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Sony BMG, EMI offer iPod-incompatible CDs

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Monday, June 20, 2005
News Categories: iPod

As part of “a growing skirmish between the record labels and digital music master Apple,” both Sony BMG and EMI are releasing more and more copy-protected CDs that can’t be transferred to an iPod.

“CDs with the protective technology prevent users from posting them on the Internet and allow users to burn only three copies onto other discs, which themselves can’t be copied again,” reports Variety. “Sony BMG is already selling about half its discs with the technology, while EMI releases its first this summer. But the technology also prevents consumers from transferring songs onto an iPod… because the technology uses Microsoft’s Windows Media software.”

Variety says that both labels hope to reach a deal with Apple that will allow iPod owners to legally rip and transfer music from the CDs to their iPod for listening on the go.

“By launching the copy-protected CDs without iPod compatibility, the labels are raising the stakes in an ongoing conflict between Apple and the rest of the music business, which wants the tech company to open its proprietary iPod and let others sell antipiracy-protected songs that work on the device,” the publication reports.

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Comments

1

This is the worst idea the music industry can make, the iPod incompatibility deal. Do they know over 80% of all digital music players are iPods? from this… I think not. I understand the copying thing, not the protected windows media part.

Posted by surferstyle on June 20, 2005 at 3:16 PM (PDT)

2

Is this the same tech that was cracked by holding down the shift key? Why oh why can’t the RIAA die already?!?!

Posted by John W on June 20, 2005 at 3:23 PM (PDT)

3

Well, there are some reports that people are having problems playing the CDs with this technology. Sony actually sent out information on how to “crack” their own DRM to be able to rip it to your PC. The same method can be used to rip it to iTunes, but all it is is burning a CD of Windows Media files, then re-ripping that CD into whatever format you want. But this loses all kinds of quality.

A very bad move on the RIAA’s part. Makes you wonder what kind of bozos actually work at that place.

Fishes,
narco.

Posted by narco in Burbank on June 20, 2005 at 3:35 PM (PDT)

4

If these discs have the same copy protection as others I’ve seen, the song files in the audio partition of the disc are clearly visible in the Finder - Mac users, at least, have nothing to worry about.  Although oddly enough they don’t play in my factory-installed VW GTi stereo.  The problems with these discs go way beyond the ipod.  They are just shooting themselves in the foot.

Posted by jblake on June 20, 2005 at 3:40 PM (PDT)

5

It’s not even the ipod thing, although that is part of it. I BOUGHT THE DA## CD…I should be able to use it as I wish AS LONG AS I AM NOT ILLEGALLY SELLING/SHARING THE TRACKS. If I want to play it on an iRiver, Ipod, Palm, minidisk, cassette, whatever, I should decide how I play the music I PAID FOR!!!!

Posted by JimLat on June 20, 2005 at 3:50 PM (PDT)

6

These ppl are morons…the protection will be cracked again…it always is and then all of this money put into technology like this will be lost.  who cares?

Posted by TimShank on June 20, 2005 at 4:06 PM (PDT)

7

I just bought the new Foo Fighters album and right on the front is this sticker telling me about how it is “protected”. But, I just ripped it into my iTunes and put it right onto my iPod Photo. No problems at all! What’s the deal with that?

Posted by Aaron Johnson on June 20, 2005 at 4:07 PM (PDT)

8

I don’t understand how they can prevent a disc from being copied/ripped yet allow it to play in a CD player. A CD player has to be able to see and read the music for the disc to work, so how on Earth do they expect a CD-ROM (just a fancy CD player) to NOT be able to read it?

Posted by shaun3000 on June 20, 2005 at 4:32 PM (PDT)

9

I think it makes sense in some ways… after all, most iPod lemmings think that its more important to been seen with a pretty mp3 player rather than one that plays well.

Posted by ed on June 20, 2005 at 4:55 PM (PDT)

10

Its all about control, and not really about the money, they don’t like not being the ones to pull the strings.

The big labels are just big marketing firms, they are middle-men. Their business model is distrbution. They don’t like P2P networks because it has the ability for “consumers” (when I “consume” music, does it dissapear?), to bypass the middle-men.

They don’t like the propritary iPod format, because they can’t control it, and forces them to use iTunes as a middle-man (cutting into their monopoly on being middle-men).

If they wanted their music iPod compatable, then maybe they should have stuck with the original CD format, or the compatable with everything MP3 format (howver “compatable with everything"TM still doesn’t work with “monopoly vendor lock in"TM).

As for simple old me, I point blank refuse to buy anything encombered with DRM, “Trustworthy Computing” (well I wouldn’t trust it on any computer I had to use) or any other wannabe technology that attempts to make itself arbiter of what I can and cannot do with my own computer.

They don’t like the P2P networks because

Posted by James McGuigan on June 20, 2005 at 5:10 PM (PDT)

11

I just bought a new record from Sony. It has the protective DRM on it. Itunes-Mac rips it no problem.

The old dinosaurs are just flailing away trying to stem the tide.

Posted by bill on June 20, 2005 at 5:36 PM (PDT)

12

Hey Ed,

If you are going to come to an iPod site to try and burn people you could at least get your grammar straight.  We can’t help it your mom bought you a Dell DJ.

Posted by Dane Brown on June 20, 2005 at 6:44 PM (PDT)

13

A CD player has to be able to see and read the music for the disc to work, so how on Earth do they expect a CD-ROM (just a fancy CD player)

There are various technical differences between a plain-vanilla audio “redbook” cd player and a CD-ROM. Basicallym there’s a lot of unusued extra “subchannels” and various bookkeeping tracks used on CD-ROMs that were spec’d but not used on original audio CD players. So the manufacturers hope that by putting lots of weird data (such as bizarrely formatted or regular bit patterns) into the subchannel data they can overload a normal CD-ROM while a good old fashioned audio CD player will just ignore it. See, an audio CD sends its data raw as a bitstream direct to a DAC, that changes it into electrical signals, while CD-ROM players access the digital

That’s the theory, anyway. In practice, it’s often cheaper and better to use a CD-ROM with a bit of program logic instead of a plain audio CD-player. That’s what, for example, every CD Player with “MP3 capability” is - actually a CD-ROM and a very simple embedded computer to decode the signals.

No a lot of these copy protected discs, as well as not playing well on CD-ROMs, fail in many modern “audio-only” cd players, that contain MP3 or WMA playback. That goes for virtually all in-car CD players, for example. Makes a lot of people very unhappy…

Posted by Demosthenes on June 20, 2005 at 7:17 PM (PDT)

14

As I see this, it’s just going to be another ploy by the record companies to get a outcry from us the Ipod users and in turn the record companines will start putting out two versions of a record..one that uses 128 WMA for the MP3/WMA players and then another one that will more than likely have either one of two things..128AAC files that one can use..or a small program that will send your browser and connect it to the Itunes music store where you can download the album there.  More than likely it will be the first one though and Apple will get a piece of the pie from each sale.  It was inevitable that it was going to happen this way anyways.

Posted by ETaylor on June 20, 2005 at 7:55 PM (PDT)

15

I buy music only on CD’s. If I can’t copy paid-for music into iTunes and my iPod, these companies have just lost me as a customer, and may not get me back - ever. They are making a big mistake.

Posted by Neomarcello on June 20, 2005 at 8:03 PM (PDT)

16

Dane Brown, I agree with Ed, most ipod owners are ipod lemmings.  i own an ipod phot myself, so i am a lemming too.  why get mad at ed for saying the truth?  it only shows you know you’re an ipod lemming too!

Posted by tet' on June 20, 2005 at 8:31 PM (PDT)

17

i really hope that they do something and just give us ipod users a way to get this music that we paid for on to our ipods.
Cuz it really really bothers me that im just letting this cd sit there unlistened to.

Posted by brian on June 20, 2005 at 8:48 PM (PDT)

18

hey, is there a list somewhere of the CDs to avoid?

Posted by psxp on June 20, 2005 at 9:44 PM (PDT)

19

Do they realize that this kind of behavior loses customers?

1) Potential customers will be upset by the restrictions this new format enforces.

2) Someone somewhere will somehow make a digital copy of each copy protected CD and make it available on a file-sharing network.

3) Those customers who would have otherwise bought the CD will download it for free instead because the digital copy they’ll get will actually be better than the version available in the store.

Customers will flock to whomever is putting out a better product. When the pirates can put out a better product with fewer restrictions than your multi-billion dollar corporation, your business model needs some work.


M

Posted by FoolsRun on June 20, 2005 at 10:20 PM (PDT)

20

I bought the new Dave Matthews Band CD a while back, and at first it didnt play through itunes without lots of skipping and wierd things, but after taking it out and placing it back into my CD-ROM until it worked(about five or six times), it played perfectly, so i could rip it onto itunes…

i’m on a PC btw

Posted by CT on June 20, 2005 at 10:34 PM (PDT)

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