Wednesday, October 25, 2006

iTunes DRM "cracked"

This BBC article refers to a new program that will allow iTunes music to be played on other MP3 players than Apple's iPods. The article suggests this is something new. Nonsense.

OK, so you download music you purchased from iTunes onto your computer. What the rest of the world has been doing for quite a long time (?5 years) is to then back up the music onto a CD. Apple strongly suggests you do this, by the way! But if we burn the files as AIFF files, guess what, we not only create a CD with tracks that can be played on the car stereo (or any regular CD player) but we can also then load them into a non-iPod MP3 player.

This may not sound that easy but, given the fact that iTunes purchases should be backed up anyway, most of the effort is already expended.

The truth is, Apple's digital rights management (DRM) software, called Fairplay, is pretty inocuous in that up to five computers and iPods can be registered for use and CDs can be burned that allow free export of the songs. It really isn't so different from the days when we copied tracks off an album onto a cassette tape. The key, of course, is that the license on every record, tape, CD, DVD and download says the music is for our own personal use and not for dupication for profit.