welcome to DRM

November 29th, 2006

It's all over. Russia apparently caved into US pressure over trade deals and agreed to shut down allofmp3.com. That means the last site that sells non-DRM mainstream music is now gone. So if you want that latest Moby cd (and who doesn't ), you have two options.. a) buy the cd or b) buy it from a DRM store.

If you buy the overpriced cd, paying for 18 tracks while you'd only pay for 2 if you could cause the rest stink, you can rip the cd and put the mp3s on your mp3 player. Media companies have tried various things to cripple cds so you can't rip them, but none of the methods have gained a foothold cause they've all sucked so far.

If you buy the album (or selected tracks) online, you might get it cheaper, but the media is crippled. If you buy through iTunes and you want to put the music on your iRiver, Apple's message is fuck you for not buying our iPod. You could burn the music to a cd and then rip it, but again iTunes decides if you can (which can change at any time), how many tracks you can burn per month etc etc. Not to mention that it's a complete hassle.

To put a new spin on things, Microsoft released their Zune mp3 player and it has some exciting new features. First of all, it's not compatible with Windows Media Player, so all the music you have there you can throw away, you're not gonna use it on the Zune. Secondly, obviously it's not compatible with anything like iTunes, so if you use iTunes and you have a collection of music bought through iTunes, and you want this music on your Zune, you can re-buy it. Isn't it convenient?

Before file sharing took off, the only way to get music was to buy cds. Almost ten years later, with the giant stir that file sharing has caused, the only real way to buy music is to buy cds. Apparently the technological revolution is blazing fast, but the ability of the music industry to leverage the internet to its advantage (that is, without completely alienating its customers) is zero.

Lots of people don't realize why DRM is bad. Yet. But once Zunes become popular and the inability to combine iTunes with Zune becomes a real practical problem, we should hear a bit more noise about it.

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5 Responses to "welcome to DRM"

  1. erik says:

    CD's bah, they're smaller than LP's but otherwise it's hardly very different. The casette tape was a fresh breath of air change-wise but it had to buckle to the music industry's addiction to overpriced plastic discs.

  2. ash says:

    I'm still fine with buying CDs - I've never bought a track online. There's just something nicer about physically having it in your hands. And those of us pining for casettes are stuck on rewind.

  3. Jack says:

    I'm fine with downloading illegal music

  4. Lesley Knife says:

    Bad news, but learning about drm-converting soft is quite important now. At the 1st sight it's so easy - http://www.nomoredrm.com/

  5. numerodix says:

    First of all, is that even legal under DMCA? Secondly, it's a Windows binary, so much for the rest of the world.