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Briefly: review; iPod DRM warning

updated 12:10 pm EDT, Fri June 9, 2006

Review, iPod DRM warning

In brief: MacNN has reviewed DiskWarrior 3.03 ($100) from Alsoft, an application that analyzes and rewrites a hard drive directory.... Flash Mobs are planning to gather in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Long Island, and New York, converging on Apple stores to warn customers of the dangers of DRM in the iPod and iTunes on Saturday, June 10th at 10:30 a.m. local time.... SmartSound Music has released its latest collection of multi-layer music ($100) designed to work with the new "Mood Mapping" feature in Sonicfire Pro 4.... Cramer of the "RealMoney" radio show compared Apple to a lemonade stand, saying that Apple needs flat screens and microprocessors just as lemonade makers need lemons and water.... Peachpit today announced that more than 25 of its most popular books are available in a new, graphically rich format in its online reference library.

by MacNN Staff




  1. ATPTourFan

    Joined: Dec 1969


    DRM blog is incorrect

    I hate DRM too, and I was enjoying the writeup at that blog site until I saw a gross error / misrepresentation of FairPlay.

    They say that "apple used to let you have 10 copies but now they only let you have 7". They did not explain that with FairPlay 2.0, Apple actually allowed more computers to use the same file (5 up from only 3 originally). A compromise was made that reduced the number of successive playlist CD burns that included DRM'd files (7 down from 10 originally).

    That's no bad compromise since you can just edit the playlist and then you can burn another 7 CDs until you change the playlist again. The jump from 3 to 5 computers was much appreciated.

    Apple has always allowed your purchased music to be transferred to unlimited iPods.

  1. trevc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ... if Apple took DRM out of iTunes, would the record companies still support it?

    How is Apple's DRM any more restrictive than say Microsofts' DRM??

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    DRM "warning"

    This protest group is called "Defective By Design." How appropriate. In the linked page, they say:

    "All music purchased from the iTunes music store has DRM in it. That means, at the moment, you can only have a certain number of copies. It used to be you could have 10, then Apple changed it to 7. Nothing stops them from changing it again, to 5, or 3 or 1."

    What are they talking about? You can make as many "copies" of the music as you want. The restriction is that you can only have 5 authorized computers at any given time to play the music file.

    They may be referring to the number of times a playlist can be burned to CD, which may be 7 and maybe it used to be 10. I don't know, because that particular restriction is meaningless to me. Why wound I need to burn the same playlist to CD more than 7 times? And it's for a playlist; it does not restrict the number of times a particular song can be burned to CD.

    If you're going to protest something, get the facts right (or at least close).

    Also, Apple designed its DRM so that the record labels would sign the distribution deals. needs to correct its own defects and target the companies that creates the need for DRM, not the company that implements the technology that complies with this need.

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969


    cynical me

    Why blame Apple for restrictions that were needed to get the record companies to sign-on to iTunes. I would not be surprised to see one of Apples competitors behind this.

  1. kw99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple = Lemonade Stand?

    In the linked article:

    "Think of the company as a lemonade stand, he said. Just like you need lemons and water to make lemonade, the two components that Apple needs are flat screens and microprocessors..."

    Cramer makes a good point for the value of Apple stock, but that may be the dumbest analogy I have read. He has obviously never made lemonade or computers, because it takes a few more "components."

  1. LordJohnWhorfin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Number of copies

    You can make as many copies as you want, except that a limited number of computers can be authorized to play it and transfer it to an iPod simultaneously. Not sure, but I think that number is 3. Like the blog says, though, Apple can change that any time they please (it's in the agreement, didn't you read it before you signed it?) I'm all for eliminating DRMs, they're a big pain and one of the reasons I'm still buying CDs and avoiding the iTunes Music Store (the other being inferior sound quality). However, I don't like how this campaign seems to be singling out Apple when Microsoft and others are pushing a much more restrictive system (granted, without much success, but still).

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh goody

    A flash mob? That's so 2004! And I'd hate to be someone involved in one of these mobs and get between some rabid apple-lover and a new macbook. There could be injuries involved.

    And they've got over 2000 technologists involved. What exactly does that mean? Who do they consider a technologist? Someone who uses technology (um, everyone but the amish)? And the only direct action you can use to stop DRM is to go find the record labels and burn them down to the ground (oh, c***, I hope I didn't ruin the surprise).

    Oh, and did anyone note whether the site mentions that when you burn a CD from the iTMS, you strip the DRM?

  1. fletcher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iTunes Better Than CDs

    I purchased one CD recently because I just couldn't wait for the songs to be on iTunes. Sadly, the CD has copy protection built in and has a warning on the back that "playback problems may be encountered" on some CD players.

    Now I have to go online to find out if this is one of those "rootkit" CDs and if I can join a class action lawsuit. There's no way I would ever let one of these CDs near a PC and if I'd read the warning before I imported the songs on my Mac, I may have just sent the thing back.

    iTunes is better. I rarely, if ever, try to do something that DRM disallows. And, 100% rootkit free.

  1. bonaccij

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What is the big deal?

    So, it is very simple. I understand why people are upset about DRM. Remember when you used to buy an LP or a cassette? You copied it for your friends... etc etc.... I did... but we are all forgetting that even on those it always said "Illegal to reproduce"...

    Thing now is, it can be enforced, and THAT is why people are upset... they aren't allowed to do what they have been doing for the past 20 years..

  1. notehead

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I agree with the review that DiskWarrior is a great program. I recommend it to every new Mac user I meet.

    But I will mention a very trivial peeve of mine... why on earth is Alsoft STILL running that magazine ad that says "DiskWarrior is now OS X native"?! I mean, it's been native for ages already, and it could give a false impression to a noob.

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