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All posts tagged "drm"

Friday, May 28, 2010

iTunes DRM Sticks it to Another User

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 AM

iTunes account gets hacked. Credit card company notes the activity and initiates a dispute with Apple.

"This is where it gets really nasty. Apple closed the compromised iTunes account and de-authorised all his purchases – not only the ones the fraudster grabbed, but everything he had bought over a period of 6 years."

The user ended up giving up without getting a resolution. They'd upgraded much of their material to the non-DRM version through iTunes Plus and after hitting one too many roadblocks decided it wasn't worth pursuing getting the rest of their paid for media released. Just goes to reinforce my practice of not buying any thing that I don't fully own. I've never purchased from iTunes and 99% of my on-line music purchases have been through Amazon's music store.

Tags: software, itunes, drm, evil

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Photoshop Elements 8 DRM: No Third Install for You!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:00 PM

The above screen shot was taken yesterday when I fired up Photoshop Elements 8 [affiliate] on my media editing computer. I was surprised to see this warning about the serial number conflict, because I tend to install most of my software on two or three of my computers and most software developers don't put heavy-handed license activation on their consumer-level products (unlike Photoshop for instance). I think most software (other than operating systems of course) licensing should be on a per-user basis rather than a per-computer basis, so I really appreciate software developers that allow for two or three installs right in the EULA, and when they don't use activation - mostly because activation tends to be fraught with problems. Read more...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Fellow Canadians, Rejoice: We Finally Have a Good Online MP3 Music Store

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 04:00 AM

Well, colour me impressed - HMV, a CD and DVD retail chain store in Canada, has launched an online music store. We had a few of them already, but most were re-branded and based on Puretracks on the back end, and up until recently that meant DRM-laden WMA files. Puretracks has been transitioning over to MP3s, but I find their store cumbersome to use. HMV Digital on the other hand, reminds me a lot of's MP3 store - fast, fluid, and simple. The music is in 320kbps MP3 format, which is excellent, and most tracks are 99 cents with a few in the $1.29 range. Albums are in the $9.99 range, and you don't even have to install a downloader if you don't want to - the albums come down in a single ZIP file. And best of all? They allow you to re-download your purchases up to five times, so if you happen to have a data wipe-out, you can get your music from them again. I'm not sure how deep their catalogue goes, but for new releases, this is where I'm going to be doing my shopping. Nicely done HMV!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blu-ray Digital Copy: Only a Good Experience for iTunes Users

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:00 AM

There are a lot of things that I don't like about Blu-ray as a format, but as the industry has settled on it as the physical standard for HD discs, things have slowly started to improve. One such improvement is the increased proliferation of Managed Digital Copy on Blu-ray discs. It works like this: in many new Blu-ray packages, you'll have the Blu-ray disc, a regular DVD, and a small card with a code on it. When you insert the regular DVD in your computer, you'll typically get an auto-loader (pictured above) for the movie, and it will give you the ability to transfer a DVD resolution (or lower if they offer a portable device version) copy of the movie to your computer in one of two DRM-laden formats: iTunes MPEG4, or Windows Media Player WMV. In each case, the code you're provided is used to authenticate the WMV and MPEG4 versions of the movie. The neat part is that you can get both the iTunes and Windows Media Player versions of the movie - I did this with four Blu-ray discs I purchased. Read more...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

HDTV Enthusiasts Rejoice! CableCard Custom Rigs!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 10:00 AM

"Here's something you don't see every day: companies like Microsoft and the cable industry relaxing content and DRM restrictions. But that's exactly what happened yesterday at the CEDIA EXPO trade show in Atlanta, where Microsoft announced that home users could now install CableCARD-powered digital TV tuners in their PCs, could use those tuners with switched digital video (SDV) cable systems, and could use recorded content more freely."

No, DRM is not going away; The big entertainment companies have too much invested to take that kind of risk with TV. However, it does look like they are loosening things up so that the enthusiast market can have more fun while building their HDTV rigs. Not only does this mean that you are able to build your own system but you will have the ability to share or broadcast your recorded shows to more devices. It seems like TV industry is just recognizing that people are no longer just watching shows on their fancy new colour TV in the family room, but catching up on shows while on the commute to work, or while sipping a cup of joe at the local coffee shop. The freedom is nice, but I think this announcement indicates that the entertainment industry is recognizing that they need more adoption, and that you need to get enthusiasts on your side to do so. Giving them some freedom to make their own rigs instead of pre-boxed solutions is a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Managed Copies Coming To Blu-ray Sometime Eventually

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"Beginning next year, studios and other content holders will be required to give consumers the ability to make one copy of any Blu-ray Disc they buy. Dubbed “managed copy,” the requirement has long been planned for the Blu-ray format, but has only just been finalized by the Advanced Access Content System License Administrator, a consortium of studios, hardware manufacturers and technology companies that licenses the AACS copy protection used on Blu-ray Discs."

Good news everybody! The specification that will allow you to make one copy of your Blu-ray Disc has been finalized! That is the sound of progress marching that you hear in the background. The one thing left standing in your way is for studios, manufacturers and licensers to approve of the new specification. Actually, the two things left standing in your way is approval and new hardware. Okay, the three things left are approval by a those related to Blu-ray, new hardware and the licensing server to go online. Oh, and you might have to pay the sudio a fee for making that copy. But that is it! Really! Technology really had made our lives easier, has it not?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

iTunes to Vary Pricing And Go DRM Free

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 08:00 AM

"Under the new pricing scheme, most music tracks will still cost $0.99, but labels will be able to charge $1.29 for selected tracks—mostly hot new releases—and offer discounts of $0.69 on older library tracks."

iTunes is going to go through two significant changes in the coming months. Pricing is no longer going to be a $0.99 a song setup, with prices ranging from $0.69 to $1.29. I really hope that the record labels won't do what I would expect them to do, which is noting any song that's selling and put it in the $1.29 tier. Overall, I'm not sure whether this will be good for the consumer or not, but I can't think that the labels would push for variable pricing so much if they didn't see more profit in it for themselves. What is more notable to me is that by the end of the quarter, it is expected that iTunes music will go DRM free! While it seems the vast majority don't mind being locked down to specific devices, I think it'll just drive more traffic to the iTunes store with everyone now able to listen to their library on any device they want.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Record All Your TV With the Hauppauge HD-PVR

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 PM

"After more than a week with my HD-PVR I can now say that my excitement has not waned. This thing brings all the channels: HD, digital, SD – everything to the HTPC user without needing to worry about CableCard, broadcast flags or other DRM issues. I’m still working out the final details for my complete review of the device, but had a few points I wanted to mention to the readers on the HD-PVR. I just watched the movie: “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” this week so bear with me as I follow that theme…"

Those of you with media centers should be well aware of the ugly problems that DRM can cause. From incorrectly set broadcast flags preventing you from saving your favourite TV show to problems with CableCard, DRM and related technologies make it difficult for those who want to benefit from what media center software can offer. GeekTonic has posted a workaround that uses the Hauppauge HD-PVR to circumvent all these problems through use of the analog hole. It works by taking the digital signal, converting it to a purely analog signal, and then re-encoded into a digital format. The process pretty much strips the video of any DRM and with this hack, the apparent loss in quality is minimal, letting you record and enjoy anything from your cable box, satellite tv, etc. without any worries of that ugly message telling you can you can't record, or even worse, finding your recorded tv shows folder empty!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Escape iTunes With the TuneClone Audio Converter

Posted by David Tucker in "Zune News" @ 11:45 AM

"You are considering buying a Microsoft Zune as you broke your iPod or had your iPod stolen. And you bought a lot of songs from iTunes store because you had money left on your iTunes gift card. You still want to enjoy those purchased songs on your Zune MP3 player. Or you own an iPod while your boyfriend/girlfriend has a Zune. And you hope to share the library of M4P music songs purchased from iTunes store under your account with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Here comes the headache! The M4P music you bought from iTunes is DRM-laden! You cannot transfer the iTunes M4P music to the Zune software, not to mention playing the iTunes M4P music on your Zune player."

So, you want to migrate from the iPod to the Zune but the main reason you haven’t made that jump is because you have your iTunes library. I’m sure that’s a very common reason for not coming over to the Zune world. (Ok, maybe not, but I’ll maintain my delusion.) This is a serious issue though and if you do want to change platforms, then your only options are mostly time consuming and wasteful.

TuneClone Audio Converter has come to the rescue! You can use this to move your library of M4P DRM protected music to the MP3 format that you can use on any player out there worth its salt. This is a useful tool for anyone looking to break their relationship with the iPod. This software does cost $34.95 to register but that price does give you what appears to be a full feature application. The best part is that it maintains all of the music file’s metadata. DigitalMediaOnline has a nice little tutorial that shows how it works.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Free Music Friday: NIN - "The Slip"

Posted by Tim Williamson in "Digital Home News" @ 01:05 AM

"as a thank you to our fans for your continued support, we are giving away the new nine inch nails album one hundred percent free, exclusively via the music is available in a variety of formats including high-quality MP3, FLAC or M4A lossless at CD quality and even higher-than-CD quality 24/96 WAVE. your link will include all options - all free. all downloads include a PDF with artwork and credits. for those of you interested in physical products, fear not. we plan to make a version of this release available on CD and vinyl in july. details coming soon."

Nine Inch Nails (NIN) has released their latest album for free download from their web site, with the official CD release coming up in July. This release comes in a variety of digital formats (MP3, FLAC, M4A, and WAVE) and is DRM-free (whoo hoo!). Our source (Steve The Yaz) wonders if this could start a trend of promoting album releases in the future. This trend would definitely be great for consumers, but I'm not sure how this would benefit the band. Now that I've downloaded the album, I don't know how inclined I'd be to go out and purchase the CD. Would you pay for a CD if you could get the album for free? For a band that makes their money from CD sales, I don't know if offering your album for free download is a good thing, but for a band that makes their money from concerts, then this could be a really great way of promoting the band. So if you're into industrial rock (or even if it's not really your thing) head over the NIN's site and check out their latest free album!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Want to Backup Your DVD and Blu-ray Discs? Check Out AnyDVD!

Posted by Tim Williamson in "Digital Home Software" @ 12:30 PM

"Film studios that have switched to Blu-ray may have crowed a little too early because the much-praised BD+ copy protection is an ad absurdum affair now, too. With today's release of version of AnyDVD HD it is now also possible to make backup security copies of Blu-ray discs protected with BD+. Richard Doherty of the Envisioneering Group will have to revise his statement from July, 2007 regarding BD+: "BD+, unlike AACS which suffered a partial hack last year, won't likely be breached for 10 years". It is worth mentioning that since he made that statement only eight months have gone by."

If you're looking for a way to backup your DVD and Blu-ray Discs, AnyDVD may be the software you need. It runs in the background on your PC, and when inserting a DVD or Blu-ray disc, it automagically removes the copy protection, which then allows you to use a DVD backup tool to make a copy of your disc. Now through March 30th, when you purchase directly from Slysoft [Affiliate] and use the coupon code "easter" you can receive 20% off AnyDVD (and any other SlySoft product)!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

SanDisk Promotes DRM-Free Music on microSD Card

Posted by Rocco Augusto in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:00 AM

"SanDisk Corporation, a leading seller of MP3 players in the United States, today announced the company will promote DRM-free music from more than 50 new and emerging artists on a microSD card. This U.S.-based program is the first of its kind to use microSD cards, and helps launch the new 8GB (gigabyte) Sansa Fuze MP3 player. The “Sansa Sessions” microSD card is comprised of a collection of rock, pop, and hip hop songs, music videos, and photos from more than 30 labels. Featured artists include All Time Low, Ladytron, Magnet, Nada Surf, Of Montreal and The Coup."

You know, it's funny. Less than two years ago it seemed as though the main-stream music industry was on its last leg. With almost monthly reports of some poor sap (or grandmother) being sued for alleged file sharing, Sony violating their paying customers computers with rootkits, and not to mention the RIAA running amok as if they were Judge Dredd himself - it can almost be considered a miracle that I can sit here and write this post while listening to a fairly high quality legally purchased DRM free album of one of my favorite bands. While the days of yesteryear have left a horrible taste in any music lover’s mouth, times are changing... and quickly! As cool as this Sansa Sessions gimmick is, you do have to purchase a SanDisk Sansa Fuze MP3 player to redeem this preloaded microSD card... but hey, at the end of the day you receive a free microSD card that can be used in almost anything nowadays and it is preloaded with DRM-free content. All in all, this isn't a bad deal if you ask me.

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