DRM Schmee-R-M


The Wife hears a hot new hiphop tune on TV and wants a copy for herself.
Given that we’re entertaining some friends later in the day, bonus points for
getting them to listen to it as well.


Ye Olde Solution:

In the good old days, this meant

  1. A
    drive down to the local music store.
  2. Buying
    the CD (or *gasp* Audio Cassette) for $12.99
  3. Scurrying
    back home and
  4. Playing
    it on The Wife’s Walkman or CD player.
  5. and for
    the Bonus Points, on the Home Stereo when guests arrive.

Total costs: 1 hour of dressing up and driving around. $12.99 for 12
songs I didn’t want and irreparable harm to the environment in CO emissions,
plastic bags and packaging material.


Bottomline: All the driving around and spending $12.99 for a CD where
you liked only a single song sucks! But atleast you now have a physical copy of
the song that you can play wherever whenever you choose, can lend to like-minded
friends, can make a copy of to play in The Car and so on… provided the CD never
gets scratched, stolen or otherwise missing.


The iModern iSolution 360

As a geek, I

  1. Fire
    up my laptop
  2. Being
    a Law-abiding RIAA-fearing citizen, choose to fire up iTunes instead of
  3. Search
    for the song
  4. Provide
    Apple with my credit card number and…
  5. 30
    seconds later, I have an .m4p (??) song on my hard disk that instantly
    syncs over USB 2.0 to The Wife’s iPod.

So far, so good… right? Except that I want the Bonus Points and now have
to figure out how to get the m4p song playing on my home theater system.
Obvious solutions like hooking the iPod up to the system through a
2.5mm->component audio cable or Physical solutions like burning the m4p onto
a CD and playing it on the DVD player are totally out of the question since they
require dealing with the ‘analog hole’.

So, I think to myself… hey, this is easy. The Xbox 360 supports iPods,
right? So, all I have to do is hook the iPod upto the Xbox and I’ll have remote
controllable, hifi audio playing through my home theater system with a visualization
playing on the TV to boot!

So, I hook the iPod upto the Xbox. The Xbox downloads the update it
needs to support the iPod and then… the song I just bought doesn’t show up in
the Xbox’s Music menu! Another song from the same band that I had earlier..err…
ripped as mp3 onto the iPod shows up. Then it finally strikes me.. Of Course… ‘protected’
music can’t be played on any device… So, I go back to the PC and google for converters
for 30 minutes before I find some app that uses the iTunes extensibility mode
to attempt decoding the song to mp3. After it sucked up 100% CPU for 20 minutes
or so without any visible (audible?) output, it gave up… and so did I


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