×

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!

Universal Offers iPod-Resistant Music

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the that-wont-last-long dept.

Music 323

dprovine writes "Universal is now offering music through Spiral Frog as free downloads supported by advertising revenue. But according to Daily Tech, the files being offered won't work on iPods. 'The move to not allow its content to be played on iPod's appears to be a clear snub by the Universal Music Group, similar to NBC's recent move of its television content from iTunes to Amazon.com. Apple has not commented on this development. For many, though, SpiralFrog.com presents an intriguing new business model that may present a legal alternative to file sharing or spending large amounts of money on CDs or paid download services, such as iTunes.'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

323 comments

Great Idea! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641567)

This is the digital equivalent of sticking a cork in your asshole to keep homosexuals from trying to shove their cock in there.

iPod: Penis licking good! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641997)

Designed for women and homosexuals.

Sought by Slashdotters.

I agree, except (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20642249)

substitute "cork" for "cock" and it would be an apt analogy. Better to know who is screwing you.

24 hours (4, Insightful)

set (19875) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641575)

or less.

come on. let's get real here.

universal is gonna get owned.

already working on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641653)

sincerely,

The Internets.

How can it not work? (4, Insightful)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641581)


How can it not work on an iPod?

MP3 is a clearly defined standard. These files either are, or they aren't, mp3's. If they are, iPods will play them. If they aren't, then they shouldn't be sold as MP3's.

not MP3 - WMA (4, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641609)

as noted in the comments to the DailyTech article itself. Slashdot editors ftw.

Re:not MP3 - WMA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641967)

Personally, I think Simpson should do PORN. I mean, come on! He's a black man which means he's got a HUGE COCK, and with that name, he could pull in MILLIONS.

Re:How can it not work? (1, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641633)

Clearly not MP3s. Almost surely they are DRMed WMA files.

Result: SpiralFrog will still fail despite being free.

Re:How can it not work? (2, Insightful)

rlp (11898) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641899)

Clearly not MP3s. Almost surely they are DRMed WMA files.

Result: SpiralFrog will still fail despite being free.


Clearly, snubbing Apple is more important than financial success.

Re:How can it not work? (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641977)

The music companies obviously aren't in tune with demands, or are in tune, but humming to a different beat than us.

Maybe they need new ear buds to get the tune right.

Re:How can it not work? (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641657)


And now I see that the files have DRM and whatever-else included with them, and they're not MP3's at all.

Nothing to see here.

"Random file format that is not industry standard doesn't play on device designed for industry standard files". Next thing you know, they'll be telling you your petrol car won't run on diesel.

~Wx

Re:How can it not work? (5, Informative)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641659)

Not really an MP3, the Slashdot summary (and the line in the article) are misleading. Quote the SpiralFrog website:

Can I transfer the music I download to a portable device?
SpiralFrog is compatible with portable music players and music phones that support Windows Digital Rights Management (DRM). Look out for devices that prominently display the "PlaysForSure" logo.


So, they're not MP3s; they are WMA files with DRM. This is a nonstory.

Re:How can it not work? (4, Insightful)

Horas (932560) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641873)

They use OGG Vorbis!

(just kidding, but wouldn't it be nice?)

Now music comes with a ball and chain! Yay! (4, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641589)

This is a great service. Well, it's great as long as you only listen to music sitting in front of your computer. And don't use a Mac. Or Linux. And don't mind paying for music that may one day dissapear because the service has been discontinued or you move to a Mac or Linux.

Re:Now music comes with a ball and chain! Yay! (1, Flamebait)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641737)

Not only is it a great and convenient service, I'm impressed with the future prospects for wild success after cutting out 90% (or whatever it is) of the portable music player market. What's the stock symbol for this spiralfrog company? DMBF perhaps?

Re:Now music comes with a ball and chain! Yay! (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641859)

So much pessimism. Just because some people have the URGE to buy wma-encoded music doesn't mean that companies should have the URGE to take it away at some point. It's not like URGE ever could really explain the unified theory in any clear and concise.. .....URGE

Re:Now music comes with a ball and chain! Yay! (3, Insightful)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641949)

I doubt this service will last since the majority of customers are going to be too busy downloading music to spend time clicking ads.

Ads work well when people viewing those pages are interested in the topic, and might want more information, or details on how to buy the items, (or similar items), discussed on the page. With this scheme, they are interested in downloading music, which they are already doing. So how are the ads going to appeal to them? Especially considering that they are interested in free music.

Or mind getting pwned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641991)

Bleh. The site only works when you've got javascript enabled. What with the latest revalations about MediaDefender, I wouldn't be surprised to see spiralfrog.com trying to pull something on your computer.

Re:Now music comes with a ball and chain! Yay! (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642083)

This is a great service. Well, it's great as long as you only listen to music sitting in front of your computer.

My portable media player has no problems playing PlaysForSure DRMd files (so it says in the specs, I don't support DRMd music.

oblig. Ball and Chain (1)

gnarlyhotep (872433) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642163)

"Take away, take away
Take away this ball and chain
Well I'm lonely and I'm tired
And I can't take any more pain"
-Social Distorion

Now just hoping no one decides that violates their copyrights...

Re:Now music comes with a ball and chain! Yay! (4, Insightful)

tppublic (899574) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642197)

There is more than one way to skin a cat. I don't see why their model is the problem everyone posting here makes it out to be.

If you don't like it, so what? You aren't in their target market.

You see, you are presuming that everyone want to take the limited music with them and/or that one cares whether the music works after 30 days. I don't. Let me explain why:

I'm not interested in renting music I already know about. I want to rent music I don't know about, so I can decide if I want to buy it.

While the cost aspects (due to the ads) aren't a perfect analogy, think of this like test driving a car. I want to drive the car for a short period of time on reasonable terms, not only experience it under 25 MPH in some dealer lot. DRM gives me the ability to legally 'test drive' the music. I want to sample music - meaning the whole song (or close to it), not some maybe-but-perhaps-not-really-representative 30 second sound-byte that Apple provides. I already use AmieStreet.com (since the samples are much longer), and I'm open to other alternatives (yes, I know about Napster and Rhapsody, and no, I'm not shelling out $10 a month)

Once I sample a song and decide I like it, I will go acquire the music elsewhere - either on a physical CD (if I like enough songs on an album) or though another source (iTunes, etc.). That will not possess DRM, since I have never paid for (and don't intend to pay for) DRMed music. [That's like buying the car you test drove, for those following the analogy]

The purchased song will get placed on my iPod so that I can take it with me. I'm happy, I'm only transporting music I like, and their business model works in the process, because I can use them to explore. So I'm sorry, but I'm failing to see why their model isn't a good one.

not mp3! (4, Informative)

douthat (568842) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641599)

The reason their "MP3"s don't work on iPods is because they're not MP3s. They're PlaysForSure DRMed WMAs. This is high quality journalism at work. Slashdot editors should be proud.

Re:not mp3! (5, Informative)

douthat (568842) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641651)

It should be noted that the Slashdot editors changed the title of the article from "Universal Offers iPod-Resistant MP3s" to "Universal Offers iPod-Resistant Music"

Re:not mp3! (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641791)

PlaysForSure? I thought MS had abandoned that in favor of... something. Why would they use /that/?

Like selling screen doors to submarines.... (5, Insightful)

Shoeler (180797) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641607)

Now Universal just look like idiots. One can easily argue the business sense of delivering content in a price-controllable way. Business 101 - when the demand increases, limit the supply and profit by increasing the prices, or changing the delivery mechanism to make more money on the same supply. Demand for downloadable music has increased while CD sales decreased, thus the allegory.

The stupid part of this idea is removing 70-80% (the share of iPods in the portable music market) of the market for your product. Just try to buy a gas station and switch to only selling ethanol and see how well that works if you need an example. The phrase shooting one's self in the foot comes to mind, but the recording studios seem good at that.

Re:Like selling screen doors to submarines.... (1)

sehlat (180760) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641843)

Shooting themselves in the foot? I think they're aiming a few feet higher than that. Unlikely to cause much damage though. You can't blow out the brains you either don't have or aren't using.

Re:Like selling screen doors to submarines.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20642053)

I think the phrase "cutting off your nose to spite your face" fits their actions.

Is it really an MP3? (1, Redundant)

Prien715 (251944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641611)

According to TFA, "Files from SpiralFrog are digitally protected and can be played on mp3 players, but cannot be burned to CDs".

I'm not aware of any way MP3 files can be "digitally protected" and not burned to CD.

More like WMA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641685)

According to TFA, "Files from SpiralFrog are digitally protected and can be played on mp3 players, but cannot be burned to CDs".

I'm not aware of any way MP3 files can be "digitally protected" and not burned to CD.
They work because they're not MP3 files, and the vast majority of national brand MP3 players other than iPod® are also WMA players.

Re:More like WMA (1)

XenoPhage (242134) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641981)

They work because they're not MP3 files, and the vast majority of national brand MP3 players other than iPod® are also WMA players.
Ah, but WMA support and WMA DRM support are two different beasts. Linux even has WMA support, but can't play WMA DRMed files.. (At least, the last time I checked, anyway) ...

From TFA (apologies in advance for actually reading it) : "legal avenue to download some free music"

So, can someone please explain to me why the hell we need to use DRM on *FREE* music? Oh noes! They're going to distribute the *FREE* music!

WTF?

Re:Is it really an MP3? (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641747)

I'm not aware of any way WMA files can be "digitally protected" and not burned to CD, either. Thanks to stuff like FairUse4WM....

Re:Is it really an MP3? (1)

MattW (97290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642235)

How many types of digital media aren't cracked now? Blu-ray, and...?

Uh.... what's the big deal? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641621)

Just render the mp3 to a wav file then encode it back to mp3. Presto, done.

Wow.... that was just, like, sooooo hard....

Re:Uh.... what's the big deal? (1)

g-san (93038) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641765)

I think you need to brush up on the difference between lossy and lossless encoders. Presto, your music would sound like crap after being compressed 4 times with different compressors.

Re:Uh.... what's the big deal? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641801)

Decoding music and rencoding it sounds about as good compared to the first encoding as the first one does to the original. In other words, good enough.

Re:Uh.... what's the big deal? (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641915)

Can you burn it to a cd? Then it's not ipod resistant, just ipod annoying. Just write it to a cdrom or virutal cd, then turn around, rip and encode to mp3. Yes, you do lose some quality but not enough that you would actually notice the first time around if you encode it with enought bits. IE above 128K.

Re:Uh.... what's the big deal? (2, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641963)

I think you need to brush up on the difference between lossy and lossless encoders. Presto, your music would sound like crap after being compressed 4 times with different compressors.
Just download crap music and you won't be able to tell the difference anyway. Problem solved.

Re:Uh.... what's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641805)

Just render the mp3 to a wav file then encode it back to mp3. Presto, done.

Here's an even easier way, download it from a P2P network in the first place.

The RIAA still doesn't get it. People can already get this stuff for free. The question in the consumer's mind is would they rather make sure it is 100% legal, or would they rather the music was convenient, i.e. works everywhere on all devices and can be transferred between machines and will still work if you switch computers or reinstall your computer. WMA is too painful to use. Nice try though.

Re:Uh.... what's the big deal? (1)

xappax (876447) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641903)

Just render the mp3 to a wav file then encode it back to mp3.

That's lossy, analogous to making a photocopy of a photocopy.

Re:Uh.... what's the big deal? (0, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641929)

Just shut the fuck up. Transcoding MP3s is simply unacceptable. Pretending it is doesn't help anyone.

$20 says they show up on iPods in less than a week (1, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641627)

How many times will it take the various media conglomerates to finally learn that any DRM they try to shove down the throats of their customers will be broken fairly quickly by those same customers? They create some digital lock to protect their content, but they have to provide the keys somehow to the end-user so that they can access the content, and there are plenty of very intelligent people all over the world willing to work on breaking those locks with the provided keys.

MP3's? (1)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641629)

The summary and article suggest that these are MP3's. I won't (and refuse) to sign up for the service to see for myself, but if they were really MP3's they would work on iPods and could be burned to CD's. Unless they have some type of DRM I've never seen attached to these MP3's, these are mostly likely some type of other media format. 1st, Universal is crazy to think they can maintain this through ad-revenues. 2nd, I'd like to see how much of this ad-revenue is given back to the artist. And 3rd, free music for everyone after their DRM is hammered into submission!

United States of America and Canada only (5, Funny)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641631)

Our Apologies. At this time, the SpiralFrog Web site is available only to residents of the United States of America and Canada.
No problem guys, apologies accepted! I know some Russian sites that happily cater to the western European crowd :-)

WMA, not MP3...? (3, Interesting)

riceboy50 (631755) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641647)

This was found in the comments of TFA, so take it with a grain of salt:

They're using Microsoft's proprietary .wma container files with streams decompressed using Microsoft proprietary WMA codecs. Even if the music is free, they're still bound to a player that supports a particular version of Microsoft's proprietary DRM.

This might work with a little help (1)

ianmac47 (445083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641663)

This will work if the hacker community can strip the DRM out of the files with an easy to use software tool that the mass consumer can implement. iPods have what, 75% marketshare? So why would anyone download songs with DRM that can't be used on THEIR player, even if they are free.

And again... (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641673)

We see the rise of another doomed business.

Of course it won't work on iPods, they're using DRM-out-the-ass WMA files that won't work on any OS but windows and players made by companies that bought into the Plays for Sure nonsense that not even Microsoft themselves use.

So it's free, so what. You get a combination of advertising and no control. I'll stick to my usual of buying CDs and ripping them to AAC, even if it means less music overall.

From the Spiral Frog FAQ (2, Informative)

Ydna (32354) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641675)

Q: When will SpiralFrog be compatible with the Mac, so that I can download songs and video?

A: Unfortunately, those running the Apple operating system on their computers will not be able to play preview clips, stream videos, or download songs and videos at SpiralFrog. We require you to be running Windows XP or Vista at SpiralFrog for the simple reason that Windows Digital Rights Management is the only standard available for independent music stores like us to protect the songs and videos as required by the record labels' licenses. Windows Digital Rights Management is not supported by Apple Macintosh computers. Macintosh supports the AAC Digital Rights Management, but it is closed to Apple's own use only. At this time, we're sorry to say that all you can do is browse our site, but it's a very good site, and you'll lots of information about all your favorite artists. So, please... enjoy!

Ha Ha. So take that, Apple. We'll show you.

(Yes, I'm being sarcastic. Anyone who believes the Windows DRM will make life easier for anyone is a damn fool.)

Re:From the Spiral Frog FAQ (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641947)

Well, this is Apple screwing itself and its customers over because they don't open up the Protected AAC format so other companies can use it in their stores. Good job Apple. I still won't buy anything in a compressed and DRM-encumbered format as long as I can still buy unencrypted CDs and DVDs. I'm patient and can wait a few days for my media to ship or just go to Best Buy or some other brick and mortar store.

Re:From the Spiral Frog FAQ (1)

kherr (602366) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642071)

Why hasn't Microsoft opened up WMA DRM? Same logic as applies to Apple's FairPlay. Microsoft, not making music player hardware, has been licensing their DRM technology all over the place in an attempt to push it into the marketplace. Apple, maker of the iPod and proprietor of the iTunes Store, has found no business reason to license FairPlay. What is interesting, however, is how Apple has decided to provide software for both Mac OS X and Windows to support FairPlay (iTunes/QuickTime), whereas Microsoft can't be bothered to support Mac OS X with their DRM.

(And yes I realize both companies leave linux in the cold, but linux really is not a significant market share for the consumer space.)

Re:From the Spiral Frog FAQ (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642225)

I'm with you on that. I still only buy physical media (so I 'own' it), and then rip to free and open formats for computer use.

I have never yet purchased music or video on-line that came encumbered with DRM or was in a non-open format. With any luck, I never will.

"iPod's" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641713)

The move to not allow its content to be played on iPod's appears to be a clear snub by the Universal Music Group

Played on iPod's what?

Re:"iPod's" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641951)

'Seriou'sly people, the apo'strophe i's not there to 'say "look out, an ''s' i's coming! Run for the hill's!"

Pathetic (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641721)

OK, now, I understand what the big music industry people are trying to accomplish. They're trying to keep from going the way of the buggy-whip makers. They're pulling out all the stops to keep from becoming irrelevant. That's understandable. But jeez, this is just pathetic.

They're trying anything and everything to keep people from buying their music. They're putting up every kind of conceivable roadblock that they can come up with, as malicious and as pointless as they may be. These guys are really getting desperate, and it shows. Pretty soon, even the average brain-dead consumer will understand what they're trying to do, and then it really will be all over for the entire industry.

Re:Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20641945)

Let's see how this matches up the approaches that are favored by the SlashDot crowd:

* product given away - check
* goes against dominant player in market - check
* ad posing as a slashdot submission - check
* near monopoly and defacto standard cannot, must not be ignored - oops

The whole thing smells of an exclusivity contract (2, Insightful)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641735)

Why would NBC no longer distribute video via iTunes? Duh... anyone hear of MSNBC?

Well, there's probably a similar thing going on here... they're either working a deal or have a deal with another provider to try to exclude Apple's products. Aside from conversion to one format then to MP3, it won't be more than a day or two before someone has a standalone program or plug-in for an existing one that will do the conversion.

Re:The whole thing smells of an exclusivity contra (2, Informative)

prockcore (543967) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641803)

Why would NBC no longer distribute video via iTunes?


Because Apple dropped them. NBC didn't pull their video from iTunes.. Apple did.

No iPods, and which other players? (1)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641751)

What other players won't support the files? I'm not sure my Archos Gmini 400 will play .WMA's.

Won't play on Zune either... (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641769)

since it seems to support "Plays for Sure" which doesn't play for sure on a Zune.....

Re:Won't play on Zune either... (5, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641845)

Well, guess we'd better find both Zune owners and give them the bad news.

WMA (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641795)

If it was MP3, it may not play on iPod due to some intentionally corrupted sequences. But it sure would be burnable to CD by some of hundreds of available tools. I say it's WMA and "MP3 player" in the article is a misnomer.

The Pay Services are Effectively Cheaper than this (2, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641863)

For $0 a month in cash, I can download a sizable selection of music to my Playsforsure (Creative Zen Vision M) music player, but I have to spend my rare and precious time watching advertisements. Right off the bat, the real economic cost of this service based upon my opportunity costs is over $50 per month without exaggeration.

Or, I can pay $15 a month for Rhapsody or Napster and not have to spend my time being subjected to advertisements. $15 a month, which, and let's be honest, is not a lot of money to have access to a library of millions of songs.

My cynical take: this service is essentially an advertising gimmick by its financiers to draw people to superior services, such as Rhapsody. The increment from $0/month to $15/month is not too much at all for the tremendous jump in convenience.

No conspiracy here, move along (1)

Baumi (148744) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641869)

Of course it won't work on iPods. According to TFA, the music can't be burned to CDs, meaning it's using DRM. The only DRM working on iPods is Apple's own FairPlay which they're not licensing. (According to their FAQ, they're using WMA DRM, which has never been compatible with iPods.) Basically, there's no legal and future-proof way to make their business model work with iPods without Apple's support, no matter how much they might want to do that. (And I guess they's jump at the chance, considering the iPod's popularity.)

A music service that doesn't work on iPods (1)

realinvalidname (529939) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641875)

Gee, those have worked so well in the past. Good luck with that, guys. Say hey to Urge and Sony Connect while you're decomposing.

Just another crookery... (1)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641901)

Another tech crook got money from clueless managers to implement the impossible. Get a life, music execs! You are being cheated by all of your staff! This "protection" is simply impossible! It's enough for 1 (ONE) copy of the song to get into the wild, and it's game over. GAME OVER. Deal with it like men, and do whatever you can to survive. But don't waste your money on snake oil "copy protection" because IT NEVER WORKS, just like there's no philosopher's stone, perpetuum mobile or flying saucers. Don't believe me? Stop and think about it. Has there ever been a song that you've released and that hasn't been pirated on p2p networks in the wild? Name just one song. Just one. That has been protected. Then I might agree that you aren't being robbed by tech "experts". Otherwise, all you've been paying for DOESN'T WORK and the FACTS are clear on that.

Fixing the wrong problem (2, Insightful)

Pasquina (980638) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641917)

It seems to me that Universal et al see "downloading music for free" as the entire problem. They somehow don't understand that the biggest reason to download music for free is to put it on your mp3 player. They may have provided free music downloads, but DRM'd music is useless, and won't solve the problem.

News Flash (0, Flamebait)

carbona (119666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641935)

Apple offers songs on their music store that are incompatible with anything but an iPod, including songs and samplers they give away. How is what Universal is doing any more noteworthy or deserving of scorn? It sucks all around.

Re:News Flash (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642115)

Because, Apple is GOOD because they are not Microsoft! Who cares that they're just another corporation out to take your money! Technology isn't about the best tools for the job, it is about creating emotional ties to a particular choice of implementation and zealously believing that somehow your choice is useful for everyone!

In the future, please keep up with the newsletter. It saves you the trouble from having to think critically about these things. :) We really don't like dealing with these sorts of questions.

Re:News Flash (1)

tholomyes (610627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642117)

Because Universal is also one of the reasons why Apple had to offer DRM-laced songs in the first place.

Re:News Flash (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642167)

exactly. i bought one song from itunes and then realized i couldn't use it anywhere but on my laptop and ipod - so i haven't bought any more. but millions of people have. this service does exactly the same thing - just not using the dominant player.

Re:News Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20642263)

Or, you know, on your CD player.

no Zune support (4, Informative)

ksheff (2406) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641971)

looks like the million or so Zune owners won't be able to use these files.

Q: Are files downloaded from SpiralFrog compatible with the iPod or Zune?

A: Songs and video files that you download from SpiralFrog are not compatible with Apple's range of iPods or Microsoft's Zune.

Apple Offers Zune-Resistant Music (2, Insightful)

Stealth Dave (189726) | more than 6 years ago | (#20641973)

For everyone jumping down Universal's throat for "snubbing Apple", it should be noted that this is no different than what Apple is doing when it restricts iTunes downloads to Apple-supported hardware. Yes, there is some DRM-free music available on iTunes, and I applaud them for it. But Universal is snubbing Apple about as much as Apple is snubbing Zune and every other music player out there that it refuses to license Fair-Play to, including the Linux operating system. There is absolutely no reason to believe that this had anything to do with their recent contract spat with Apple or that this wasn't coming out regardless of how their negotiations turned out.

- Stealth dave

Re:Apple Offers Zune-Resistant Music (1)

XenoPhage (242134) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642103)

While I agree that it doesn't look like a direct snubbing of Apple, especially since the Zune isn't supported either, I still question this whole thing. Why in the hell do we need DRM on free music? Wanting demographical information by forcing the user to sign up isn't a good reason either.

I would be much more likely to sign up to a service that offered high quality DRM-free music, even if I had to pay for it. Personally, I don't much trust the music I can download from P2P apps. First, I don't feel like dealing with the idiocy that is the RIAA, should I fall into their ever-widening net of evil. And second, whenever I downloaded music in the past from a P2P app, something was wrong with it. Crappy bitrate, incomplete or wrong meta data...

The point is, I would gladly sign up to receive high quality DRM-free files if the service existed. The safety and security of the service itself would be enough draw for me.

Re:Apple Offers Zune-Resistant Music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20642105)

Spiral Frog is also snubbing Microsoft by offering Zune resistant music. Since Spiral Frog uses Playsforsure (ya right) and not even Microsoft can be bothered to support their own DRM.

ROFL (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642009)

Spiral Frog will self destruct in 3...2...1... *hack released* *poof*

yet more proof that these organizations are run largely by people with their heads partly up their asses (the technical part).

MP3 player != WMA player (1)

phuul (997836) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642025)

Going to chime in on the "great" editing on this story and the Slashdot blurb. How the frak MP3s won't play on the iPod got through I'll never no. In point of fact the article only says MP3 players and that "Apple's wildly popular iPod MP3 players" won't be able to play them. From Sprialfrogs support link: http://www.spiralfrog.com/pages/support.aspx [spiralfrog.com] They clearly state "We require you to be running Windows XP or Vista at SpiralFrog for the simple reason that Windows Digital Rights Management is the only standard available for independent music stores like us to protect the songs and videos as required by the record labels' licenses." Which should come as no surprise since any method to limit burning and playing requires some form of DRM which is not compatible with the MP3 spec. Sprialfrog also says "Windows Digital Rights Management is not supported by Apple Macintosh computers. Macintosh supports the AAC Digital Rights Management, but it is closed to Apple's own use only." Well it's not supported by Apple no. On the other hand Apple isn't preventing someone from making an application that does support it. Would it work with iPods? No. But would it work with all the other MP3 players on the market? Very probably. So this caveat is an exercise in lazyness.

WMA's won't play on an iPod? What a surprise! (1)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642093)

This is sorta dumb... They are, like many music stores, offering music in protected WMA format. I don't think this has much to do with Universal wanting to give Apple the finger, but a lot to do with the fact that Apple doesn't allow third parties to interoperate with FairPlay DRM. I think it's fine for Universal not to care -- Apple is being selfish, so why should Universal add value to the iPod with free music?

US & Canada only (1)

jackjeff (955699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642149)

"Our Apologies.
At this time, the SpiralFrog Web site is available only to residents of the United States of America and Canada."

Oh grrrrrr!!!!. You deserve to be pirated just for that !

I'm just tired of waiting 6 months to see the movie in a movie house when I can just go and download it for free... and it's actually of better quality since the audio is not fucked up with dubbing. As a matter of principle i never go and watch movies that are released more than two months after the US release.

I never bought a single DVD because of the zoning. I never considered it worth the trouble (again i can download DivX for free)

I do buy audio CDs (i mean the real audio CDs those without crappy not even working copy protection...). Oh and yeah. I'm sick and tired of never finding the CDs I need coz they're not imported (sorry i downloaded those)

I wish you all the worst. May this business venture collapse and bring your company to bankrupcy. The world and the artists will be better off. You are a tool of the past. Artists do not need you for distribution. The only thing you can provide to artists is "marketing". You should become a mere tool in the hands of artists. Artists should squeeze you out to get the best deals and not the other way around.

Fuck you universal. Die!

Free Music with advertising? (2, Insightful)

dvnelson72 (595066) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642157)

It's called radio.

Now everyone will talk about how great free music is, but then they'll complain about having to listen to advertisements. This, of course, will lead people to pine for some service where you could pay to listen to radio without advertisements.

Compare this with the EU suit (2, Interesting)

daveywest (937112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20642173)

NBC Uni may have just helped Apple more than hurt them. I'm sure this is going to come up in the impending anti-competitive lawsuit against iTunes that the EU is planning.

Free Music? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20642181)

Wouldn't it be possible to use Wireshark (to figure out the URL of the actual file in the HTTP GETs), download the file, then proceed to record directly from your soundcard to Audacity? From there, one could simply export it as LAME MP3.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...