just likes the Beatles. Apple also had the John Lennon poster, and they used to play Beatles songs before Keynotes. Maybe there's some additional meaning to it, but more likely, Jobs just added some music which he liked and thought they kind of represented Apple's spirit.

Re:am I missing something (1)

jpkunst (612360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644752)

basically they moved to a new version of iTunes but kept the old version still working, even though people were downloading music and bypassing the DRM. To my knowledge, you can still do this with the old version of iTunes if you really want to, but certainly nobody suffered from the DRM being bypassed.

No, you can't do this. The DRM from iTunes > 5 cannot be bypassed anymore (with JHymn) and iTunes <= 5 is locked out from the iTunes Store.

JP

Re:am I missing something (1)

Nanpa (971527) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640934)

The biggest thing they should offer (in my opinion) is the ability to redownload your music that you have purchased. In this situation you would be getting defacto off-site storage of your music, which would be a huge plus for the service that you wouldn't get with mp3's. Unless you consider bittorrent as your off site backup.
Unless I'm mistaken, doesn't the 'Check for purchases' option do this? Or does that only apply to purchases that haven't been fully downloaded from the store?

Re:am I missing something (1)

umbra_dweller (797279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17641214)

Yeah, that only applies if something went wrong durring downloading - once you actually have your song then it's tough luck if you lose it. So far I haven't had any problems, but I have had occasion to use backup copies.

Re:am I missing something (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17642488)

eMusic will, as long as you are a member of the service, go back and redownload any track you got previously for free.

Re:am I missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643864)

Outside of slashdot (an alternate reality where grandmothers use lunix and ogg vorbis is popular), who is criticizing fairplay? Is there anybody that doesn't think Zune is a turd?

Not too many people.

I'll have to disagree there. I have a number of friends who have complained to me about DRM on iTunes. They weren't aware that there were restrictions on the music they bought, and feel cheated. It's caused them a number of difficulties, from not being able to play the songs on other computers, to the fact that other mp3 players than iPods don't work. After buying a couple of tracks from iTunes and being burned they have gone back to buying CDs or finding other methods of downloading unrestricted music (legally or otherwise, I presume).

No doubt some people will say these guys should have understood what they were doing better, but isn't the point of iTunes/iPod that it's supposed to be really simple? I know that was a large part of the attraction for my friends trying out iTunes. These people are not power users, but they are reasonably computer literate.

Yawn. Rumors, rumors... (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639624)

Apple is about to license its Fairplay DRM to Made for iPod accessory manufacturers [C. It's reported that Apple will also allow streaming of protected AAC content via USB.

That should be interesting considering there are USB to Optical adapters.

Could this signal a move to allowing other music players to access and play ITMS content?"

Only if these other players have the ability to record the content. When I tried to record a song from a DVD (music video playing) to my Minidisc via optical, all I got was "NO COPY" flashing on my player's display.

Anyone noticed the draw of the Microsoft Zune becoming stronger?

Uh, No. I haven't heard crap about the Zune since last Christmas. I don't know why it would have anything to do with this summary to begin with. The Zune has no less restrictive DRM than iTunes. Looks like someone was just looking for a reason to mention the Zune to me. [rolleyes]

Re:Yawn. Rumors, rumors... (1)

Cheesey (70139) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639870)


Only if these other players have the ability to record the content. When I tried to record a song from a DVD (music video playing) to my Minidisc via optical, all I got was "NO COPY" flashing on my player's display.

That's SCMS (serial copy management system). It allows the source device to indicate whether the target device should permit recording. The idea is to prevent you copying a copy: you can space-shift your CDs onto MD, but you can't then space-shift that MD onto another without going analogue. The source device can also prevent any recording at all - your DVD player is doing this. The usual workaound is an SCMS removal box that just flips the appropriate bits in the bitstream. SCMS is not very secure :).

It amuses me to think of those paranoid Sony execs, convinced that the minidisc would usher in a terrifying era of unrestrained copying if *something* wasn't done. What confidence they had in their product. Remind you of any other Sony products?

btw. I bought minidisc equipment shortly before the MP3 revolution and have always regretted my short-sightedness.

Re:Yawn. Rumors, rumors... (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640578)

btw. I bought minidisc equipment shortly before the MP3 revolution and have always regretted my short-sightedness.

I still occasionally think of buying one of the last generation Hi-MD recorders. I'd like to have one for taping. They can play MP3 natively and you can export recordings to your PC (and to unprotected WAV, too). And they can record at quality as high as full PCM.

I actually used my Minidisc for covert recording for a school project recently. I couldn't use my mini cassette recorder as it had no external mic input. But I use a 1GB iPod Shuffle (1st gen) for playing music now. In device recording abilities is something I am still waiting to see in iPods.

Re:Yawn. Rumors, rumors... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643480)

I still occasionally think of buying one of the last generation Hi-MD recorders. I'd like to have one for taping.

Don't bother. A better alternative would be one of the professional digital recorders that generally use flash memory for storage.

In device recording abilities is something I am still waiting to see in iPods.

Meh. I prefer the add-on approach, because it is more flexible. So you can buy an add-on that has nice features like proper XLR connectors and level meters, rather than trying to cram more into the iPod itself. You're never going to fit professional-grade input connectors into something that is supposed to be as compact as an iPod.

SCMS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17639938)

When I tried to record a song from a DVD (music video playing) to my Minidisc via optical, all I got was "NO COPY" flashing on my player's display.

You're seeing SCMS. Does line-in misbehave the same way?

Re:SCMS (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640458)

No, it doesn't happen on the plain line out. Thanks for the heads up. I'm sure the fact both the minidisc player and the DVD player were Sony didn't make this any better.

It isn't a problem any longer as that DVD is no longer working. The model is actually part of a class action lawsuit against Sony, but I wont be able to get in on the settlement since I have little proof of purchase (it's was bought 5 years ago after all).

Re:SCMS (1)

spiderbitendeath (577712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17640536)

See, thats why I like my Apple products. Their class action lawsuit wanted to give me money for things I didn't purchase.

Re:Yawn. Rumors, rumors... (1)

ndpatel (185409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643208)

Most new Macs and Airport Express come standard with optical-out. What's your point?

Re:Yawn. Rumors, rumors... (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643286)

You're right, I forgot all about that. The point was the optical out may conceivably give one a way to make a perfect digital copy of an iTunes Music Store purchase.

Re:Yawn. Rumors, rumors... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643906)

> Apple is about to license its Fairplay DRM to Made for iPod accessory manufacturers [C. It's reported that Apple will also allow streaming of protected AAC content via USB.

That should be interesting considering there are USB to Optical adapters.


Er, why? It would appear to stream *protected* AAC content (and presumably the add-on will license fairplay to decrypt and play it) so it's just like streaming protected AAC content from an NFS/SMB/HTTP/whatever server, it won't magically turn into sound.

Another Rumour (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643164)

So Apple may be about to licence FairPlay, or maybe they won't. The linked site doesn't provide anything to back up its story, or even quote unnamed Apple sources (a favourite of bad journalism).

We can discuss what this means until the cows come home, but surely it's better to wait for it to *actually* *happen* before we sacrifice millions of innocent pixels as we agonise over this?

iPod != Fair Play (4, Informative)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643792)

Anyone noticed the draw of the Microsoft Zune becoming stronger?

Anyone notice there are still people who don't realize that you can use plain MP3/AAC files with the iPod?

The Zune has a proprietary DRM system, just like the iPod. It even (illegally, in some cases) ads DRM to your non-DRM'd files if you "squirt" them. Or maybe I'm just not getting something here.

Re:iPod != Fair Play (3, Interesting)

DrXym (126579) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643950)

And the Zune, PS3 and PSP will play unencrypted MP3 and AAC too. Still doesn't help if you bought something from iTMS and now discover that it's bound to Apple-only devices and you can NEVER play it on anything else except by circumventing the DRM.

The moral here is that stores that encrypt music or tie them to a device suck. I really don't understand why music publishers want DRM at all. All that happens with lock-in is that somebody like Apple dominates the market and then the music industry is compelled to dance to their tune. If you level the playing field by publishing music without restrictions, then you can set your own price, since if Apple won't meet your price, then somebody else sure as hell will. Consumers win out too since they can get their music from dozens of sites and use them on dozens of their own devices. I doubt the amount of piracy would change significantly either since albums can be had right now on P2P, so what difference does it make if there is DRM or not?

Exactly: The music industry is hurting itself (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644402)

And the Zune, PS3 and PSP will play unencrypted MP3 and AAC too. Still doesn't help if you bought something from iTMS and now discover that it's bound to Apple-only devices and you can NEVER play it on anything else except by circumventing the DRM.

Exactly. This is a question of which shop you're using. The device doesn't play any kind of role. You don't need to own an iPod to use the iTunes store, and you don't need to use the iTunes store if you own an iPod.

I really don't understand why music publishers want DRM at all.

I think it's mainly to maximize profits from their honest customers. It's a stupid strategy, because you're punishing the very people who give you money, while those who don't give you money get a better product - and, as you say, they help establish a monopoly which plays against them. I also think some of them are starting to see the light and changing their ways.

Re:iPod != Fair Play (1)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644482)

I really don't understand why music publishers want DRM at all. All that happens with lock-in is that somebody like Apple dominates the market

The mistake the labels made was to not insist on some form of key escrow so that they could independently create DRM's tracks that can be played on iPods etc; that way they could have licensed other music shops to sell ipod compatible music with DRM and thus been able to bypass Apple and have iPod owners directly as customers.

I believe that so far the full DRM situation with Zune hasn't been revealed, i.e. as to who's in full control of the DRM and can issue Zune-compatible music. Perhaps this is why Microsoft dumped "plays for sure"?

Re:iPod != Fair Play (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646964)

It even (illegally, in some cases) ads DRM to your non-DRM'd files if you "squirt" them.

That's just pure, Grade-A, USDA-Approved FUD. "Illegally"?

Adding DRM to non-DRM'd files can be illegal (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647554)

That's just pure, Grade-A, USDA-Approved FUD. "Illegally"?

Haha. Okay. Thanks very much, now everyone is looking at me. Hey, guys, I'm working, I promise!

Anyway. I find it funny how people accuse others of spreading FUD when the issue is that they simply aren't informed about the things they think they are informed about.

The problem with adding DRM to non-DRM'd meterial is that it is illegal in some cases - depending on the rights the person adding the DRM has.

Some licenses allow you to give content to others, as long as you don't change the file and/or add DRM to it - some creatives commons licenses do that, for example. [boingboing.net]

In this specific case, it may not be illegal, since the current CC licenses only disallow changing of the file, and according to Microsoft, the Zune does not actually change the squirted files. Future CC licenses will probably remove this loophole.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?