DRM vendors thanks for shutting down...

[Wow 2 posts in one day and neither about running!]

There are a lot of people out there who hate DRM with a passion. I'm not one of them. I understand that its a necessary evil in a world where most people will get something for nothing if they possibly can. Though I disagree with some of the high profits and salaries that some entertainers and entertainment companies get there is a reason we all lock our doors at night - to stop people taking what is not theirs. The entertainment industry is no different other than its far easier to steal content than it is to take my TV.

However this doesn't mean there are not some parts of DRM that annoy me and I just had to spend my valuable time working around some of this. You see I supported MSN Music when they first went live and I purchased my 99c tracks from them. I was a bit annoyed when one day I tried to go to the site and was told they were shutting down. They sent me over to Urge which was mildly annoying. They promised that the DRM validation that happens would continue to work... but for how long? Since Urge is owned by MTV I figured they were a pretty safe bet for the future. Of course I was wrong and at some point Urge was shut down and we were all sent over to Rhapsody. At least my login from Urge works there but wait a moment whats this? I need to download the Rhapsody player? I cant use them in Media Player where all my other music is. No I don't care if there are workarounds.... you just lost my business.

In the last month I got a Zune - mainly to try out the XNA Game Studio development platform but since I've never had an Ipod it was an opportunity for me to join the cool kids. Zune software has to be installed to sync which is pretty annoying again but at least it picks up my media library.... well almost. Ripped CDs are there but nothing from MSN Music or from Urge. Woo hoo for DRM. So I can't sync my DRM songs to the Zune from Media player because the Zune team and the Media Player team have some sort of ongoing feud to ensure there are multiple ways to do everything in Windows. AND I can't sync my songs from the Zune software because it doesn't understand any DRM other than the Zune store stuff.

Now I could spend half a day finding out if I'm an idiot and there is a way to do this but the easiest way was to burn all the DRM music to multiple CDs and then rip them all back in. Now Zune is happy and all works again with my songs.

Of course the chance of me buying stuff from Zune Store is pretty low expecially since Amazon appears to be happy to sell me unprotected MP3s and I suggest you do the same. The Zune pass stuff is vaguly interesting but there are so many 'just another $9.99 a month' things out there for me to spend my money on and thats more then I generally spend on music anyway.

Published 12 May 2008 11:14 AM by zman


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