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October 5th, 2005

It’s Illegal to Listen to CDs

The other day I got a CD in the mail. When I put it into my computer, autorun kicked in and I was asked to agree to some sort of EULA. As usual, I paid no attention and figured it had something to do with CD-ROM content. Turns out, I was actually agreeing to not be able to listen to my CD the way I wanted to.

See, the CD had MediaMax copy protection on it. And once I agreed to the end user license, I was able to only listen to the CD through their own proprietary player or rip it to “secure” WMA (no MP3s!). When I tried to listen to it with QCD, it was choppy and garbled.

This pissed me off. Greatly. The company that makes MediaMax tries to make their system look like it’s the bee’s knees because it doesn’t hamper you from playing the CD the way you want to and, *gasp*, even lets you make digital copies! They’re so nice!

But they’re not, really.

After reading through the Princeton link above, I saw that if I had autorun turned off or held down SHIFT to prevent autorun from starting on that disc, I would have been fine (real secure, Sunncomm). But now the stupid software and licenses were on my machine and there’s no way to remove them. Fortunately, there is a way to disable them (also mentioned in the Princeton link in section 3). So, I disabled it and ripped the songs to MP3 format.

Now, I’m not going to go share these MP3 files with the world. They’re not even shared on the network. All I wanted to do was have my own copy of these songs, in my selected format, to listen to them. And I had to jump through hoops not just to rip the CD, but to listen to it. Absurd and asinine. If the record industry keeps up with crap like this, they will totally and completely alienate their customers.

Plus, after all that, the CD sucked.

Posted in Miscellaneous

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