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Western Digital Service Restricts Use of Network Drives

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the drm-means-don't-read-disk dept.

Networking 315

sehlat writes "Via BoingBoing comes the news that Western Digital's My Book(TM) World Edition(TM) II, sold with promises of internet-accessible drive space, is now restricting the types of files the drive will serve up. 'Western Digital is disabling sharing of any avi, divx, mp3, mpeg, and many other files on its network connected devices; due to unverifiable media license authentication. Just wondering -- who needs a 1 Terabyte network-connected hard drive that is prohibited from serving most media files? Perhaps somebody with 220 million pages of .txt files they need to share?'" Update: 12/07 03:28 GMT by Z : To clarify, it actually seems as though this is a bad summary. The MioNET service that WD packages with the networked drives is responsible for the rights of users via the network. There are a few (obvious) ways to get around that.

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315 comments

"The Ironside" (2, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604569)


I hereby dub these crippled drives The (Western Digital) Ironside [wikipedia.org]

Make it part of the vernacular, no amount of advertising $ can beat that.

Re:"The Ironside" (5, Funny)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604719)

I object to that. I am not a cripple.

A Sign of Things to Come and How to Fight. (2, Insightful)

Erris (531066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604769)

It's easier to point out that you can't use these drives to share your movies and songs. People want network storage for the same thing they use YouTube for, movies of their kids and other fun for out of town friends and family. No avi == no sale.

More devices will be like this until they are legally mandated. This is the kind of network the MAFIAA wants to build. It looks a lot like the old network that served them well. You are only invited to purchase. Government will be happy that way too. YouTube is bad enough for them. If people could simply share through their own equipment, censorship would be impossible and the terroris^H^H public good would win [slashdot.org] . Watch out for the Next DMCA type act to outlaw general purpose computing access to networks. ESR predicted stuff like this three years ago [catb.org] :

Expect Microsoft to ally even more closely with the RIAA and MPAA in making yet another try at hardware-based DRM restrictions and legislation making them mandatory. The rationale will be to stop piracy and spam, but the real goal will be customer control and a lockout of all unauthorized software. Two previous attempts at this have failed, but the logic of Microsoft's situation is such that they must keep trying.

I also expect a serious effort, backed by several billion dollars in bribe money (oops, excuse me, campaign contributions), to get open-source software outlawed on some kind of theory that it aids terrorists.

ESR had some good ways to fight this loss of freedom, but the easiest is to let people know that restricted devices don't do what they want to them to do.

Ah, Time for the Tinfoil Hats? (5, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604909)

I think its because advanced aliens are against file sharing. If we don't have good copyrights, then the planet will be vaporized, as advanced civilizations basically sell travel books to each other. Piracy threatens the Galactic economy. You do know that the original Cylon - Human dispute was over DRM?

Re:A Sign of Things to Come and How to Fight. (0, Flamebait)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605009)

Expect Microsoft

What in the name of blue fuck does this have to do with Microsoft, Twitter [slashdot.org] ?

Re:A Sign of Things to Come and How to Fight. (3, Funny)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605233)

Give him a break, at least he didn't use a '$' even once.

In Soviet America.... (3, Funny)

Endloser (1170279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604575)

file types restrict you.

Why bother? (5, Insightful)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604591)

If you can't have media files on it, it might as well be 512 MiB.

I wouldn't. This is as stupid as it gets. (4, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604775)

Seriously. There's no way in hell I would buy this thing. The last thing in the world I need is my hard drive deciding what files are and aren't okay to store. Are they on drugs, or what?

Here is a complete list [custhelp.com] of file types it cripples the functionality for.

The funniest part is the "What it holds" section at the bottom:

  • Up to 571,000 digital photos
  • Up to 500,000 songs (MP3)
  • Up to 50,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
  • Up to 100 hours of Digital Video (DV)
  • Up to 800 hours of DVD quality video
  • Up to 200 hours of HD video

Re:I wouldn't. This is as stupid as it gets. (4, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605217)

Seriously. There's no way in hell I would buy this thing. The last thing in the world I need is my hard drive deciding what files are and aren't okay to store.
You don't have to use their networking service with the device. Indeed, that service isn't even available for Mac users. It has a web interface for setting it up independent of their service. There are also hacks out there to turn it into a Linux server. It has its own ARM processor. A co-worker is planning to move his Subversion server to one. It also has a USB port for hooking up additional storage.

Re:Why bother? (0, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604839)

> If you can't have media files on it, it might as well be 512 MiB.

I makes an ass out of U.

So rename your files and go on about your business (5, Insightful)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604593)

Seems simple enough. I'm downloading "The_Golden_Compass.pdf" or some such rubbish should take care of it.

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (5, Funny)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604633)

You should check out some of my .txt files

Metallica_Enter_Sandman.txt is a great "read"

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (2, Insightful)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605171)

Are you friggin serious? They're really saying "if you call your data something dot mp3 we won't take it but if you call is data something dot someting else it works fine"?

Really?

Oh well. Their drives are banned here for near universal premature and catastrophic failures anyway.

Figgers.

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605207)

Just do as the v-1=@+g_r.A spammers do when it comes to file names.

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (2, Insightful)

slazzy (864185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604683)

My_movie_name.divx.removethis works great too - then you can write a simple script to parse off .removethis from all the files once they are on your computer.

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (3, Insightful)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604743)

Or, just set associations so .REM files open with Media Player Classic.

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604789)

That's a much better suggestion :)

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604881)

Just FYI, Win NT/2K/XP/Vista doesn't restrict you to 3 character extensions anymore, and therefore sees .removethis as different than .rem.

You would have to associate .removethis to get it to work.

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604777)

Why do that when you can just not buy this junk in the first place?

It's not like this is high tech or anything. There are probably at least 20 chinese manufacturers that will gladly sell you something with the same functionality, but none of the restrictions.

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604811)

How about not buying a crippled product in the first place?

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604871)

Renaming every single file you have to something different gets to be a pain in the ass.
I currently have to do it with only one operation (zips via gmail) and its just annoying.

Why not just get a device from a vendor who doesn't fuck with their customers?

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (4, Informative)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605221)

Gmail currently does not restrict *.rar files (nor does Gmail scream at you for what file types your compressed RAR volume might contain). Use WinRAR for free. http://www.rarsoft.com/download.htm [rarsoft.com]
It works in: Pocket PC, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and MS DOS. I love it so much I *GLADLY* PURCHASED IT! ($29) So call me a WinRAR fanboy.
It is a superior replacement to WinZIP (and other zip clones) with better compression algorithms (and you can also encrypt your compressed files AND their filenames WITH authenticity verification plus it handles everything WinZIP does).

Better Idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604917)

Here's a much better idea: buy Seagate, Hitachi, or Samsung instead. Why on earth would you want to reward a vendor for doing the wrong thing?

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605065)

Where in TFA does it say that the system is that, "dumb"? I figure it'd atleast be smart enough to read the first hundred bytes of the file and check for headers... then again this is WD we're talking about.

Re:So rename your files and go on about your busin (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605147)

My_Encrypted_Volume.dmg

loop mounting or FUSE is better (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605181)

Loop mount a big file and use that as a file system.

Use FUSE and a shim module that renames files.

There. Two quick ways to get around this.

WD My Book driver suck. Stick with Seagate (2, Informative)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604599)

All of the WD My Books that i own are flakey in one way or another. I personally like Seagate far better as a company.

Re:WD My Book driver suck. Stick with Seagate (1)

rockabilly (468561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604799)

It basically comes down to voting with your wallet. The more folks who do that the more Western Digital will realize it's not such a good idea to do.

Re:WD My Book driver suck. Stick with Seagate (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605043)

I meant to say drives.

Re:WD My Book driver suck. Stick with Seagate (2, Informative)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605159)

This is true. I have a client who uses a number of external MyBooks - and their clients send them MyBooks too (they convert film and video to digital and store them on the customers drives). These things are flaky in terms of not initially being seen by Windows when you plug them in. You have to do it a certain way to get them to work initially, then they're OK - until they break. The key to using an external is - never move them. Plop them down and leave them there. They aren't ruggedized enough to be constantly shifted around.

Seagates are generally better, BUT I've seen retail customer reviews of the Free Agent series that indicate the things die within a month to a few months, due to poor heat control.

Bottom line: never mind the noise, get a case with a fan in it, or at least a lot of vents.

doesn't really matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604601)

1 TB of space is not expensive. If you need that much storage, by a drive or 2.

This makes a lot of sense. (5, Funny)

moogied (1175879) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604615)

Western Digital understands the primary use of the drive to be media sharing. As such, they cripple that option in order to maximize drive life time and make sure its REAL primary use is back ups. I for one thank our Access-Restring Overlords..

^Satire.

Re:This makes a lot of sense? (1)

BlackSnake112 (912158) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604895)

What about backing up media files?

Actually... (3, Interesting)

suman28 (558822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604619)

from the drm-means-don't-read-disk dept.
should read
from the drm-means-don't-read-media dept.

I don't understand why all these corporations feel like they are suddenly in the business of policing for the RIAA/MPAA

Re:Actually... (1)

drxenos (573895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604817)

I think you hit the nail on the head! And it's not just the corporations. Has anyone seen the new purposed copyright law that is getting bipartisan support in congress, that is being pushed by the RIAA/MPAA lobbyist?

duh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21605101)

I don't understand why all these corporations feel like they are suddenly in the business of policing for the RIAA/MPAA

Cause they don't want to get sued.

Re:Actually... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605135)

I don't understand why all these corporations feel like they are suddenly in the business of policing for the RIAA/MPAA
Most corporations don't feel like it is in their interest to have "forward facing" moral or ethical backbone. By acquiescing to the **AA, they avoid having to take any kind of stand that might result in liability. They know that it is much more likely that the **AA will sue them, thus costing them money, than say the EFF or some random customer.

My guess (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21605157)

I don't understand why all these corporations feel like they are suddenly in the business of policing for the RIAA/MPAA

... is that it's the legal bigwigs.

Someone at wd asked the question, "Could we be liable for hosting illegal content on our devices?"

Which should read - "Could we be liable for 3rd parties storing illegal content on their devices?"

Bigwigs answer - "Yes"

Management, in their infinite wisdom, "Take it down"

Was it Shakespeare that said, "First, we kill all the lawyers"?

In Soviet Russia (2, Funny)

ueltradiscount (1195109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604621)

government host your files for free +)

Not the right question... (5, Insightful)

hawkeye_82 (845771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604627)

who needs a 1 Terabyte network-connected hard drive that is prohibited from serving most media files? Perhaps somebody with 220 million pages of .txt files they need to share?
That's not the question we need to be asking.

The question we need to be asking is - "How can I replace the firmware on that thing and make it my bitch?"

Re:Not the right question... (5, Informative)

lsllll (830002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604667)

Here [wikidot.com] (http://mybookworld.wikidot.com/hacks-and-howto)

Re:Not the right question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604705)

The restriction isn't at the firmware level, it's being handled by WD's Anywhere Access hosting software. It's possible to use their previous gen network storage devices without this (very flaky) software (simply map to IP address) - I wonder if that's been changed, TFA doesn't say.

Re:Not the right question... (4, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604867)

The question we need to be asking is - "How can I replace the firmware on that thing and make it my bitch?"

No, the question we should be asking is "who sells a device that we don't have to jump through hoops to do what I want?"

Seriously, why even bother giving money to a business that restricts usage like this?

... don't buy broken stuff (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605091)

Hacking is fun in itself, but when something is painfully broken as this, it's more of a chore. I'd much prefer to buy a drive that shared all files to begin with.

I'm the guy behind most of the disposable digital camera hacks (to allow people to get their pictures), and there are some parallels with this product. It would have to be heavily discounted or offer some other unique novelty before I'd touch it.

They'll be selling LOTS of these! (0, Redundant)

tubegeek (958995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604637)

Not.

How do they check? (1)

siwelwerd (869956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604639)

How are they determining whether a file is one of these formats? I guess the obvious answer is file extension (easy to get around), and the nonobvious one is actually examining the file (also not difficult to get around with a short script upon uploading and downloading). I'm really not sure how they would actually stop you from uploading any file.

Re:How do they check? (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604697)

You could just gzip everything.

Until they decide compressed files are a sign of piracy, I suppose.

More like... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604645)

Two hundred million files labelled like this:

Latest-Movie[axxo].txt (filesize 700MB)

Seriously, I don't know why they even try to bother any more. Regardless of your political position on piracy, it's a hole that they can't plug, no matter how many DRM methods they devise or U.S. senators they bribe.

Re:More like... (5, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604809)

I can't wait to hear about all the noobs out there complaining about their "crashed" computers because they tried to open a 700MB file in NotePad... : p

personal firmware (2, Interesting)

gmthor (1150907) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604661)

Just thinking if it is possible to edit the firmware so that the restriction is gone.

Customers? (1, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604665)

We don't need no steenkin' customers!

easy fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604673)

shouldnt be to hard to set file extension associations and go on with life.

Re:easy fix (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604995)

file extensions are not the only way to detect what the type of file is... Magic Numbers [wikipedia.org]

options... (1)

diesel66 (254283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604699)

mv *.avi *.av1

Or better yet, never buy another POS Western Digital product again...

I believe (5, Informative)

sdsucks (1161899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604709)

Sounds more to me like they just can't be shared via "WD Anywhere". Not that they can't be stored on the drive. I may misunderstand though.

*Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the most common audio and video file types cannot be shared with different users using WD Anywhere Access. A list of the non shareable file types can be found here.

Re:I believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604975)

Oh good, someone decided to spend a couple seconds thinking before commenting. Good job!

Just remove WD Access Anywhere (MioNET) (5, Informative)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604721)

Or just never install MioNET in the first place. Either way, here's how. [custhelp.com]

Shouldn't be a problem (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604725)

1) Someone might figure out how to get Linux to run on this thing (if it isn't already running Linux) or
2) Those who know will avoid this thing and get something else.

Re:Shouldn't be a problem (2, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604807)

With regard to option 1, here's a good site [hinner.info]

Software, not Hardware? (1)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604737)

From the link in the article:

What files cannot be shared by WD Anywhere Access? Answer Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the following file types cannot be shared by different users using WD Anywhere Access. If these file types are on a share on the WD My Book World Edition system and another user accesses the share, these file will not be displayed for sharing. Any other file types can be shared using WD Anywhere Access.
It appears to be a hard drive plus a nic card. I'd imagine it wouldn't be terribly hard to use it without loading the proprietary accessing software? ~Sk

rawr (1)

oyningen (1189553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604739)

Does it restrict .rar files? :)

Western Digital Automobile? (1)

get quad (917331) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604741)

I heard a rumor WD will be teaming up with Ford and Microsoft to engineer a new line of cars. Every time you wish to transport passengers the doors will automatically lock just before they try to enter and the car asks "are you sure you want passengers?". All for your safety and security!

Re:Western Digital Automobile? (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604791)

I heard they've installed an ejector seat under the driver in case they detect a violation, to instantly "disable" the offending vehicle.

Contradictory sales pitch (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604753)

Seen on the WDC page touting the uses:

Listen to the music on your My Book World Edition drive while you're on vacation.

Now how in hell is one supposed to do that when virtually all music type files are locked out? Stream them as a .WAV file?

(FWIW, .WAV files are not on the list)

Re:Contradictory sales pitch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604963)

The answer is in the phrase cannot be shared by different users - as long as you use the same ID then you're ok.

What the ..... (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604755)

Okay everyone is worried about file sharing I have to question how it'd affect the other primary use graphics and editing? I drag media files across a network all day long. If it restricts that then it's a paperweight. Not sure what the real limitations are but I'll guarantee you I'll avoid Western Digital unless I'm a 100% sure it's not an issue. Even with corporate use media files are a common way to communicate and provide training. Large drives that can't handle media files are virtually useless.

MP3 and other media CAN be stored... (4, Informative)

John3 (85454) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604759)

The limitation on the media files is when using the WD Anywhere Access. You can still backup and share your music files within your own network and even remotely. Not being totally familiar with the product, but I assume they have "guest" or anonymous sharing folders where you can "Offer your clients an easy way to access business documents, designs, and artwork." They probably also include some proprietary WD client program that lets you access your media files from remote locations so you can play your MP3's while at some hotel in Aruba. So the drive isn't an anchor, but it can't be popped on to the net and easily used to share MP3's with the world. Seems simple enough.

Comcast would likely throttle down your Internet connection anyway once they saw all those MP3's being streamed. :)

Article seems legit.. what's next? (1)

gru3hunt3r (782984) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604765)

The article seems legit - which leads one to ask: "What's next?"

Perhaps I shouldn't be able to save those types of files on internal hard disk either since they can't verify the media license.

I might have accidentally included some copyrighted material in one of my .doc, or .html files too -- better ban those as well.

ON THE PLUS SIDE: this could actually increase the value of older working disks which are non-DRM'd! I've got hundreds of old 40mb, 120mb, and 540mb hard disks laying around my house from puters past.. <dance:jig>I'm rich I tell you! Rich!</dance:jig>

From the manufacturer's product page: (4, Funny)

harmonica (29841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604773)

My Book(TM) World Edition(TM) [wdc.com]

What it holds:
Up to 285,000 digital photos
Up to 250,000 songs (MP3)
Up to 25,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
Up to 76 hours of Digital Video (DV)
Up to 400 hours of DVD quality video
Up to 100 hours of HD video

Re:From the manufacturer's product page: (3, Insightful)

isomeme (177414) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604971)

And that is indeed what it holds. What it lets go of is a different list. Caveat emptor.

Re:From the manufacturer's product page: (1)

Enlightenment (1073994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605079)

No, no, it's perfectly accurate. It holds them--and it doesn't let go, no matter what.

Even worse is... (1)

swimboy (30943) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604779)

The marketing department didn't get the memo about what file types aren't allowed to be shared. In the description on their own website it says:

Use This Product When You Want To... Listen to the music on your My Book World Edition drive while you're on vacation.
I guess if your music isn't WMA, MP3, or AAC you're good to go. They say they block OOG too. I guess that means that you can share your OGG music.

I'm sorry, Dave (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604793)

Perhaps somebody with 220 million pages of .txt files they need to share?
Those .txt files might be copyrighted, after all. In fact, they almost certainly are.

Come to think of it, same goes for the .jpg files, too. Hmmmm....

But ISOs are fine (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604801)

Well that is useful.

False Advertising? (0, Redundant)

dark_requiem (806308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604819)

Here's a good one: the product description page for the drive lists its approximate capacity for storing different media types. They specifically state that it can hold approximately: 500,000 songs (MP3) 800 hours of DVD quality video Then, in their list of restricted files, it states that you cannot share MP3 or VOB files. Seems to me that this borders on fraudulent advertising: "You can use this device to store and share as much data as 500,000 MP3 songs, but you can't actually share MP3 songs." Granted, they have a bullet-point which indicates that common media formats cannot be used, but then why are they using those same formats to illustrate the capacity of the drive?

Hopeless from the start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604829)

Western DIgital Cripples Network Drives... just by using Western Digital drives.

It's irrelevant (5, Informative)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604833)

The mybook we II runs Linux, and it's trivial to get shell on it. You can make it do whatever you want.

If you really want to know the travesty about the internet access to it, read up on the web. It's a java-based system called Mionet which requires a special client on your windows machine that you'll use to access it remotely. Did I mention the $50/year that you pay a 3rd party to access your own files? Mionet inexplicably forces you to go through their server to get to your files. Do a google search to find horror stories of Mionet being down and people being unable to reach their own files for more than a day. I'm a programmer - I know of no reason to create it this way other than to extract ongoing revenue from those who don't know better. Using dyndns and an open port will let you get to your files reliably from anywhere.

As for mine, I got shell, disabled the mionet stuff, made sure sshd was coming up every time, and I use it as a really slow Linux machine with a large disk. Be forewarned, it's dog slow. It has a gigabit ethernet port on it that typically pumps out about 50Mbits/sec. Seriously, a 100Mbit port would be half-wasted. Let's not even talk about write speeds.

If you buy one, note that you also don't need to use their windows setup utility, it has a complete web interface.

I paid $300 for a 1TB drive, which, frankly, was little more than I would have paid for a plain external drive at the time. Bonus is that I can connect another usb drive into it and share it on the network.

And one other bonus - it comes with a complete toolchain on its 3GB linux partition, so you can build software on it without having to install other toolchains on another linux machine. The 200MHz processor isn't the fastest at building, but it does fine.

Re:It's irrelevant (1)

willy_me (212994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604989)

I know of no reason to create it this way other than to extract ongoing revenue from those who don't know better.

My guess would be to allow the device to work with internet connections that don't allow incoming connections. The Mionet server acts as a known connection point that both the WD device and the user computer can access. The downside is that content has to flow through the Mionet server, but at least it works. A better solution would be for the Mionet software to attempt a direct connection (client -> WD device) first. Should this not work then proceed to use the Mionet server.

Dvix? Oog? (3, Insightful)

mike260 (224212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604849)

How on earth are they going to block these formats when they can't even spell [custhelp.com] them?

I hope the device genuinely blocks the extensions 'dvix' and 'oog' instead of 'divx' and 'ogg', that would be too funny.

Re:Dvix? Oog? (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605139)

The sad part would be that it blocks dvi files. Here goes the collaboration for publishing use.

This post is funny... (1, Redundant)

rockabilly (468561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604873)

In a sarcastic sort of way. Here's a comment that someone left:

According to the WD site one of the benefits of the drive is that you can:

"Listen to the music on your My Book World Edition drive while you're on vacation."

and it can hold:
Up to 571,000 digital photos
Up to 500,000 songs (MP3)
Up to 50,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
Up to 100 hours of Digital Video (DV)
Up to 800 hours of DVD quality video
Up to 200 hours of HD video



See for yourself at http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.asp?DriveID=340 [wdc.com]

Re:This post is funny... (1)

rockabilly (468561) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604929)

Ah, crap. Beaten by 2 minutes. Too bad there isn't a way to delete or at least edit your posts after submitting them.

Simple solution (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604897)

I don't see anything about restricting .IFO, or .VOB files. Also, I don't see any restriction on .OGG or .OGV. So, basically its the major media sharing formats - theres nothing against ogg vorbis, or any number of other filetypes.

no oog files (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604921)

Dammit! It looks like they won't let me share my .oog files... [custhelp.com]

False advertising? (3, Funny)

AusIV (950840) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604937)

From the site:

Use This Product When You Want To
* Securely access and edit your files on any computer.
* Get files from home while at the office.
* Listen to the music on your My Book World Edition drive while you're on vacation.
* Securely share photos with your friends anywhere in the world without uploading them to the web.
* Back up your laptop data to your home computer while you're traveling.
* Offer your clients an easy way to access business documents, designs, and artwork. Eliminates the need for a separate FTP server.
* Back up critical files to a remote drive for the ultimate protection from loss.
* Simplify your home network and access data from any computer or external hard drive in the house.
* Automatically back up all your PCs to one central location.
* Gain peace of mind with a mirrored back up of important documents and images.

What It Holds:
Up to 571,000 digital photos
Up to 500,000 songs (MP3)
Up to 50,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
Up to 100 hours of Digital Video (DV)
Up to 800 hours of DVD quality video
Up to 200 hours of HD video
Now, granted these limitations only extend to "Anywhere Access", so you could still presumably use the device on a local network or plugged in to a specific machine, but it seems like blatant false advertising to say that you could listen to your music while on vacation when it doesn't let you use that service on the vast majority of music files.

Is this really WD's place to be a cop? (1)

jacobcaz (91509) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604949)

Really, WD?
Is it your place to be the cop here? Shouldn't I - as a fully aware (or not, the law doesn't make a distinction) adult - have the freedom to share whatever type of file I wish?

Wouldn't (and shouldn't) it be my butt on the line if I'm sharing my 19 volume set of "The Best of Barry Manilow" all willy-nilly across the Internet?

Please get your industry-browned nose out of my business, and let me worry about the repercussions if I get caught violating copyrights.

WD had better be careful (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21604967)

If you're going to pick sides on the media's "war on the public", you had better be on the same side. I for one will not be buying any more Western Digital products. I don't recall giving them permission to censor what I choose to store on a hard drive. I hope this comes back and bites them in the face.

Hahah; what a POS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21604973)

Look at the list of file types it refuses to share! I mean any mp*, AVI, AIFF, MOV?

Think of how far out there, mentally, you have to go to equate simple file formats with "unverifiable licensing"?

Seriously, these small but deliberate attempts to "narrow down" the ability to share information, except where and when the puppet masters dictate, are quite disturbing. This product/company needs to fail.
   

Wtf? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21605063)

Wtf is a hard drive company doing in deciding which files you can serve? Me thinks a boycott is called for...

even then... (2, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605071)

>>> A reader noted that the media files are only restricted between users of the same drive. Not quite as bad as originally pitched.

I still wouldn't buy one. Furthermore I'd demand a refund including shipping costs on any product I accidentally bought that didn't make this functionality VERY clear on the packaging, and also on the web-page if I bought it online.

Fixed the title... (1)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605087)

"Western Digital restricts sales of network drives"

ggself

What about .NFO? (2, Funny)

base3 (539820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605107)

Do those trigger the self-destruct feature or something? Who in the hell do they think they are?

QNAP (3, Informative)

michrech (468134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605109)

I think the QNAP devices are far nicer, though they will be more expensive in the long run. They even run linux and are customizable (people run all sorts of different server services from them).

Here [newegg.com] is a bunch of their different devices (newegg.com link).

I'm considering getting the TS-209 (or the PRO, haven't made up my mind), personally. I have two 320gb SATAII drives sitting around not doing anything since I've stopped running WHS and could really use a nice low power device to replace the computer I was using for this task. :)

Simple. Don't buy it. (1)

Fang GT (1136737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605113)

The answer is obvious. Vote with your wallets. Don't implement work-arounds. Just don't buy it. If enough people do that they will get the message.

Here's the deal. (1, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605123)

For those of you who can't read the updates. WD restricts access to media (in a half-assed way) when shared, essentially, "to the public". In fact they probably have to do this. Joe user dumps his MP3's on the disk, connects it to the net, then later wants Jane to have access to some other files. Oops, Mp3's shared - Joe has illegally shared copyrighted material. Both record companies and Joe can sue WD.

So nothing evil here, outside of the fact that WD probably has to do this to CTA (cover their asses).

Lost sale. (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605167)

I was thinking about getting a "My Book" for someone this Christmas, but if this is the sort of shit they're up to....

Not for my training movies I guess (1)

sauge (930823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605185)

I make quick time and flash movies along with podcasts for the software I write.

Needless to say, it can take up some disk space.

Thanks for the tip on what NOT to buy!

Count the ways WDC sucks (1)

gorbachev (512743) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605205)

I've been trying to get WDC to honor their warranty on one of these very drives for over a month now.

I have a two-disk version and one of the disks failed. It should be pretty simple to replace it under warranty, right? Oh, hell no.

Never again will I buy another WDC product if I can help it.

But why? (0)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21605235)

The only question is weather they bowed to pressure from the RIAA/MPAA or if they were just too cheap to actually provide that much online storage and bandwidth. I'm guessing the latter, since the RIAA and MPAA would probably rather let people store "pirated" movies and music so they could collect info about thousands of so-called criminals all in one place.
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