DRM Marketing WTF: Zune and PlayForSure



  • Gizmodo says Microsoft is changing the marketing logo of its PlayForSure so that now it says "Certified for Windows Vista" and nothing more:

    So... Before today, we had two DRM platforms from Microsoft: Zune and PlayForSure which were mutually incompatible! Now today we have Zune on the one hand and... "Certified for Windows Vista" on the other? As a commenter puts it on Gizmodo, if iTunes works with Vista, then wouldn't "Certified for Vista" imply that some audio player would work with iTunes? Come to think of it, WTF is the consumer supposed to think when they see it?

    Personally, I've only ever bought a handful of DRM-encumbered tracks (iTunes) and I only did it when I knew I had cracking tools right at hand. Now with the Amazon MP3 store and others coming, I'll probably never buy DRMed media again.

    Anyone got any fun DRM-related horror stories?



  • FISRT!!11!one 

    DRM on the whole is a pointless exercise at the moment.  i've found it's more difficult and cumbersome to get the DRMed music than obtain it illegally and DRM free.  So until getting legal mp3's is as easy or easier than the free alternative no one will do it.



  • @element[0] said:

    FISRT!!11!one 

    DRM on the whole is a pointless exercise at the moment.  i've found it's more difficult and cumbersome to get the DRMed music than obtain it illegally and DRM free.  So until getting legal mp3's is as easy or easier than the free alternative no one will do it.


    DRM on music is essentially broken unless you prevent them from being able to play music period. The ease of which you can setup a hardware or software recording system makes DRM useless. ThinkGeek has this device that lers you plug in your record player to rip the soundtracks off of it, it will automatically make new files when it hears a long enough paiuse, you can plug an ipod into it as well. Haven't actually confirmed this yet as it is a gift for my mother (whom I will have to install the software and set it up for her).



  • Well, I haven't had the "joy" of needing to fiddle around with DRM encoded music. I do have a significant amount of MP3s (around 80GB) on my computers hard disk and on my MP3 player -- most of which is my own CDs, LPs, MDs and cassette tapes, that I collected over the last 30 years. Digitizing those things was quite an effort on its own. The rest is ripped CDs from friends of mine, some is even legally payed MP3 downloads.

    All I know is that never will there be a DRM encoded file on my hard disks! never ever. I don't want to run the risk of not being able to play my music anymore because the supplier went out of business, or because some subscription ran out, or because I switch computers and/or players, or because the player software manufacturer feels like it.



  • Not a horror story:

    My brother, when he was in school, got a subscription for Cdigix from his school.  I guess they were tired of their students get music illegally for free, so they let them get DRM music legally for free, and in higher quantities.  Of course we downloaded a combined 26,000 DRM songs, used a handy recorder (perfectly legal tunebite) and got 26,000 non-DRM songs.  I could have kept downloading, but they cut off that service for his school.  The service used the wma DRM. 



  • @belgariontheking said:

    I could have kept downloading, but they cut off that service for his school.

    I have always found it amusing how these services are only provided so long as nobody uses them. 



  • DRM is the most B.S. thing invented.

    Basically its the equivelent of me going to the grocery store and getting a plastic bag for my groceries.
    I take it home and try to use that same bag as a trash bag. My garbage can says "sorry but you are only licensed to carry groceries in that bag once from Suppermarket X, this bag will self-destruct now".

    Regarding microsoft "playsforsure", first of all WTF is that, I still have no idea what PlaysForSure is except that its something to do with DRM...? Now "Vista compatible?" its just a way to get the Vista buzz word out there. See microsoft can't sell vista caz it sucks donkey balls so they need a marketing ploy to get people to say vista in a positive light for a change.
     



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Not a horror story:

    My brother, when he was in school, got a subscription for Cdigix from his school.  I guess they were tired of their students get music illegally for free, so they let them get DRM music legally for free, and in higher quantities.  Of course we downloaded a combined 26,000 DRM songs, used a handy recorder (perfectly legal tunebite) and got 26,000 non-DRM songs.  I could have kept downloading, but they cut off that service for his school.  The service used the wma DRM. 

     

    Sweetness, but tunebite is not legal to use :(, but you won't get tracked using it. Its like the cable boxes who claim to legally rip-off cable, its theft of service, not tampering with the box thats illegal in that case.
     



  • @TheRider said:

    All I know is that never will there be a DRM encoded file on my hard disks! never ever.

    You obviously don't buy games from big publishers then. In all technicality pretty much every game since 1990 is DRM'ed somehow.



  • I use Walmart.com to purchase tracks, but I really hate that I have to burn an audio CD, then rip it back to MP3 in order to have portable tracks (such as in the car). This is especially a problem at home because my two OEM DVD burners aren't recognized by Microsoft products as burners (both Explorer and Media Player think they are regular drives). Nero doesn't have a problem with the drives, but obviously it can't burn DRM-protected WMA tracks.

    I'm going to give Tunebite a try. I have a right to listen to my legally purchased tracks in the car!



  • @dlikhten said:

    DRM is the most B.S. thing invented.

    Basically its the equivelent of me going to the grocery store and getting a plastic bag for my groceries.
    I take it home and try to use that same bag as a trash bag. My garbage can says "sorry but you are only licensed to carry groceries in that bag once from Suppermarket X, this bag will self-destruct now".

    Regarding microsoft "playsforsure", first of all WTF is that, I still have no idea what PlaysForSure is except that its something to do with DRM...? Now "Vista compatible?" its just a way to get the Vista buzz word out there. See microsoft can't sell vista caz it sucks donkey balls so they need a marketing ploy to get people to say vista in a positive light for a change.

    I love your grocery bag analogy.

    Also, Associating Vista with DRM is supposed to help Vista?  Someone at MS didn't think this through. 

    Reminds me of an exchange from the Clerks cartoon between Leonardo Leonardo (LL) and his robot publicist, Plug.

    LL: He's been a thorn in my side long enough.  Have him killed.

    Plug:  Sir, I'm a publicist.

    LL:  Then kill him with bad publicity

    Plug:  There's no such thing, sir. 



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    I use Walmart.com to purchase tracks, but I really hate that I have to burn an audio CD, then rip it back to MP3 in order to have portable tracks (such as in the car). This is especially a problem at home because my two OEM DVD burners aren't recognized by Microsoft products as burners (both Explorer and Media Player think they are regular drives). Nero doesn't have a problem with the drives, but obviously it can't burn DRM-protected WMA tracks.

     

    Make sure the IMAPI CD-ROM service is not disabled. 



  • @dlikhten said:

    Sweetness, but tunebite is not legal to use :(, but you won't get tracked using it. Its like the cable boxes who claim to legally rip-off cable, its theft of service, not tampering with the box thats illegal in that case.

    Well..... yes and no. "Copyright Protection Circumvention" is illegal under copyright law in the U.S. -- however making a recording of a copy protected work that is played legally to be used under the rights of Fair Use isn't. It's this gray line of sorts.



  • @Brendan Kidwell said:

    As a commenter puts it on Gizmodo, if
    iTunes works with Vista, then wouldn't "Certified for Vista" imply that
    some audio player would work with iTunes?

    No, that's a
    logical fallacy.  If all blackbirds are black, and all blackbirds
    are birds, that doesn't mean that some blackbirds are white just
    because some birds are white. Similarly, if "some audio player" works
    with Vista, and iTunes works with Vista, that doesn't mean that "some
    audio player" works with vista, because works-with is not a transitive
    relationship. 

    Or to phrase it in more familiar terms, you
    can get down off an elephant, and you can get down off a duck, but that
    doesn't imply you can get an elephant off a duck. 

    Or to put it yet another way, I seen a house-fly, and I even seen a horse-fly, but I aint never seen a house-horse.

     



  • Wait, you mean there are people who aren't nerds and can actually identify a logical fallacy? Honestly though, people tend to not understand the fact that different things come from different companies. I would not be surprised if someone uses iTunes to buy something to play on their zune and it doesn't work. People do not understand file formats. Why the hell do people use file format extensions like .mp3? .music, .document, .text, would make it allot easier to manage, or just use mime types (they tend to me mostly human readable).</rant>



  • @Pygon said:

    @dlikhten said:

    Sweetness, but tunebite is not legal to use :(, but you won't get tracked using it. Its like the cable boxes who claim to legally rip-off cable, its theft of service, not tampering with the box thats illegal in that case.

    Well..... yes and no. "Copyright Protection Circumvention" is illegal under copyright law in the U.S. -- however making a recording of a copy protected work that is played legally to be used under the rights of Fair Use isn't. It's this gray line of sorts.

    Yeh, it's really down to a matter of what jurisdiction you are in and what the rules about fair use / fair dealing are within that jurisdiction.  But the real WTF is this bit:

    @http://tunebite.com/en/remove_drm/index.html said:

    Tunebite: The DRM killer – A legal license to convert 

    Instead of illegally defeating copy-protection measures, Tunebite uses an innovative, technically optimized process that records original files as they play and legally saves the recordings in unprotected digital formats.

    That's the most marketing-bullshit-filled way of saying "Plug one tape deck into the other, then press play on one and play+record on the other" I've ever heard!  <hurls>



  • Pretty much -- but it IS legal, depending.

     The bigger WTF is the fact that places like iTunes/etc. aren't selling you a copy of the song even if they may market that way. The biggest thing is, that if you actually owned your copy, even DRM protected, you can legally re-sell that copy at any price you like and they would HAVE to transfer the DRM license to the person you sold it to. They get around this by writing their agreements as though they are a pay-per-view type service--you are actually purchasing the right to LISTEN to the song on your computer, not the song itself.



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @dlikhten said:

    DRM is the most B.S. thing invented.

    Basically its the equivelent of me going to the grocery store and getting a plastic bag for my groceries.
    I take it home and try to use that same bag as a trash bag. My garbage can says "sorry but you are only licensed to carry groceries in that bag once from Suppermarket X, this bag will self-destruct now".

    Regarding microsoft "playsforsure", first of all WTF is that, I still have no idea what PlaysForSure is except that its something to do with DRM...? Now "Vista compatible?" its just a way to get the Vista buzz word out there. See microsoft can't sell vista caz it sucks donkey balls so they need a marketing ploy to get people to say vista in a positive light for a change.

    I love your grocery bag analogy.

    Also, Associating Vista with DRM is supposed to help Vista?  Someone at MS didn't think this through. 

    Reminds me of an exchange from the Clerks cartoon between Leonardo Leonardo (LL) and his robot publicist, Plug.

    LL: He's been a thorn in my side long enough.  Have him killed.

    Plug:  Sir, I'm a publicist.

    LL:  Then kill him with bad publicity

    Plug:  There's no such thing, sir. 

     

    TY, i love analogies. They can give physical manifestations to logical things. Helpful when most people you know don't know any more than "theres an on-button on the computer, it makes windows appear! Windows is so cool, i can click and open up notepad!" 



  • @dlikhten said:

    Regarding microsoft "playsforsure", first of all WTF is that, I still have no idea what PlaysForSure is except that its something to do with DRM...?
    PlaysForSure is one of MS's DRM technologies, IIRC used by Windows media player. Name was obviously chosen to make it appear as if DRM won't hurt you - except that MS's own Zune player shows how surely it plays (hint: it doesn't, Zune has it's own, incompatible DRM).



  • @ender said:

    PlaysForSure is one of MS's DRM technologies, IIRC used by Windows media player. Name was obviously chosen to make it appear as if DRM won't hurt you - except that MS's own Zune player shows how surely it plays (hint: it doesn't, Zune has it's own, incompatible DRM).

    Wow, I always thought that it was a set of protocols that, if the file you have is one of these technologies, MS will guarantee that it plays.  

    Speaking of MS marketing, has anyone else noticed that everything MS does (for developers) is referred to as a "service."  "Reporting services" allows you to create reports.  However, you must first write a stored procedure in TSQL.  You must do this for each individual report you want to write.  Once you've done that, you're provided with the "service" of turning that into a report.   



  • @Lingerance said:

    Wait, you mean there are people who aren't nerds and can actually identify a logical fallacy?

    Philosophers. Who did you think invented the concept? Mathematicians wouldn't see a need to distinguish between various kinds of wrongness, since wrong things are not relevant to them.



  • I would consider any person who studies a specific science to be a nerd. Philosophy is a science of sorts.



  • @ender said:

    @dlikhten said:
    Regarding microsoft "playsforsure", first of all WTF is that, I still have no idea what PlaysForSure is except that its something to do with DRM...?
    PlaysForSure is one of MS's DRM technologies, IIRC used by Windows media player. Name was obviously chosen to make it appear as if DRM won't hurt you - except that MS's own Zune player shows how surely it plays (hint: it doesn't, Zune has it's own, incompatible DRM).

    No, PlaysForSure is a hardware and software standard designed by Microsoft that (in theory) allows any PlaysForSure media player to connect to any PlaysForSure music store and download files that it can play. Yes, there is a DRM standard involved, but the main marketing point is the compatibility between players and stores. The Zune does not and has never claimed to be PlaysForSure compatible.



  • @asuffield said:
    Mathematicians wouldn't see a need to distinguish between various kinds of wrongness, since wrong things are not relevant to them.

    Only half true. Mathematicians might not distinguish between various kinds of wrongness, but wrongs are certainly relevant. Take the implication operator, for instance. If the premise is false, the implication is true regardless of the conclusion.


  • @Carnildo said:

    Yes, there is a DRM standard involved, but the main marketing point is the compatibility between players and stores. The Zune does not and has never claimed to be PlaysForSure compatible.


    PlaysForSure is still a Microsoft pushed standard. It is embarassing that music from these stores "PlaysForSure," except on Microsoft's own device. They may never have claimed that it would, but the decision not to was unexpected.



  • @Lingerance said:

    DRM on music is essentially broken unless you prevent them from being able to play music period.

    As long as they let you burn an audio CD you don't even need to resort to that.

    Does Microsoft offer DRM that won't let you make an audio CD? 



  • @Licky Lindsay said:

    Does Microsoft offer DRM that won't let you make an audio CD?


    Yes. There are "options" in the DRM that tell how many times it can be burned, etc. I don't know who has it set to none, but I'm sure someone either does or has thought about it.



  • @Lingerance said:

    @element[0] said:
    DRM on the whole is a pointless exercise at the moment.  i've found it's more difficult and cumbersome to get the DRMed music than obtain it illegally and DRM free.  So until getting legal mp3's is as easy or easier than the free alternative no one will do it.

    DRM on music is essentially broken unless you prevent them from being able to play music period.

    Your idea intrigues me, I think I might be able to make a perfectly secure universal DRM system based on it.  It works on all file formats (ebooks, music, video, games, other programs, porn, whatever else that sequence of ones and zeros might represent).  Here's the Linux port:

    $ cat drm_encode

    #!/bin/bash

    dd if=/dev/urandom of=$1.drm count=$(du -sb $1 | cut -f1) bs=1
    #EOF

    That should do.  Now I just need to patent and market it.   



  • @phaedrus said:

    [Your idea intrigues me, I think I might be able to make a perfectly secure universal DRM system based on it.  It works on all file formats (ebooks, music, video, games, other programs, porn, whatever else that sequence of ones and zeros might represent).  Here's the Linux port:

    $ cat drm_encode

    #!/bin/bash

    dd if=/dev/urandom of=$1.drm count=$(du -sb $1 | cut -f1) bs=1
    #EOF

    That should do.  Now I just need to patent and market it.   

    Vista is probably prior art. 



  • @SuperousOxide said:

    @Carnildo said:
    Yes, there is a DRM standard involved, but the main marketing point is the compatibility between players and stores. The Zune does not and has never claimed to be PlaysForSure compatible.


    PlaysForSure is still a Microsoft pushed standard. It is embarassing that music from these stores "PlaysForSure," except on Microsoft's own device. They may never have claimed that it would, but the decision not to was unexpected.

    It's fully intentional. Once upon a time, MS though "Let's create a standard based on our technologies, and let anyone make a player supporting "PlaysForSure", and anyone sell music online that "PlaysForSure". And it was good (well, OKish), but nobody made a decent online store,

    Then MS looked at Apple, and saw iTunes, incompatible with any player except iPod. And MS decided to copy Apple, and create their own music store, incompatible with any player except Zune, thus copying Apple's closed  marketplace, and screwing over those who had supported PlaysForSure, since it SureWon'tPlay on Zune


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