Music

Best News of the Year

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So far.

Hackers claim to have made headway in cracking the HD DVD encryption code. Given what Microsoft plans for Vista with regard to DRM restrictions on "high value" content—nothing less than nerfing end-users' hardware non-stop—consumers need to have some arrows in their quiver versus the content mafia.

Talking with some tech savvy friends over the holidays led to the conclusion that Mp3 audio essentially lucked into "escaping" into the wild before anyone could build a fence around it. By the time anyone thought seriously about roping Mp3s in, the standard was too large and embedded—there was actually money to be made by keeping it wild.

The content dons are not going to make the same mistake twice. They are going to try to build in DRM even if it means degrading the performance of hardware for non-infringing uses—just to be safe.

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  1. It’s Designed To Not Work ™

    Which is great, because we all know how well the consumer electronics industry does with new stuff that’s designed to work.

  2. He did not “decrypt” it he simply grabbed the stream AFTER it was decrypted and was able to save it. He still does not have a key.

    And the manufacturers have previously stated in public that IF ITS CRACKED they will disable ALL players built by changing the key given to them for their use by the studios.

    So if Sony sells 10,000 players and it is then cracked they supposedly will change the key and all 10,000 players will become door stops when no HD dvd of BluRay will play.

    Or MS could always force you to update the OS to stop it anyway.

    More and more reasons to go Mac or better LINUX.

    or something else if it comes up. MS and Vista is becoming unusable for the consumer, and businesses will eventually say Enough.

  3. If they brick everyone’s DVD players, I’m betting on a class action lawsuit.

  4. If they brick everyone’s DVD players, I’m betting on a class action lawsuit.

    How would you feel about such a lawsuit, Isildur?

  5. Isn’t it interesting that all the new hi-def audio offerings: SACD and DVD-audio have gone no where? Why? Because you can’t rip them? You can’t copy them. The fucktard record companies want me to spend more money on a special player with no ability to copy. Oh, and they want me to pay a premium, like $24.00, for a fucking CD that I already own and am happy with.
    And these idiots have wondered why everyone has said, “no thanks.”

  6. They’ll create an un-crackable format just as soon as they create a tamper-proof ID.

  7. Intellectual Property is Theft!

  8. More and more reasons to go Mac or better LINUX.

    How about real UNIX and skip the kid crap?

    mrbill,

    Thanks for the post, I was tempted to reveal that hack that ALWAYS WORKS without reading the article, but you beat me to it.

    Here is a simple pair of rules: if you can hear it you can copy it and if you can see it you can copy it.

  9. How about real UNIX and skip the kid crap?

    Sounds nice on paper, but then you have the small problem of what you’re going to use to replace the consumer applications most people use, let alone the cost of the specialized hardware you’ll need to run the OS in the first place.

    Some how, I’m not seeing Solaris, AIX or HP-UX taking the consumer world by storm.

  10. I thought the hack was able to grab the key off the disc through a hook into PowerDVD or something like that. This means that the MPAA can’t even blacklist specific HD-DVD players like they could if it only used a player key. The only solution would be to print discs with lots of different content keys and hope for the best. Once it’s cracked once though that’s enough to distribute across the net, though.

  11. mrbill wrote: “And the manufacturers have previously stated in public that IF ITS CRACKED they will disable ALL players built by changing the key given to them for their use by the studios.

    So if Sony sells 10,000 players and it is then cracked they supposedly will change the key and all 10,000 players will become door stops when no HD dvd of BluRay will play.”

    They could pull that trick precisely once because within a week after doing that Congress would enact anti-DRM legislation.

  12. “How about real UNIX and skip the kid crap?”

    Because I’d much rather spend my free time with a girl than sitting in front of a terminal with a blinking cursor.

    Yeah, crazy, I know.

  13. Best News of the Year

    Here is to low expectations in 2007…

  14. How about real UNIX and skip the kid crap?

    I used to be a command-line guy, spending hours programming BASIC, COBOL, Pascal, C and playing with my Unix account at the university mainframe.

    Now I like my GUI, my mouse and all the cool visual multimedia stuff…instead of a blank screen with a blinking curser and having to remember a bunch of arcane commands.

    That’s, like, so 1980.

  15. When companies make fundamentally bad decisions then their market share declines. That is the law of supply and demand and the Invisible Hand of Adam Smith.

    In a competive market, anyway.

    In the 21st Century US of A? I guess we shall see.

  16. To deny that the government has no hand in the DRM world is a bit detached.

  17. I think high def DVDs are just the content industy perfecting last century’s technology. This is the days of online, on demand content, TIVO and the harddrive on your TV. No one wants to pay $15 for disks that clutter up your house when you can just download the same things and let them live on a harddrive. Yeah, maybe high def and blue ray have better picture qualtiy, but there is no reason why downloadable content can’t eventually be just as good and as we saw with MP3, people will trade quality for convienence. They can encript the high def DVDs all they want because no one is going ot be buying them.

    The Vista link doesn’t work, does anyone know what exactly Microsoft does have planned for Vista regarding content?

  18. More and more reasons to go Mac or better LINUX.

    Please, for the love of god, don’t tell Apple that they could make ?ber-gob-loads of money by having a proprietary, vertically integrated and DRM’d multimedia empire.

    They might sense you were onto something and try it! No good will come from that. ::shudder::

  19. I played vinyl-only on New Year’s Eve and felt one with nature.
    I missed you, Snap, Crackle and Pop.

  20. No one wants to pay $15 for disks that clutter up your house when you can just download the same things and let them live on a harddrive.

    I do. It’s not much of a music collection without the media, cover art, whatever. And the compression algorithms are constantly changing. All my CDs are ripped for a compromise between quality, size, and what the little ARM processor in my player can decode without skipping. When things improve I’ll rerip them.

    More and more reasons to go Mac or better LINUX.

    Linux maybe, but not Apple. I just purchased my first Mac and was sorely disappointed to find it much less friendly in this regard. If I want itunes to work as well as WMP, Apple wants my credit card number. They’ve limited the OSX 10.4 bluetooth drivers presumably to prevent wireless headphones from competing with their ipod. Their proprietary compression scheme is crap. They are just as tin eared as the MS goons.

    How about real UNIX and skip the kid crap?

    And this is what gives me hope. Not that everyone is going to ditch MS Word for LaTeX, ever, but there is some geek who gets off on what is difficult and esoteric. I don’t need to worry about uncrackable DRM when we have folks like Guy running around.

  21. “I do. It’s not much of a music collection without the media, cover art, whatever. And the compression algorithms are constantly changing. All my CDs are ripped for a compromise between quality, size, and what the little ARM processor in my player can decode without skipping. When things improve I’ll rerip them.”

    Let me guess pig, you are over the age of 30. I am sympathetic to your view, but you are in the minority on that one. Kids that are under 30 never knew a time when you got a big neat case with liner notes to go with your big vynal record. Hell, they probably don’t remember jewel cases. There just isn’t any attachment or nastaglia about the medium now like there was in the record era.

  22. Let me guess pig, you are over the age of 30. I am sympathetic to your view, but you are in the minority on that one. Kids that are under 30 never knew a time when you got a big neat case with liner notes to go with your big vynal record. Hell, they probably don’t remember jewel cases. There just isn’t any attachment or nastaglia about the medium now like there was in the record era.

    Make that a minority of 2. I don’t bother with silly DRM’d downloads. I buy the CD, usually used for less than 10 bucks, and rip from there. I just bought about a dozen vinyl LPs off eBay of groups that never made it to CD (which my kids thought were cool, sorta) and I have a buddy with a USB turntable who’ll rip them for me. Nobody tells me what I can or can’t do with the music after that.

    I have a bunch of jewel cases as a result, but that’s why there are plastic storage tubs and I have a hard backup of the digital version. Yeah, we’re anachronisms, but I’m OK with that.

  23. John,

    Vista will be HDCP compliant which is a kind of DRM. The bluray and HDDVD companies wouldn’t let their discs be used on computers otherwise. Problem is few monitiors are HDCP compliant currently. Which means any HD content will only be output at DVD quality (480p)on those monitors. This will change eventually but something for people to watch out for.

    And for those who like Apples I will never understand. For five years of Art school I was forced to use those things. Everybody kept saying how reliable they where, even when they were crashing every 10 mins. And what the hell’s is Apple’s hang up with not having two mouse buttons? I think most people’s love of Macs is people just like to be different. (Which is fine but your not going to get me to buy a Mac.)

  24. Pain,

    I never understood the people who rage against Microsoft’s monopolistic practices and then go out and buy an Apple. Apple, at least in my experience, is the most propriatary monopolistic company in the world. Nothing they make ever plays well with anyone else’s hardware or software. Try downloading music from I-tunes on a non-apple Mp3 player sometime. As bad as Microsoft is, it would have been ten times worse, had Apple ever achieved the kind of market dominance Microsoft did.

  25. Make that a minority of 2. I don’t bother with silly DRM’d downloads. I buy the CD, usually used for less than 10 bucks, and rip from there.

    Hug a class action lawyer today, then.

  26. And for those who like Apples I will never understand.

    Well, let me fill you in. I bought my first mac (a macbook) a few months ago and am extremely happy. First, I am running both Windows and OSX at the same time. It’s not some dual boot, but a real time virtualization. I have a window open, just like any other program, that has my complete Windows XP desktop running. If I want I can make it full screen and it looks like I am only running XP. If I can’t run something in one I change to the other. I can drag and drop files between the two, copy, paste, anything. For a right click I just put two fingers on my trackpad instead of just one. OSX is built around a unix operating system which is very nice for folks like me who interface with unix and linux computers. It can be done with Windows, but isn’t nearly as nice and convenient. And the hardware is great. It was expensive, but the quality is superb. With one computer I have it all; *nix, ‘mac os’, and Windows. It really is a powerful, flexible combination. In the next release of the Parallels virtualization software I won’t even need a XP desktop. It will just place my Windows ‘startbar’ somewhere on my OSX desktop and run all of my Windows programs as if they were native OSX programs.

  27. Hug a class action lawyer today, then.

    Eww. Why?

  28. For the record. I like Macs. The worst decision I ever made was to replace my aging Mac with a windows machine.

    What I loved about Apple was that everything worked, and worked right away. I made three major hardware upgrades to my Mac and installed countless software. I never had to read a manual or call tech support for any of it. just click to install.

    My Gateway OTOH has been one endless headache. Everything I do to it requires a week to work the bugs out afterwards. That, and every other year or so it crashes so often I need to reinstall the OS (another week to get it all back in shape).

  29. Now that apple will run windows and OSX, I have a hard time not buying one. Why they didn’t do that years ago is beyond me.

  30. I could never buy an Apple. I’m just not that smug.

    I keed, I keed.

    But seriously, my long exposure to the Apple party faithful has done more to put me off of Apple than anything Microsoft could ever do.

    OSX is purdy, but my hand-rolled XP machine does everything I need it to do, without any problems.

  31. What I loved about Apple was that everything worked, and worked right away.

    Well, that hasn’t been my experience. I’ve had just as many hangs, crashes, and forced reboots as my XP desktop, which isn’t a lot really. One of my labmates who just scored a job at one of the national super-computing centers has been trying to get his new macbook pro to connect to our university’s secure network for weeks. This guy single-handedly built and maintains our group’s resident supercomputer but can’t get his laptop to reliably connect to a network. Not exactly the out the box and just working meme apple likes to push. Mine works, though. And I love it.

    But seriously, my long exposure to the Apple party faithful has done more to put me off of Apple than anything Microsoft could ever do.

    Amen. I hate that unshaven self important hipster in the apple v. pc ads. I paid extra for the black model hoping to avoid association with the apple cult.

  32. The Vista link doesn’t work, does anyone know what exactly Microsoft does have planned for Vista regarding content?

    Here’s a nice explanation of what is in store. Pay particular attention to the Executive Executive Summary.

    For those who note the absurdity of DRM in the Digital Age, John Perry Barlow lays it down nicely.

  33. If they brick everyone’s DVD players, I’m betting on a class action lawsuit.

    Lay down win. And what Sony would lose in the lawsuit would be a pittance of their loss of credibility, goodwill, and market share.

  34. Everybody kept saying how reliable they where, even when they were crashing every 10 mins.

    I bought my first Mac last April and it hasn’t crashed once.

    Nothing they make ever plays well with anyone else’s hardware or software.

    That’s why it “just works” (usually).

    Try downloading music from I-tunes on a non-apple Mp3 player sometime.

    Why would you bother when the Windows world has several other services devoted to it already? (Napster et al.) Nobody’s forcing you to use iTunes.

    And what the hell’s is Apple’s hang up with not having two mouse buttons?

    Dunno. The mouse that came with my Mac has two buttons. And a little scroll knob.

    Anyway, I’m hardly a Mac “snob” – I’ve always used Windows and still do at work, BUT after almost a year of owning one I’m coming to appreciate Apple’s methods. I’m also glad they’re not dominant like Windows – if they were they would probably let everything slide like MS has (six years to develop Vista and after dropping most of its innovative features it’s little more than an XP service pack with some ugly eye candy — no thanks).

  35. Why are libertarians so pro-property rights until it comes to the property I create? Geez of all places, I would think that I as a content creator (a minor one, but still…) I would have friends here.

  36. Blee–Why do you think we want to steal it? Should a shop owner assume that every patron is a thief?

    I just don’t want to deal with the silly restrictions of DRM’d music so that I can legally enjoy it how I see fit and not have to worry about who is looking over my shoulder.

  37. Why are libertarians so pro-property rights until it comes to the property I create?

    Say I own an apple tree. That tree bears fruit, but only of a limited quantity. Each time I sell an apple, I have less to sell. I can only satisfy some [small portion] of the demand for apples.

    Now say I write and record a song about apples. Each copy of the recording (or each artist that performs my song) does not reduce my supply. And I am able to satisfy all of the potential demand for my lovely little song.

    Property rights are important to scarce and exlusive-use things. That covers a lot of ground, but it does not fit well with things that are neither scarce (except under artificial terms) nor non-exclusive.

    Attempting to force content into the confines of property makes about as much sense as viewing the economy as a zero sum game.

  38. What about the property rights of the consumer of what you’ve created? Don’t they have the right to fair use? Don’t they have the right to do whatever they want with the 0’s and 1’s on their computer? DRM and Trusted Computing are dangerous because not only could corporations control what you can and cannot do on your hardware, but they hand over a little backdoor to the government, too.

    The truth is if you don’t treat your customers like criminals and explain why it’s important for them to support you they’ll buy a lot more of what you have to offer and help get the word out.

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