“If you’re a customer of Apple’s iTunes digital music store, you will eventually reach that point of no return where you’re basically committed for life to Apple’s DRM scheme known as Fairplay [sic]. What this means is that you’ve contributed to ensuring Apple’s legacy because the only digital music players that will play the music you’ve purchased are the ones that include Apple’s Fairplay — a technology that Apple not only controls, but licenses to third parties on a very selective basis. Today, outside of Apple’s iPods and its Windows and Mac-compatible iTunes software, the recently announced iTunes-compatible Motorola Rokr phone is the only non-Apple product I know of that’s capable of playing iTunes store-bought songs,” David Berlind blogs for ZDNet.
“Whether your a high end audiophile like me, or just want to take your digital entertainment to go, the state of the state is producing an untenable situation for digital content buyers. In my case, DRM-wrapped digital content is entirely defeating the elegance of having the centralized whole-home entertainment system that I’m trying to put in. Instead of having a single digital content server to serve up all my music and movies, regardless of where I buy them from, I need special extenders like docks so that something Fairplay-compliant like an iPod can be connected to the whole system and “browsed” as a separate source of audio. Uh, that wasn’t the idea folks,” Berlind blogs.
Berlind continues blogging here.
Ensuring Apple’s legacy? Where do we sign up? Oops, we already did, .Mac membership give us an Apple account for purchasing iTMS content. Two quick points: Besides iPods and Macs and Windows PCs, iTunes Music Store customers can burn as many custom CDs as they wish, so nobody’s “committed for life to Apple’s DRM scheme known as FairPlay.” Secondly, “high-end audiophiles” generally don’t buy compressed 128kbps music files. They buy vinyl or CDs and use something like Apple Lossless for CD-quality audio in about half the storage space. You can thank the music labels, not Apple, for the existence of DRM, without which they’d never have signed onto the iTunes Music Store. Would it be nice to have DRM-free music sold online that nobody would download without first paying the artists (and the labels)? Sure. It it going to happen? No.
Apple’s vs. Microsoft’s music DRM: whose solution supports more users? – August 17, 2005
Apple’s roadkill whine in unison: ‘incompatibility is slowing growth of digital music’ – August 13, 2005
The New Zealand Herald serves up a steaming pile of iPod FUD – August 11, 2005
Apple’s iPod and iTunes competitors continue whining about FairPlay – February 07, 2005
The de facto standard for legal digital online music files: Apple’s protected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4p) – December 15, 2004