Stereophile: Copy protected CDs don’t play nice with iPods | iLounge News


Stereophile: Copy protected CDs don’t play nice with iPods

“Whether listeners like it or not, record labels, including major players like BMG and Arista Records, are now making moves to rein in how their CDs are played and used.  Unfettered CDs have been on the shelves for almost two decades, and some industry observers note that changing how they work at this late stage could be a recipe for trouble with consumers. [...]

One major drawback of the restricted disks, however, is non-compatibility with the Apple iPod. Since the new discs are based on SunnComm’s MediaMax, which itself is rooted in Microsoft’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) applications, the brochure leaves it up to iPod owners to read between the lines, explaining only, “It will play on any device that supports Windows Media DRM.”

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There is a very easy way to get around this software security. When you insert the CD in your drive, hold down the “shift” key. That will stop the copy protection software from loading. Then, just act like it’s a normal CD.

Posted by Matt Weinberg on October 20, 2003 at 10:15 AM (CDT)


If they fix the “Shift” key issue, it will force alot of people to possibly get sued by the RIAA. If I buy a CD that is copy protected and I want to put it on my iPod and can’t, I’m going to go to Kazaa or eDonkey and find the album and download it. I know I would win the suit because I own the album in question but it still is a hassle that the end user should not have to go through when they are legally supporting the artists. The recording industry needs to get their head out of their a$$ and realize that any copy protection that they introduce has to play nice with everyone on the market or it will piss off the consumer, who they are trying to win over.

Posted by Saint Robyn on October 20, 2003 at 10:43 AM (CDT)


“It will play on any device that supports Windows Media DRM.”

But remember now: iTunes is a closed system, and ultimately people are going to choose Windows DRM because it’s more open.

Posted by sb on October 20, 2003 at 10:43 AM (CDT)


Won’t encrypting CDs in this way just bring about their death faster, and promote services like ITMS?  It keeps the safe people safe, there’s always a way around it.

Posted by Keith on October 20, 2003 at 10:45 AM (CDT)


CD’s are such an old medium. Once people see the ease of iPods/MP3’s players and iTunes, they won’t look back. I know plenty of people who have mass cd’s and now want iPods. It’s just the future. CD’s are the past. They need to realize that.

Posted by kainjow on October 20, 2003 at 11:30 AM (CDT)


So What? If I can rip a CD, I will make sure it plays on my device.  Just so long I can rip to Mp3, my Ipod will never have any issues.

Posted by Dasugo on October 20, 2003 at 12:25 PM (CDT)


Dasugo-  Isn’t the point that the software won’t allow you to rip any of the songs?  Wake up, the whole idea is to make the CD and CD player a necessity in listening to music.  The music industry is trying to attack mp3/digital music players, specifically the iPod.  Part of the problem seems to be alliances among labels and propritary formats that companies are trying to push to compete with apple.  It’s just ridiculous.

Posted by spimp31 on October 20, 2003 at 1:43 PM (CDT)


Well, sue ‘em. What they are selling you is not a CDDA, it its a data carrier, circular, silverish. Also sue them for forcing closed “standards” upon the customer, the word monopoly comes to mind again. The iPod is the market leading device, they cannot expect customers to accept BS like this.

Posted by Oliver on October 20, 2003 at 3:17 PM (CDT)


This is disgusting. If I hate the CD and want to use it as a coaster, it is MY property to do so. If I want to transfer the album I OWN to my ipod, it is my right to do so.

Does anyone know of any websites building up a voice against this?

Posted by bobs yer uncle on October 20, 2003 at 4:16 PM (CDT)


Hey doesn’t matter people. This is not the end of music as we know it.

Sure, they make a CD, only compatible with some DRM crap. Nobody buys it. Their thick heads realise they’re not selling anything and go back to normal.

Many many people still have old CD players (non computer) that do not read these new copy-protection CD’s.

Posted by Adam on October 20, 2003 at 6:17 PM (CDT)


First of all, here’s a website on how to disable it:

The writer was sued by SunnComm (the company who developed the software) by the way, and then the lawsuit was dropped.

Then, go here:

They are the leading consumer protection foundation, and are amazing

Posted by Matt on October 20, 2003 at 6:20 PM (CDT)


To be honest, it wouldn’t hurt if Apple could adopt Microsoft’s DRM for the iPod, and for other portable manufactures to adopt Apple’s FairPlay system.  I’m sure there were deals involved, but it also makes sense that a company would secure their music with a platform that is roughly 95% of the market.

I would agree that these are no longer Audio CD’s, and are now digital music discs.  Maybe they should use a new/different logo?

Posted by John on October 20, 2003 at 6:53 PM (CDT)


iTunes encodes my “Copy Controlled” cds with ease (however I hold the shift key down after inserting the cd just to make sure non of that copy protection crap isn’t loaded).

Anyone having problems should just download “iso buster” or software that is similiar to that. It will enable you to see the hidden Audio Session and capture to your HDD in wav format (pc users).

Disclaimer: Depending on the country you live in determines whether this is legal or not, Countries like Canada allow for people to own a copy of an original work, so make sure it’s legal in your country…

The music & movie industry are trying to take the rights to knowledge away from us by preventing us from bypassing anti-piracy tactics. Knowledge is free, stand up against these monopolistic giants and show them that they cannot control us.

Posted by PlasticHack on October 20, 2003 at 8:25 PM (CDT)


Apparently BMG still haven’t learned their lessons the last time they tried this in 2000 with N-Sync’s CD. It wouldn’t play in any configuration,and the end result was over three million pissed off consumers worldwide,with hundreds of thousands in the U.S. To add insult to injury,the RIAA already superimposed a royalty that kicks over to them each time a blank CD-R/RW or Digital Audio Recorder is sold.They said that this royalty was necessary in order to prevent the same stuff they are crying about now.Also,if memory serves,there were rumblings that what the majors were doing was possibly illegal if not unethical.

Posted by Christianicononev.2 on October 20, 2003 at 9:22 PM (CDT)


The MediaMax copy-protection will never get anywhere. It RELIES on AutoRun being enabled, pressing shift disables that. All it does is install a driver that mangles the audio signal coming from the CD so you can’t copy it. If you don’t let it install the software, it wont work. If your not running as an admin equivelant user, it wont work, if your running windows, it wont work. It is quite simply, rubbish.

Posted by Alex Stapleton on October 21, 2003 at 1:38 AM (CDT)


I agree with those who state here that for them CD’s are done. They are done for me and that

Posted by SpideyXP on October 21, 2003 at 6:34 AM (CDT)


“Won’t encrypting CDs in this way just bring about their death faster, and promote services like ITMS?”
“CD’s are the past.”

No, not until iTMS and its ilk supply music with higher audio quality.  Till then, people will still buy CD’s when they want the original music, unaltered by lossy compression schemes.  Good as AAC is, the original still sounds better to an audiophile.  For me, I prefer having the original tracks on CD as backup, even though I only rip them to my iPod and put the CD away in storage.

“Does anyone know of any websites building up a voice against this?”

I would venture to guess and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

And why has nobody commented upon the absolute coup this is for Microsoft.  MS can’t win in the digital music market competitively, so they use their clout and financial resources to make sure that all new CD’s sold are copy-protected by MS proprietary DRM that their main competitor, iPod can’t use.

Posted by Byron on October 21, 2003 at 6:48 AM (CDT)


what a complete boob!  this mediamax stuff is defeated with minimal or zero effort (depending on os) and the results are playable with any computer/program/portable.


i hate stupid people, and this stereophile twit is at the top of the list.

my favorite line here so far…

“iTunes is a closed system, and ultimately people are going to choose Windows DRM because it’s more open.”

huh?  what?  more open?  what?  oh, brother.  i need some coffee.

Posted by Box on October 21, 2003 at 7:39 AM (CDT)


This sw does a sorry job of preventing one from ripping their CDs.  Even if they devise a great anti ripping encryption,  they have to make it audible for people to hear and as long as that exists, music WILL get ripped.

Posted by Dasugo on October 21, 2003 at 8:55 AM (CDT)


“huh? what? more open? what? oh, brother. i need some coffee.”


Posted by Byron on October 21, 2003 at 2:54 PM (CDT)

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