Sony BMG, EMI offer iPod-incompatible CDs | iLounge News


Sony BMG, EMI offer iPod-incompatible CDs

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.

« Targus announces new line of iPod gear

FastMac offers ‘longest lasting’ iPod Battery »

Related Stories



I had to illegally download the Velvet Revolver CD that I legally purchased just so that I could get it on my computer. As it turns out, the CD only works in conventional stereos and CD players. It wouldn’t even play when I put the CD in my computer.

Posted by XorpheusX on June 20, 2005 at 11:01 PM (PDT)


yeah well that is perfectly legal, orpheus, as you have, by purchasing the cd, purchased a license to listen to the songs on that cd, which are the ones you downloaded. just because the cd is protected from ripping it onto one’s computer does not change that. p2p providing a legal service, strange.

anyway this is a stupid idea; I just won’t buy the CDs. I doubt I’ll have too much to worry about since itunes on macs seem to ignore all the garbage, but I’ll just download those albums as a boycott against trying to control the market.  it’s not like apple is a record label, it’s bizarre to see this reaction from labels.

Posted by jmaurand on June 20, 2005 at 11:32 PM (PDT)


Is there any language we should be looking for on the CD cover that will let us know if it’s one of these lame RIAA DRMed CD’s?  (Like an “Explicit” advisory for language.)

I’d hate to accidentally buy and support this unfair technology.

Posted by Pride Of Lions on June 21, 2005 at 12:06 AM (PDT)


I suggest you all go out and buy Copy Protected CD’s, open them and then return them and tell the store they won’t play in your Car CD or Home CD players.

They will have to refund your money as the goods do not do what they are supposed to do, plus legally they are not CD’s as they do not conform to the Red Book CD standard.

This will cost the stores money as they will have to either repackage or return the items you return, this will send a message to the record industry - DON’T COPY PROTECT CD’s cos we WON’T BUY THEM.

They have tried this before and each time they back off, the only way we can get the message across is not to buy them.  Even non iPod owners should not let this level of control be forced on us by the Music Industry.

Posted by Ian on June 21, 2005 at 12:14 AM (PDT)


I didn’t have any problems with the Velvet Revolver CD, although I was worried because of all the copy protection warnings on it.

BTW, I think that this tech is all about the money first, and then the control. It’s always about the money. If the companies didn’t think that they were losing money, then they wouldn’t want to try and control what people are doing with “their” cd’s.

It’s all about the man keeping us down man! wink

Posted by bfm66 on June 21, 2005 at 12:17 AM (PDT)


i too bought the dave cd and almost crapped my pants when it told me i had to use DRMed WMA.  this is the same dave matthews that will allow to record and distribute any concert you want and makes some rediculous percentage of its profits (i think like ) from ticket sales.  a quick google and i found how to copy it.

seems that the cd auto-installs a service that won’t allow other programs to rip it.  the cd WILL RIP, but the tracks are garbled up.  you just have to stop the service and the tracks rip fine.

Posted by zip22 on June 21, 2005 at 1:50 AM (PDT)


Completely with Ian.

iPodlounge itself should very clearly point out as well that these items are NOT CDs in the sense of redbook compatible CDDA discs. They just look like CDs, and they are sold among CDs, therefore one could even consider the MIs action fraud, no matter what funny sticker they put on there. Especially with online sales it is very easy to miss this information.
Therefore make this as troublesome as it can be. Buy the disc you want, open it, and then return it as defective. Repeat.

We are free to use the music we pay for the way we like it, and we want to put it on our Macs, our Win PCs, our iPods.

We decide about the formats we use, and in my case it will not be some DRMd WMA for sure.

We are unwilling to accept carrying the burden of the MIs problems.

We paid, we will do as we like.

Posted by Bad Beaver on June 21, 2005 at 2:24 AM (PDT)


psxp - try - site ‘frozen’ for now but a useful resource.
There used to be a site - - which listed all corrupt CD’s but it seems to have disappeared…

Bad Beaver - in our Music forums you will find this topic discussed at length (also links to the old forum discussions)
“Copy Protected? Don’t always believe the label”

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on June 21, 2005 at 3:07 AM (PDT)


You know what they should do? They should be made to slap a big “This CD is incompatable with Apple IPod” sticker on the front of all their protected disks.

Then as their record sales drop, we can watch the cocky grins fade from their greedy faces.

Posted by Popjunkie in Singapore on June 21, 2005 at 3:11 AM (PDT)


I too got suckered into buying this crap.
The new Coldplay album X & Y that I bought is copy protected, so I can’t rip it from my PC to my iPod.

But my Xbox can play and rip it without problems.

I’m left with few, painful options:

1: Find a way to transfer those songs from my xbox.

2: Return the CD. In Malaysia, that’s impossible.

3: Beat the protection. No DMCA (did I spell it right?) here. Does the felt-tip marker trick still works?

4: ONE SURE THING: write a flame mail to Coldplay website, saying how they just a fan in me.

Posted by Augustus Thoo in Malaysia on June 21, 2005 at 4:34 AM (PDT)


Terrible reporting.

There’s no such thing as a “copy protected CD.” A CD is defined by the Red Book standard. Those plastic things which look like CDs, but don’t work like them, aren’t. Anyone who buys a “CD” which is copy protected has every right to return it for a full refund as the defective product that it is.

Posted by m.s. on June 21, 2005 at 5:09 AM (PDT)


ultimately the bands will suffer and they should be the first in line to say this just isn’t right.

as for downloading, and music fan worth their salt isn’t going to be satisfied with the MP3s you get off of Peer to Peer networks.  A lot of people I know use them to get a chance to hear a few songs, then go out and buy the CD.

this just shows me that these companies to not have faith in their product (the music)

just like the movie industry - “why bother putting out a good product if we just want to sell a bunch at first.  If we generate enough hype, we’ll have great opening sales… by the time everyone realizes it’s a piece of crap, we’ll have made a profit.”

Posted by Puck in washington dc on June 21, 2005 at 6:04 AM (PDT)


That’s it - I’ve had enough of this! I’m going back to vinyl records!!! smile

Posted by jeff on June 21, 2005 at 6:24 AM (PDT)


I can’t believe some litigious individual hasn’t slapped a class action on BMG for fraud and deceptive business practices. I’m sure there is a lawyer out there who is looking to make some money. Until then I would encourage everyone to not buy any of these “CDs” and tell everyone else to do the same. If you shop at an independent shop make sure they know you are upset about this.

Posted by Josh on June 21, 2005 at 6:44 AM (PDT)


I purchased an “enhanced” cd once on Amazon… iTunes totally hates it. It also only played if it was fullscreen. Way to go… No, I didn’t want to listen to music in the background while I did other work… I didn’t want to minimize while playing… I’ve never bought another “enhanced” cd since then.

I did finally get it on my iPod though… but I had to burn it using Windows Media Player as an “audio” cd (which was the only thing that would play the damn thing) and then rip that into iTunes.

Posted by Zizz on June 21, 2005 at 6:49 AM (PDT)


This is how Sony gets people to only buy their MP3 players, as oppose to iPod and other brands.

Someone will find a way to remove this stupid protection thing.

Posted by Soon on June 21, 2005 at 7:46 AM (PDT)


i will NEVER buy a copy protected cd. and considering i spend thousands of dollars on music a month… it looks like i may be saving myself some money and dl’ing for free.

if worse comes to worse i’ll just buy the album on vinyl and rip it that way… duh.

the riaa is retarded. customers aren’t the problem. people who pirate music will find a way around whatever hurdle the riaa puts up. the only people the riaa are hurting are the CUSTOMERS and CONSUMERS who want to use their purchased music.

it’s my music… let me listen to it how i want to listen to it.

Posted by travis on June 21, 2005 at 8:07 AM (PDT)


I’ll repeat what has already been said here for the benefit of those who continue to whine and say this ruins their lives.

“Copy protection” on these cds is really just a small autorun program on the disc that runs when the cd is inserted (if you have not disabled the cd autoplay in Windows).  This little program simply obstructs the operating system’s ability to see the disc as a normal audio disc, even though the music files are on there just like any other disc.

All you need to do (in Windows) is hold down the Shift key immediately after inserting the disc.  This overrides the autoplay on the drive and you’re left with a plain old cd as far as iTunes is concerned.

I did this last night with the new Foo Fighters album.  Ripped in iTunes, transferred to iPod…no problem.

As long as cds have to be backwards compatible with cd players from the 1980’s, they will never be able to do anything more complicated than this.

Posted by jeff on June 21, 2005 at 8:45 AM (PDT)


Could this skirmish mark the return of vinyl? I still have my record player so I am primed and ready!

Big corporations acting like even bigger babies…wa, wa, wa.

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on June 21, 2005 at 8:58 AM (PDT)


Augustus Thoo, there are copies of Coldplay’s new CD that are not copy protected, because I was able to play and rip the entire CD to iTunes without any track problem.

Anyhow, I think Apple should license its FairPlay rights to the record companies so that the CDs can be copy protected yet still play on iTunes and iPod. If a CD should be copy protected for anti-piracy reasons, it should at least be compatible with all music programs and music players.

For the new Backstreet Boys CD, there’s a feature on the enhanced portion that allows you to download all the tracks but in WMA protected format, and all you have to do is burn the tracks to another CD, and re-import it, but that’s a very time consuming way. There’s WMA to MP3 recording programs, but a majority of them have trial versions that only allow you to record for a specific amount of time.

Truth be told, pirates probably will always find a way to override these protection devices, it’s just a matter of time.

Posted by greencoffeebean on June 21, 2005 at 8:59 AM (PDT)

Page 2 of 4 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods/iPhones/iPad or accessories, or if you sell or market iPod/iPhone/iPad products or services, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.
Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter


iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2014 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy