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Beware the Apple iPhone iHandcuffs 406

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the future-of-gizmos dept.
Nrbelex writes "Randall Stross makes a fresh and surprisingly accurate review of one of the biggest "features" in the upcoming iPhone and the iPod in general, 'fairplay'. Stross writes, 'If "crippleware" seems an unduly harsh description, it balances the euphemistic names that the industry uses for copy protection. Apple officially calls its own standard "FairPlay," but fair it is not.... You are always going to have to buy Apple stuff. Forever and ever.' Can mainstream media coverage help the battle over DRM or will this warning, like those of the pas, continue to go unnoticed?"
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Beware the Apple iPhone iHandcuffs

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  • by bobalu (1921) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:32AM (#17602180)
    I really don't understand the repeated efforts here to brand Apple as the devil over "FairPlay". I'm no fan of DRM, and don't use it because it's entirely unnecessary. I've bought about 6 songs and one video off of iTunes in the last 3 years. I just don't get the freedom-threatening nature of ripping my own CDs.

    • by CrackedButter (646746) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:37AM (#17602206) Homepage Journal
      At least the article didn't blame Apple, but the music industry. Then again, why didn't he just talk about how the music industry shackles Apple and the other online music stores? Well, if he did that there would be no fan boys to rile up would there?
      • by ahillen (45680) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:41AM (#17602670)
        At least the article didn't blame Apple, but the music industry.

        Well, he also blames Apple. He gives the example of eMusic, which sells a lot of music from independent labels without DRM (and that of course with the labels agreement). The same music is sold by Apple in the iTunes Store with their fairplay DRM. It seems that in theses cases Apple's assertion that "we have to use DRM, otherwise the labels would not allow us to sell the music" is not true.

        So I guess he has a point, although I don't agree with everything he says. Starting with the headline: the problem is not the iPhone (or the iPod), the problem is the iTunes Store. If you decide to buy your music somewhere else (like - gasp - CDs) you are not locked in at all. But, OK, the iPhone is what all the buzz is about right now, so that's probably the reason for the choice of headline. He also says that by buying the iPhone, you have to use the iTunes Store if you want to buy music online. Then he goes on to give the example of eMusic, which sells millions of songs online in MP3 format without DRM. Obviously, these files will also work on any Apple device.

        So, his arguments are at some points a bit flawed, but I think the general intention of raising the awareness for the possible pitfalls of buying DRM music has to be applauded.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by jrothwell97 (968062)
          But you forget that eMusic can only sell unrestricted music from those labels that consent to it (very few). If Apple tried to sell things without DRM, then many (the vast majority of record labels) would tell Steve Jobs to stick it up his... erm... posterior and stop allowing iTunes to sell their music.
          • by cayenne8 (626475) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @02:04PM (#17603946) Homepage Journal
            "But you forget that eMusic can only sell unrestricted music from those labels that consent to it (very few). If Apple tried to sell things without DRM, then many (the vast majority of record labels) would tell Steve Jobs to stick it up his... erm... posterior and stop allowing iTunes to sell their music."

            Well, apparently, from an earlier poster...Apple sells these same songs on iTunes that are sold by eMusic (without drm), but, Apple puts DRM on these songs just like from the 'majors'.

            I wonder why Apple doesn't see the songs that are ok'ed to be sold without DRM, without DRM? I think Apple would lose a lot of flac they get over iTunes if they did sell some content without Fairplay on it...as long as it was authorized by the labels to do so.

            • by 7Prime (871679) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:52PM (#17605042) Homepage Journal

              To a certain degree, I can understand it as a part of Apple's "One Size Fits All" marketting (which I happen to think is damn effective). Currently, when you download a music off of iTMS, every file has the same restrictions, and allows the same freedoms. On the public front, this is simply to make it "easier for the consumer". But in actuality, it is a cover, a little trick to keep record lables from ever pushing more severe DRM... if they put up an umbrella specification on their files, and make a big stink about how it is for user-friendliness, the recording industry just flat out can't argue with them.

              Apple's DRM reflects their pricing: 99cents per song. Sure, maybe there could have been a few songs here and there placed at 75cents, but it makes sure that no songs are priced at $3. Their DRM policy is invasive, to be sure, but on the scheme of things, it's the least invasive that ever has been, but it keeps the record industry to go any further.

              The bottom line is, DRM has no benefit to Apple. The iTMS is a loss or "break-even" leader, in order to sell iPods... and it's possible that not having DRM would result in a FEW more iPod sales. They have no personal reason to ever want DRM on their material... but they gotta, according to the recording industry. People act like they're not fighting it. They're fighting it like crazy, but they know that they can't win without some form of compromise. DRM is simply one part of the music industry's grand scheme of controlling media. Apple put their foot down when it came to pricing, and they came up with one of the least invasive DRM schemes ever. And the reason they've been able to keep with both of these is because they are completely unwavering in their support of this system. If they were to start selling a few non-DRM tunes, the recording industry would see this as a new-found flexability in Apple's infrastructure, and try to take advantage of that.

              This might sound fanboyish, but there's a lot of psychology going in to play here. By setting one universal standard, and utterly keeping with it, it creates a rock-solid wall in which the recording industry can't touch.

              • by RedWizzard (192002) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:15PM (#17607550)

                The bottom line is, DRM has no benefit to Apple. The iTMS is a loss or "break-even" leader, in order to sell iPods... and it's possible that not having DRM would result in a FEW more iPod sales.
                Apple's DRM locks people into Apple's products: they have to have an iPod to play that music on a portable device (unless they want the hassle of the burn/rip hack). Once that iPod breaks down or becomes obsolete they have to buy another one, or lose access to the music they've paid for. There is no way that is not a major benefit to Apple.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Kjella (173770)
              I wonder why Apple doesn't see the songs that are ok'ed to be sold without DRM, without DRM?

              Because consumers would see that as 99% of the music is crippled as opposed to 1% is free? Despite what you might be led to believe, iTunes isn't taking particularly much flak. Most people have their iTMS music on a an authorized machine or two, and sync it with their iPod or burn a CD if they need. They don't see it, they don't care about it. Just like most people put a DVD in the DVD player, and never see any of th
      • While the music industry is the largest culprit, Apple should be given some blame as well. If they were to license FairPlay to other vendors (as France tried passing laws to force) then consumers would not be locked to buying iPods/iPhones/i-whatevers to play all of the music they've purchased from iTunes. Yes, you could just buy CDs and rip those, but then you're paying a lot more when you just want one or two songs off of a CD. You could also use other sites to download the music, but if you currently hav
        • by MrShaggy (683273)
          I use the itunes radio streams all the time.

          There is a button on itunes that allows you to burn your files directly to a cd. Even if its only 4 times, how may times will you need? And again if you don't want any restrictions, and a much better quality, buy a cd. And then copy it as many times as you want.
    • by davebarnes (158106) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:37AM (#17602208) Homepage
      Exactly.
      1. Rip your own CDs. Legal.
      2. Borrow your friends' CDs and rip. Not legal in USA.
      3. Buy MP3s from AllofMP3.com. Legal in Russia.
      4. Buy MP3s from eMusic.com. Legal.

      Plenty of sources for music that don't involve iTunes Music Store.
      • You're forgetting one more great option.

        1.5. Buy your CDs used... at discount prices.

        Half.com offers used (yet, like-new) CDs for under $5 at times. If the CD is missing a jewelcase or a booklet, you can sometimes get it for under $5 shipped. If you're just going to MP3 it and chuck the CD on a shelf/spindle/binder, then that's all you really need. And for approximately $2.50 for shipping, you're still getting about half-off the retail price of a new CD.

        btw, is it just me or have CD prices gone up significa
        • by x2A (858210)
          "One interesting fact... I subscribed to eMusic back when they had an unlimited plan available about 4 years ago. I grabbed about 20GB of music off there in a single month- pretty much the entire collection of everything I liked at the time. I really wish they would bring that back"

          Haha, they probably got rid of it because of people doing things like grabbing 20GB of music in a single month, oh the delicious irony!

      • I'm still an emusic subscriber, but wow ... prolly not for long
    • When the music industry finally realizes that they can sell you a digital DRM'd to hell download and mail you a pretty poster album cover the howling will make more sense.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Zonk (troll) (1026140)
      I deeply despise the idea of DRM, but with the iPod it is completly options. Don't like the DRM, don't buy from the damn store. Just like when competeing stores complain about Apple "locking them out" of the iPod, all they have to do is sell non crippled AACs or MP3s. Personally, I rip all my music from CDs, encode them with LAME, and then use GTKPod to copy them to my iPod. I buy most of my CDs from local used stores or used from Amazon or Half.com. No copy protection and the RIAA doesn't get addition
      • Apple doesn't force you to use the Music Store purchased songs to put them on your iPod. I have taken MP3 from different sources and put them on my iPod, the iPod does support Fair Play DRM but it doesn't make the songs downloaded DRM. I am sure Apple doesn't really care much for DRM but if they wanted the Record Companies to allow them sell their music they had to place some restrictions on what can be done. Jobs is a tough businessman but so are the record labels. Apple came out of the talks a lot be
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I switched to Apple in 2000, because my work Dell laptop running MS Windows would lock-up with blue-screen of death 3-5 times each workday -- while running mainly MS Office applications (including Visio and MS Project). My Apple computers have *never* locked up the whole operating system in 6 years. I have only had a very few application lockups. It is exactly why I own a Honda, not a GM car. Apple computers are just more reliable, and they are not more expensive than comparably equipped Dell, Gateway,

    • by _KiTA_ (241027) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:56AM (#17602812) Homepage
      Well, there's 2 camps here.

      1. The actually genuinely concerned consumer activists, who don't realize Fairplay is really as good a DRM system as we're probably ever going to get, consumer-wise.
      2. The people who are royally pissed that THEIR DRM isn't the stuff being shoved down everyone's throats.

      Of course, #2 has some sub camps, based on motivation.
      - There are the people who are just royally pissed that they aren't getting the online music sales or MP3 player sales they "deserve" since they're "in the industry", so they obviously deserve a competition free environment. Forever. (The "real" music publishers.)
      - There are the people who are royally pissed that the DRM doesn't include a rootkit, doesn't cost $5 a song, allows you to play the songs more than once, allows you to move your music onto normal CDs, onto multiple players, etc. (The anti-fair use people.)
      - And there are the people who are pissed that the iNdustry (iPod, iTunes, etc) seems to be propping up Apple, which they thought they had killed off so long ago that no one would notice them borrowing features and themes from OS X for their new big name Operating System release... (The Windows die-hards, not all of which are centered in Redmond.)

      All 3 of these camps can easily afford to pay for an astroturfing campaign, so... Who knows?
    • by Godji (957148)
      That Apple's software allows you to put iTunes-purchased songs on CDs is a coincidance. You fail to see the bigger picture.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by samkass (174571)
      The week just wouldn't be complete if Slashdot didn't bash Apple for DRM again. Can we just tag all future similar articles as a "dup"?
  • by LibertineR (591918) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:34AM (#17602192)
    No matter how sexy or cool things seemed early on, the day will come when you will wonder what the fuck you were thinking.
    • by hawkeyeMI (412577)
      That's funny, because every time I've bought Apple, starting about 7 years ago, as the days go by I keep realizing what a good idea the purchase was.

      As plenty of others have pointed out, you can put MP3s on iPods, and there are plenty of legitimate places to get those. As far as interoperability goes, Apple does a lot better than MS, although maybe not quite as well as the various Linux distros and programs.
    • by Bemopolis (698691) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:45AM (#17602716)
      You do it because all your friends are doing it. So you go out, get drunk, and find the cheapest, skankiest thing you can get home to plug. And now you're actually touching it! And boy you're on it ALL NIGHT (in five minute incremements between reboots). When you wake up in the morning and take your first sober look at the 'face, knowing you could have done much better, you barely succeed in convincing yourself that it wasn't necessarily the wrong thing to do.

      Then you realize you have 17 viruses.
      • You know, it is possible to talk about Apple with no mention of Microsoft at all.
        • by hawkeyeMI (412577)
          Next you're going to tell me it's possible to talk about Linux without mentioning Microsoft at all.
      • by hotdiggitydawg (881316) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @01:03PM (#17603328)

        You do it because all your friends are doing it. So you go out, get drunk, and find the cheapest, skankiest thing you can get home to plug. And now you're actually touching it! And boy you're on it ALL NIGHT (in five minute incremements between reboots). When you wake up in the morning and take your first sober look at the 'face, knowing you could have done much better, you barely succeed in convincing yourself that it wasn't necessarily the wrong thing to do.
         
        Then you realize you have 17 viruses.
        And a Trojan in your backdoor?
  • This is dumb! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N8F8 (4562) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:36AM (#17602204)
    The suit contends that Apple unfairly restricts consumer choice because it does not load onto the iPod the software needed to play music that uses Microsoft's copy-protection standard, in addition to Apple's own.


    As far as I'm considered, this is a stupid argument. Slam Sony instead. How about a $400 DVD plaver that won't play MP3 file.
  • by phozz bare (720522) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:37AM (#17602214)
    The iPhone is mentioned in the first paragraph and in the headline, perhaps to grab the reader's attention. The rest of the article is about the DRM restrictions in music purchased from iTunes. While this will also apply to the iPhone (as it includes iPod functionality) I really can't see why this article is remotely interesting or newsworthy. I was expecting to read something about the 3rd party software lock-in on the iPhone, but there really is nothing to see here.

    phozz
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:37AM (#17602216)
    So people want to force Apple to make Microsoft formats work on the iPod? Those same people blame Apple for iTunes purchased songs not working on a Zune as well? I don't get the double standard. If Apple should be forced to make iPods play Microsoft DRM, then isn't it the responsibility of Microsoft to make Apple's FairPlay work on Zunes? I think I'll go buy a Zune then sue Microsoft because my iTunes songs don't work on the Zune. I hope this case gets thrown out and the woman has to pay the court costs.
    • by Technician (215283)
      Microsoft used to promote its PlaysForSure copy-protection standard, but there must have been some difficulty with the "for sure" because the company has dropped it in favor of an entirely new copy-protection standard for its new Zune player, which, incidentally, is incompatible with the old one.

      They got it part right in the article. The whole lawsuit is that one flavor of DRM is incompatible with another variety of player. While they were at it, why pick on just Apple and Microsoft. Toss in the Sony Min
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by okoskimi (878708)

      Not a double standard. Apple does not allow other companies to use FairPlay - if they would, every MP3 player would support it. The whole point for Apple is to support iPod sales and customer lock-in. And Apple does not enable other DRM systems to work on iPod either. They are using the fact that they have the dominant online music store and dominant MP3 player to lock down iTunes users to iPods (because only those can play iTunes music) and to lock down iPod users to iTunes (because only iTunes can sell DR

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tiny-e (940381)
        erm... Apple was required, by the recording industry, to put DRM on the ITMS content in order to get them to agree to let Apple sell the tracks. It's always been there.. in one flavor or another. The ITMS was designed to augment the sale of iPods -- as Apple is a hardware company -- to give the iPod users a place where they could buy music that would integrate seamlessly with their iPod management application (iTunes).

        The success/volume of the ITMS is directly tied to the fact that the iPod is the most
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by shmlco (594907)
        Sorry, but you don't understand the logic. iTunes is the only app that purchases and downloads the music and encrypts it. iTunes is the only app that validates players and transfers music to the iPod. The mechanism is secure.

        Now, it may be that you cold have a third party player "support" FairPly... but how does the music get encrypted and get on their player? You'd have to provide every vendor with the code and encryption keys so their software could work with it. Every vendor would be able to authorize pl
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by iminplaya (723125)
      It's America's new game show. "Lawsuit Lotto" With millions of dollars in prizes. "Tell her what she wins, Bob."
    • by Eric Savage (28245) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @12:37PM (#17603124) Homepage
      Let's recap for the parent and anyone else not paying attention.

      • Apple owns FairPlay, a proprietary format.
      • Apple will not license other players to play FairPlay.
      • Apple will not license other vendors to sell FairPlay music.
      • Apple will not license DRM from anyone else for their players.
      • Apple has a vast majority of digital music player sales.
      • Apple has a vast majority of digital music sales. (20x as many as the #2 store according to TFA)
      • This article would have twice as many comments and similar ones would be posted weekly if it was s/Apple/Microsoft/g


    • by canuck57 (662392) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @12:49PM (#17603220)

      I think I'll go buy a Zune then sue Microsoft because my iTunes songs don't work on the Zune. I hope this case gets thrown out and the woman has to pay the court costs.

      Although I am vehemently anti-DRM I couldn't agree with you more. If a consumer purchases a device with DRM, they ultimately must live with that. Hopefully the judgment will we "tough, too bad so sad...". It will actually be a victory for anti-DRM as it will force consumers to spend their money on non-DRM products. Then we will see some real progress.

      When I rip my audio CDs, everything goes into DRM free MP3. I even keep them on a Linux share as so Microsoft can't get the originals. It may be paranoid, but that license file in XP bugs me even though I haven't been hit by it yet. I will even hold off on Vista until it is certain Vista will not alter the collection.

  • by jezor (51922) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:38AM (#17602222) Homepage
    I read the NYT article, and this is really not a new issue, is it? The iPod has had this issue, as did Apple's previous foray into cellphones (the ROKR and now the RAZR [apple.com]). The bigger challenge the iPhone faces is that, according to Steve Jobs [slashdot.org], 3rd party developers won't be able to write programs for the iPhone without Apple's blessing and distribution channels. That's a product killer, given that the most popular smartphones already on the market (especially those running PalmOS and Windows Mobile) are tremendously extensible via 3rd party offerings. It's also a huge mistake. Having a phone that plays music isn't a revolution; it's a necessity these days. Heck, the phones that are being given away by the carriers can all play MP3s at least. Rather, anyone spending as much as Apple wants for the iPhone (even before locking in a data plan from Cingular) is going to want to do whatever he or she can imagine with the iPhone in all aspects of life, not just music or telephoning. That will require 3rd party developers. Apple should embrace 3rd party development, since it will sell many more iPhones, rather than the current strategy.

    Personally, I was pondering how to make the business case for an iPhone at work until I read about the current 3rd party app limitation. As someone who's used the PalmOS for 10 years, I am *not* going back to one-vendor sourced apps. {Prof. Jonathan Ezor, PalmAddict Associate Writer} [typepad.com]
    • For the same reasons as you gave, I'm not accepting Apple's stated reasons for not allowing arbitrary third party apps. Right now, the most I see that is reasonable is that the software would have to pass a standardized security validator, that's about it. I don't want to see that iPhone developers have to become part of a secret society in order to get any permission to install software.
    • by Thrudheim (910314)

      That's a product killer, given that the most popular smartphones already on the market (especially those running PalmOS and Windows Mobile) are tremendously extensible via 3rd party offerings. . . . Apple should embrace 3rd party development, since it will sell many more iPhones, rather than the current strategy.

      You might be right, but I'll venture to guess that Apple knows what it's doing. We'll see how sales actually go when the phone hits the market. It's an empirical question, after all.

      Besides, a

      • by jezor (51922) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:23AM (#17602516) Homepage
        My point is that a lot of little niche markets make up one honkin' big one, and whether or not Apple is encouraging 3rd party development, if every app has to pass through Apple's screening process and be distributed (read: priced and sold) through Apple's own structure, it will significantly discourage niche products.

        As a long-time PalmOS user, I look to Palm for both negative and positive examples. Palm's success was built not on the PIM applications, but on 3rd party tools, and while Palm offered certification for software programs, it didn't require certification in order for programs to run. Not only did that drive innovation by 3rd parties, but many of those 3rd party developments put pressure on Palm to extend the basic OS accordingly. Tapped drop-down menus, fullscreen Graffiti entry, running apps off SD cards, full backup (not just PIM apps) and hard button reassignment all began as 3rd party innovations, and were later adopted by the PalmOS. At the same time, though, Palm's uncertainty about whether it was a hardware, software, or OS company has led to stultification of the underlying PalmOS, to the point where the iPhone has a real opportunity not only to get Treo users but non-smartphone users like me (I use a T|X) to cross over, if it's done properly by Apple.

        I'm not counting Apple out by any means, nor am I assuming that 3rd party developers won't be able to create homebrew apps that will load and run on the iPhone, Apple-certified or not. That said, I hope that Apple is looking at the PDA rather than cellphone market for inspiration. Otherwise, this Newton 2007 may rot unpicked. {Prof. Jonathan}
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by aaarrrgggh (9205)
        I think the iPhone is a work of art. Beautiful, functional, and a perfect embodiment of what Steve Jobs must want. Unfortunately, he doesn't want the same things as me, which just might kill it for me.

        Lack of 3rd party apps will kill the iPhone, at least as a smartphone. While the Blackberry is pretty cool out of the box, it takes a couple extra 3rd party applications to really make it shine.

        Hopefully, Jobs statement is more in line with what is required for the blackberry - applications must be signed,
  • by gravesb (967413) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:39AM (#17602230) Homepage
    Apple had to produce a DRM that was acceptable to the music industry, or else iTunes would never exist. MP3 players would still be gimmicks, much like minidisk players, and the advances we have seen across all brands of MP3 players never would have happened. Instead, Apple came up with a solution that appeased the music industry, and which doesn't remove that many rights from consumers. The really brilliant thing Apple did was allow FairPlay to be so easily cracked by burning the music to CD's. I find it interesting that the article complains about Apple locking in consumers, but the far more interesting thing is how they have locked in the music industry. The music industry would love to raise prices, make all services subscription, and restrict our rights in more and more ways. Instead, Apple is strong enough that not only can it maintain the status quo (which they improved by allowing us to buy single songs, instead of CD's with a decent song and 9 crappy ones), they are extending it to other music labels and now movies. They have created a means for more independent artists to make a living without giving into the labels (not as good as eMusic, true, but they had to give up something to get the major labels.), allowed consumers to buy music ala carte, and are changing the face of the industry. There are the vocal few who claim that all DRM is evil, and refuse to buy anything from the music labels. I admire both your stance and your dedication to it. However, most of the public do not understand the issues, and they provide enough revenue for the labels to ignore you. Apple is a middle ground now. Hopefully in the future, we will be able to move to an even better situation. However, without this middle ground, we would all be talking about buying music in a hopelessly outdated, unfair manner, or stealing it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Afecks (899057)
      Just because you can't remember a time before iPods doesn't make pre-iPod mp3 players gimmicks. Like it or not, all these so called advances (what advances? the touchpad stolen from a laptop or flash stolen from USB sticks?) would have happened eventually. Only there would be a different name on the box. It's really sad when I am in Best Buy and I hear this guy say "but I thought they were all called iPods"...

      NOTE: I've owned 4 iPods, 2 still alive
    • by gravesb (967413)
      And I owned a Diamond Rio. I remember MP3 players from before the iPod, and I owned a minidisc player as well. The comparison is apt, in my experience.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Godji (957148)
      Wrong. Apple is now using DRM on music from labels that do not require it.
  • Choice (Score:2, Informative)

    by eefsee (325736)
    You can easily fill up an iPod or iPhone with non-DRM music. Just rip it yourself. In fact, throughout the keynote Jobs used Beatles music (rubbing their nose in it, I guess) and those albums he showed are not available on iTunes. Apple has improved the ripping experience by providing album art for ripped tunes. Granted, FairPlay is hardly fair to Apple competitors. I wish that if Apple continues using it they would at least make it an open standard so we could have a level DRM field, but I don't expect App
    • by mblase (200735)
      The article does make a good point, though. If a label is willing to let its music out on eMusic without DRM, and even willing to let Apple have it for iTunes without DRM, then why does Apple not post it on iTunes without FairPlay?

      Because nobody's made a big enough noise about it, I suppose. There still aren't enough popular artists on eMusic for this to be a major issue for people.

      Alternatively, consider that Apple would still be selling the music in AAC format, which it claims gives better quality in sma
      • Alternatively, consider that Apple would still be selling the music in AAC format, which it claims gives better quality in smaller file sizes than MP3.

        Just to clarify a bit, AAC is as open a format as MP3. It's the MPEG group's successor to MP3. Apple adds their DRM to AAC, creating protected AAC. There's no reason for modern players to not support AAC. Apple's FairPlay is a separate issue.
      • Yeah, because we all know AAC is a proprietary format. The A in AAC stands for Apple, after all, right? Right?

        Jesus goddamn Christ, how is it possible for fucktards like you--on Slashdot, no less--to remain so ignorant TEN EVERFUCKING YEARS after the introduction of MPEG-2 Part 7?
    • You can easily fill up an iPod or iPhone with non-DRM music. Just rip it yourself.

      Are you sure about that? I have a brand new RAZR from Sprint and while it has the capabilities to play mp3s you download from their store, it has no ability to copy your own to the phone (unless you want to save them as ring tones). What makes you think the iPhone would be different? While it is true that you can rip your CDs to an iPod, nowhere was it mentioned that that capability will be included with an iPhone. Downloa
  • Anti-Apple week (Score:5, Informative)

    by Oniros (53181) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:43AM (#17602254)
    Geez, the iPhone must have scared the crap out of everyone in the industry, seems it's Anti-Apple FUD since the iPhone was announced.

    I own an iPod (3rd gen or something), works great with the hundreds of CDs I own and ripped. I bought 1 song on the iTunes store. The article lie in implying the iPod is limited to FairPlay music. This is not the Zune, iTunes doesn't add a DRM layer to your music. It plays non-DRMed songs just fine.

    I own a Mac, plays all the fansubbed unlicensed anime series I get on bittorrent. Works even in FrontRow. And on the video iPod and Apple TV if I batch convert them to H264. Again, non-DRMed video plays fine.

    So, allow me not to be scared.

    If you want to worry, check the big brotherish content protection in Vista:
    A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection
    http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_c ost.txt [auckland.ac.nz]
    • Re:Anti-Apple week (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mccalli (323026) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:05AM (#17602382) Homepage
      Geez, the iPhone must have scared the crap out of everyone in the industry, seems it's Anti-Apple FUD since the iPhone was announced.

      Allow me to present my Apple credentials. An original LC owner from around 1993 (I think), then skipped out but back in for a 12" Powerbook when Jaguar was released. Our household has a MacBook Pro, a MacBook, a dual G5 tower, an (Intel) Mac Mini and an SE/30 for nostalgia. Pro-Apple enough perhaps? Well then, I think that as announced so far, the iPhone is a poor product.

      • No 3G. A killer in Europe for something at that level. I'm assuming this won't be a problem by the time of launch though, because I simply cannot imagine anyone trying to launch a 2.5G smart phone here these days.
      • No video calling. Minor league problem for me and directly related to no 3G.
      • "First proper browser on a phone" says Jobs in the keynote. Err...no, no at all. My phone is happily running Opera, as are plenty of others.
      • No user-replaceable battery. No spare batteries? Are they serious? Not a problem with an iPod, you just lose your music for a while. Annoying but liveable. For a phone however, that's a much bigger hassle.
      • No third-party software. Err...no. Won't fly for me.
      • Can't use your "iTunes music" as a ring tone. Now admittedly the source I read for this didn't make it clear if they really meant iTMS-purchased music or just any old MP3 but either way that's pretty poor.
      • No GPS (that I'm aware of). I'm spending that amount of money, I'd like a GPS-enabled phone please.
      • No radio. For the love of god, what is it that Apple have against radios? Even the built-in Radio function of iTunes is utterly useless. I don't want to carry around an add-on for that, it should be built into the phone like damned near every other phone.
      • Fixed capacity - I can't move my own flash cards in and out of the phone.
      • No video at all - not just lack of video calling but also it's unclear if that camera will actually shoot video for storing on the internal memory and transferring off later.


      I love the look of the interface, though in practice I do wonder how well it's going to stand up to daily use (smears on the screen etc.). Right now though, the hardware itself just looks too weak to me. Not enough features for the cash - my N70 already does functionally more than the iPhone, and that came as a freebie with my contract. I'll admit the Nokia interface is terrible in comparison, but for me at least the OS X interface isn't enough to compensate for the lack of capability in the phone. Not asking for the moon on a stick here - everything I've mentioned can currently be done by other phones, all but GPS in already done by my freebie N70.

      Roll on v1.x please.

      Cheers,
      Ian
      • by GRW (63655)
        In a similar vein is this article [latimes.com], talking about the advanced 3G capabilities of Japanese cell phones.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by bheer (633842)

        Allow me to present my Apple credentials. An original LC owner from around 1993 (I think), then skipped out but back in for a 12" Powerbook when Jaguar was released. Our household has a MacBook Pro, a MacBook, a dual G5 tower, an (Intel) Mac Mini and an SE/30 for nostalgia. Pro-Apple enough perhaps?

        I find it disturbing that so many Slashdot posts feel spending thousands of dollars on Apple gear entitles them to criticize Apple. It doesn't work that way in real life, guys. Take women. I've spent thousands of

        • by stg (43177)

          I find it disturbing that so many Slashdot posts feel spending thousands of dollars on Apple gear entitles them to criticize Apple

          Yeah, me too. I don't recall ever spending anything on Apple gear, yet I feel that I'm as entitled to criticize them as anyone... :-)

          Seriously, when I saw the first news release I was almost drooling. I mentioned the specs to a couple of friends, with the same results.

          Then I saw every single annoying limitation... (specially no third-party software) Now I'm basically not intere

      • Re:Anti-Apple week (Score:4, Insightful)

        by roard (661272) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @01:04PM (#17603340) Homepage
        er... the iPhone is possibly not the miracle that some hailed, but it's difficult to be sure until they actual sell it :-) In particular, most of your "problems" are misleading:
        • No 3G. A killer in Europe for something at that level. I'm assuming this won't be a problem by the time of launch though, because I simply cannot imagine anyone trying to launch a 2.5G smart phone here these days.
          Well, THIS model does not have 3G, only 2.5G. But Steve Jobs specifically said they were working on a 3G model. Considering it's only supposed to come in europe around september (so, likely introduced at the paris expo) I frankly expect that it will be a 3G model.
        • No video calling. Minor league problem for me and directly related to no 3G.
          As you said, without 3G, video calling is useless anyway. Beside, video calling is more a gadget than something useful, really... did you ever try videoconf with your webcam ? do you use it regularly ? most people in then do not use it apart from an initial "wow it's cool". And with a webcam there's still a few occasions where it is useful (showing kids to grandparents, business conf..) but these uses are anyway quite impractical for a frickin mobile PHONE. Now tell me that Apple would let you plug an iSight on their new AppleTV, and do videoconf in your living room, and here it would be interesting.
        • "First proper browser on a phone" says Jobs in the keynote. Err...no, no at all. My phone is happily running Opera, as are plenty of others. Er, I have opera on my 3G mobile. You can't seriously compare it to what was shown on the iPhone. The only vaguely comparable browser on a mobile device I know of is opera, but running on the nokia 770, eg with a high res screen. Certainly not the mobile browsers you have on mobile phones.
        • No user-replaceable battery. No spare batteries? Are they serious? Not a problem with an iPod, you just lose your music for a while. Annoying but liveable. For a phone however, that's a much bigger hassle.
          Yes, that sucks. The autonomy seems fairly good though, and there was this talk about using two batteries, but still, it would be better to have a user-replaceable battery. At first I even thought that this black part on the back was here for just that...
        • No third-party software. Err...no. Won't fly for me.
          There WILL be 3rd party software -- jobs said it, and if you think about it, why mention Cocoa and Core Animation if not ! The question is not that. The question is that apparently Apple wants to "control" the software that will run on the iPhone; how THAT will work is unknown yet (eg, could be a compliance test your app will need to pass, or could be more closed -- we just do not know. Wait for the developer conference this summer...). I admit, as a cocoa developer I'm quite pissed about it, I would have prefererred an open access. Though if it's just a compliance test it will be ok for me (depends of course if it wil be costly or not, or if the compliance test will apply to all apps or only the ones using the GSM chip, etc.). As you see, there's a lot of possible combinations on how that will work, and we can only make conjectures for the moment. But there will be 3rd party software, they said it, and it would be moronic to not have them.
        • Can't use your "iTunes music" as a ring tone. Now admittedly the source I read for this didn't make it clear if they really meant iTMS-purchased music or just any old MP3 but either way that's pretty poor.
          First time I hear that rumor. I frankly doubt you'll have a problem to set your ring tone... anyway, it's only a rumor. Wait for the real device.
        • No GPS (that I'm aware of). I'm spending that amount of money, I'd like a GPS-enabled phone please.
          Far from a deal-breaker. Sure that would be a nice addition.
        • No radio. For the love of god, what is it that Apple have against radios? Even the built-in Radio function of iTunes is utterly useless. I don't want to car
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nordicfrost (118437)
        >No 3G. A killer in Europe for something at that level. I'm assuming this won't be a problem by the time of launch though, because I simply >cannot imagine anyone trying to launch a 2.5G smart phone here these days.

        Well, as an owner of a 3G phone for more than a year, the absolute killer app of the phone is... ...killing battery time. I can count on two hands the times when 3G has been useful to me. Also, a 3G version is on the way according to Jobs.

        >No video calling. Minor league problem for me an
  • I'm confused.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ack154 (591432) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @10:44AM (#17602256)
    How is this fresh? That is... we knew it was an iPod, right? Did people think it would not have DRM just because it was a phone this time?

    This is the same argument every time a new iPod comes out... "hey, it only works with songs from iTunes" and "iTunes only works with iPods." No shit. We know this by now. This article really has nothing to do with the iPhone specifically, it's just another DRM bashing article. Which is fine, I'd love to see it gone as much as the next guy... but as far as DRM goes, Apple's is pretty "fair" IMO and definitely simple.

    I spend almost 2 hours yesterday trying to get my little sister's Sansa to work with some songs my mom bought for her from the Walmart music store. Now THAT is some crappy DRM. Crappy software. Crappy everything.
  • by Masque (20587)
    "You are always going to have to buy Apple stuff."

    It's tragic and depressing, it is. If only there were a way for me to burn my FairPlay music to CDs! Then I could listen to it on any device, anywhere, anytime, or even re-rip it, thus ending up with unencumbered music.

    C'mon. You're already buying compressed audio or video. If you were serious about quality - or "freedom!!1!!!1!" - you'd be purchasing the highest-quality source material possible, and using lossless compression to archive it. But you're
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      It's tragic and depressing, it is. If only there were a way for me to burn my FairPlay music to CDs!

      CDs? ... Most of us use mp3 players or mp3 CDs... Get with the times.

      Then I could listen to it on any device, anywhere, anytime

      Actually a CD doesn't fit into my mp3 player...

      or even re-rip it, thus ending up with unencumbered music.

      Once you encode something in a format like mp3, aac wmv, etc, it introduces numerous artifacts which cause the produced audio to be difficult to recompress -- At a similar bitrat

      • Who says you have to recompress the music after you burn it to CD? Just reimport it directly back to AIFF or FLAC. There you go: music, compressed only once, that you can "share" with your six billion best "friends" as much as you like.

        Of course, this probably wouldn't occur to a linear-thinking PC user like you. You can thank me for the insight later.
        • by Ash-Fox (726320)

          Who says you have to recompress the music after you burn it to CD? Just reimport it directly back to AIFF or FLAC. There you go: music, compressed only once, that you can "share" with your six billion best "friends" as much as you like.

          Oh great, I'm going to go waste what? five? twelve? times the space by doing that. Most mp3 players can't play AIFF or FLAC.

          Of course, this probably wouldn't occur to a linear-thinking PC user like you. You can thank me for the insight later.

          No, it occured to me, and it wasn'

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            FLAC plays fine for me on my Mac regardless of what player I choose (likely thanks to the QuickTime plugin). If I really gave a shit about your filthy "freedom"—i.e., if I found FairPlay cumbersome in the least, which I don't—I'd rerip my music library to AIFF or Apple Lossless and lug those around on my iPod, which plays both formats, by the way.

            Really, the iPod platform was much more fun before Apple opened it to you PC-using fucktards. We thought there were schisms in the Mac community before
    • I would like that Daemon tools would emulate a CD/DVD burner too. Then no CDs would be wasted in the process.
  • That would be the killer app for the iPhone.
  • Ugh sundays... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Internet Ronin (919897) <internet DOT ronin AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:09AM (#17602410)
    Sundays on /. always reminds of Ed Norton's monologue in Fight Club, when his boss discovers the rules for Fight Club.

    It ends with him saying maybe his boss shouldn't bring him every piece of trash he happens to find.

    This, and most 'Sunday' driver stories on /., seem to be the same piece of trash.

    Really the issues is that PlaysForSure DRM doesn't work on the iPod. That's almost always what the bitchin' is about. Well, it doesn't work on the Zune either. And on the flip side, FairPlay doesn't work on their media players. It's not the Mp3 (or in this case iPhone) player's issue. In this case, Apple doesn't support PFS because 1.) MS has never been very forthcoming in sharing and 2.) When Apple is totally and completely dominating a single market they just don't need second rate technology.

    The good news is that the iPod plays Mp3s. First and foremost. Playing a DRM-ed song is just an annoyance that people have to put up with if they want easily acquired legal digital music. I told people for years that the reason I used Napster was because there was no effective alternative. When Jobs opened the iTunes store (before anyone else mind you), I had to pay the piper. If I continued to steal my music at that point, I could claim no moral high ground, and I would have been robbing the artists just as much if not more than the RIAA. So, I started buying music from the iTunes store. Yeah, it's DRM-ed, yeah I'll probably be stuck buying iPods for a long time. What a shame. Fortunately for me, and everyone else, iPods have really been popular and easy to come by.

    Stories like this just make me wonder WTF we even show up here for on Sundays. Go back to bed. Wake up later. Watch the playoffs.
  • Fairplay doesn't lock you into audio. Just burn your tracks to CD, then re-rip them. No big deal. Oh wait, the iPod plays mp3, .wav, .aiff, and generic mpeg4 and h.264 videos. And you don't have to buy iTunes, it's free.

    So do I have to buy Apple stuff "Forever and Ever?" As long as they keep doing what they are doing, they're my first preference.

    I buy Apple stuff because it really does just work. That's not vendor lock-in, that's superior design. When that changes, well, I'll change vendors. That's called t
  • by fermion (181285) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:13AM (#17602440) Homepage Journal
    The article summary is bad. First, it is quite amazing how we can get an accurate review about a product that doesn't even exist, at least not in any real sense. The products on display and in use are preproduction prototypes, and reviewers at most have seen in for a hour, perhaps some have used a prototype for an hour. At this point, the iPhone is cool, but until we have massive quantities shipped, it is vaporware. Until it sells, it is nothing more than an interesting concept.

    Second, fairplay is not the primary format of the iPod, or even iTunes, and presumable not the primary format of the iPhone. The songs are not translated to a Fairplay format, or any other format, when copied to the iPod. Songs are not by default imported into iTunes as Fairplay files, and there is not even an option to so do. I do not think Apple marks files that are imported in iTunes at all. And while the default import format is the is ACC, is it easy to change it to MP3 which is compatible with most players, except maybe Sony.

    So fairplay will only effect users that buy songs from iTunes, and only those songs that are bought from iTunes and not burned to CDs. This is all covered in the article, but not the summary

    The article is really about the fact that Apple will not license fairplay. This is really indicates a sad state of writing. First the author decries Fairplay as crippleware, and then complains that it cannot be acquired universally. This is like complaining that polio is a horrible disease, but innoculations means most of us won't get it. The article is correct that if you use the iTMS, you must buy apple stuff. The logical response to this is not to use the iTMS, and fight for non DRM online formats.

    Then the article goes onto say that MS is better because it does license formats, but then has to admit that the Zune does not use the format. What the article does not admit is that this situation indicates that there is no money to be made in licenses DRM formats and thus compete with walmart on price instead of locking consumers in to an optional online format.

    The point that the article does get to, after losing all credibility, is that consumers may end up with songs a product they cannot use. They may buy Play for sure, and then buy a zune or an iPod. They may have a collection of iTMS tracks, and then buy a Sandisk, in which case they will have to butn all the tracks to CD and reimport then. What the article does not mention is that we did this all before when we copied all our vinyl to tape, and even worse when we replaced all our vinyl with CDs.

    I really believe that this article is the case of an uninspired writer cribbing from old articles. The lesson learned, and probably needs to be taught to the masses, is if possible buy a used CD and rip it to your computer.

  • What is this? After the month of Apple Bugs, now on /. comes the week of the unsubstantiated Apple flame?

    Go and criticize Apple where it fits, there's enough to be pissed off about for me as a Mac user. But this and the last article [slashdot.org] are just cheap flamebaits.

  • I wonder if FIFA has anything to say about Apple trampling on their trademark... oops, again? Or has this one expired too?
  • by JeffElkins (977243)
    Sure, everyone who reads /. is up to date on the DRM wars, but I guarantee you the majority of NYT readers aren't. Anti-DRM publicity in the pages of the national "paper of record" is an excellent step forward for the good guys!
  • Apple's DRM sucks _the_least_. IS it there? yeah. Does it impact 99% of the people that use the iTunes store? Not really.

    Okay, you're stuck with Apple's iPodlike devices. So what? They're really good. I realize the people I'm talking to in this form: The Apple Haters and the DRM freedom fighters, but as a well educated IT person, my impression is:

    Apple has managed to negotiate with folks that can't be negotiated with. Further, they were able to do so in a way that greatly benifits the customer. In doing so, they managed to jumpstart the current, DEVELOPING, download industry.

    Do the permit renting the music? No. and I can see why: Rentals rely on the end user getting complacent and 'forgetting' that $15 a month fee. Once it gets past their notice, and they fall into complacency, the bult of that $15 is free money to the vendor. (Assuming they don't get bought or go out of business, or whatever)

    DRM may be an unnecessary evil, but Apples done a lot to make it hurt as little as possible. I can't say that alternative has _ever_ acted with the consumer's interests in mind.

    I've got absolutely NO qualms with sticking with Apple. Their products mesh extremely well with my needs.
  • DRM Jail (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:31AM (#17602570) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft has now proved the most popular reason to dump DRM: the Zune player forces users to rebuy their legit content, because its DRM conflicts with the old DRM.

    I bought Pink Floyd's _Dark Side of the Moon_ on vinyl, on "audiophile" vinyl, on cassette, on CD, on "remastered" CD, and again a few times to replace worn-out copies of those (but never on 8-track, smartass - that was my copy of _The Wall_). But then I scanned my audiophile CD to HD/WAV, and have transferred it a dozen times: to backup CD in a closet, to mobile devices, to new HDs that aren't worn out, to SHN, then FLAC compression, to MP3 for streaming to my remote locations. I own that content, and I'll do whatever I want with it that's fair. If I want to prop up a wobbly table leg with the audiophile CD, I'll do it if I damn well please, even if the "license" I bought doesn't specify that use.

    These record companies make most of their money from "catalog reissues". Records they made (usually cruelly unfair to artists) deals to sell decades ago, when they profited on their balance sheet. The biggest hits, that already paid for themselves many times over, are naturally the ones most desired to be played today. Because last generation's pop culture is this generations' folk culture - that's why we call our parents our "folks". The corrupt "copyright extension" monopoly laws are bad enough. "Enforcing" them beyond the publisher's rights, destroying rights and purchased privileges of the owner, and the public, is a culture-destroying crime.

    And now, Microsoft has painted the picture for everyone to see. Make your player equal "Microsoft", and you'll pay for the privilege of using your own property as often as they "upgrade" their predictably buggy and inconvenient equipment.

    Now is the time to make "DRM" as dirty a word as is "censorship". Kill it now, before it's permanently rooted, while people are still surprised to hear we have to dump our "old" content just to play it in some incrementally newer way.
  • You mean these guys? [paaseastereggs.com]
  • will this warning, like those of the pas
    And we all know what happened to the pas when they ignored the warning.
  • I love the number of articles springing up, claiming that 2007 will be the year that DRM dies. None of these articles mention alternatives, either, it's beautiful.

    Without DRM in the age of digital music purchases, it's even easier to share music illegally... you don't need to rip music anymore, it's ripped for you. You could even have straight-to-torrent scripts.

    Without restrictions on music, we will resort right back to the pre-DRM days. Nothing has changed. People still don't want to have to pay for music
  • Anything new? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @11:58AM (#17602830) Homepage Journal
    Given that:

      - the iPhone is likely to use iTunes for the synching
      - this limitation of only supporting Fairplay DRM and Audible DRM, has been around since the iTunes store came out
      - iTunes allows you to use your own none-DRMed music

    I don't know why the fuss is being made over the DRM on the iPhone, since this argument applies to any iPod out there, and therefore is neither new, nor iPhone specific.
  • The sounds and pictures for your existing phone are DRM'd.
    Where's the hue and cry there?

    This and the "iPhone not running OSX" are just so much ign'ant piling on.

    These stories make it and other less silly ones don't - of course you can't mod submissions - so it makes you wonder about the editots' motives.

    The headline is right there on the front page / feed - the proof of the folly is buried in the comments, just like retractions are printed on page 7.

  • What is up with all the anti-iphone stories.. they seem a bit overblown. If this was digg, I would have to label it flamebait.. the previous story about the iphone as "wildly inaccurate"

    I don't want this to sound like flamebait, because it represents my actual feelings.

    The story this links to is just a typical anit-drm rant. Why is this tied to the iphone? because apple makes it? yeah, give me a real story.
  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @01:40PM (#17603648)
    The reason I see value in the iPhone is unlimited communication, NOT FOR MUSIC! Music is an afterthought & even a distraction for me.

    The wide capabilities (& wider in next gen releases) of the iPhone are such that any respecting user of technology can see the device as a VCD, Virtual Connection Device.

    Whether you are doing a local simple bit of a document or image collection, it is the bi-directional communication with what is arguably an unlimited number of devices through multiple RF & potentially IR methods that means it is a programmable blank slate computing communicator.

    Whether you merely do simple things sending and receiving messages, or you actually use a VCD to do complex interactive and controlling functions is entirely up to the software you will eventually load into the VCD.

  • by w3woody (44457) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @02:53PM (#17604424) Homepage
    Apple officially calls its own standard "FairPlay," but fair it is not.... You are always going to have to buy Apple stuff. Forever and ever.'
    Yeah, because the moment I take my MP3s ripped off my music CDs and play it on an Apple device, this dreaded FairPlay thing takes over, steals my credit card, and automatically orders stuff Apple thinks I will need forever and ever. And the FairPlay thing infects the MP3s, reprogramming me so that I feel irrational joy everytime Steve Jobs speaks, causing me to wake up the next day three thousand dollars poorer and tons of empty Apple boxes surrounding my bed from a purchasing binge that I had the night before.

    And God Help Me if I should ever even think about buying a Zune and burning the few songs I bought through iTunes onto a CD then re-ripping them for the Zune. Hell, even typing in the four letters 'z', 'u', 'n' and 'e' in that order is causing me incredible amounts of pain and suffering from the FairPlay mental virus that Apple planted in my brain. And besides, if any of my FairPlay ripped CDs ever get into the Zune, it will cripple the Zune forever with a horrible user interface and turn the Zune a crappy shade of brown.

    Please. Do you think Steve Jobs gives a flying flip about DRM--outside the fact that it was the only way he could get the music industry to allow him to sell music via the iTunes store? Hell, the DRM lock-in isn't even applied on the iTunes servers--it's applied after the song is downloaded, which means the microsecond the music industry allows Apple to sell DRM-free music, it would take a simple upgrade to iTunes to remove DRM.

    Besides, FairPlay is an odd duck--has anyone with an iPod noticed that DRM locked FairPlay music just plays on any iPod without having to register the device first? I mean talk about a weak form of DRM--I suspect it's a slightly more sophisticated version of the bozo bit used in MacOS System 5 or earlier, which was a file attribute bit which told the finder not to copy the specified file. This is unlike every other DRM-enabled device which requires that the device be registered with whatever ID you're using so it can read those files.
  • by LKM (227954) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @03:02PM (#17604518) Homepage

    From the article:

    the iPhone's music-playing function will be limited by factory-installed "crippleware."

    This is not true. Only tracks bought from the iTunes store are DRM'd. You're perfectly free to rip your own music, or - legally or illegally - download it from sources without DRM. I encourage everyone not to buy from the iTunes store (although I have to admit to buying about 10 tracks and 2 albums for convenience's sake).

  • *shrug* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Peganthyrus (713645) on Sunday January 14, 2007 @08:03PM (#17607470) Homepage
    Nothing about the iPod stops you from loading MP3s onto it.

    For that matter, nothing about the iPod stops you from loading non-DRMed AACs onto it.

    So if you don't want limited AACs, go buy a physical CD and rip it yourself, or buy cheap unlimited downloads from other sources like EMusic or the artists themselves and throw them into iTunes, and from there onto your iPod/iPhone/iWhatnot. When Jobs dies and someone else fills the niche of 'computer company that gives a shit about the user experience and style', move your MP3s/AACs/etc onto there.

    So much for "always buying Apple". Yeah, if you buy music from the iTunes Store it'll be DRMed. So don't do it.

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