Posts Tagged ‘DRM’

Another Bad Review for Zune

Just read this post at iTWire called Why consumers are angry with Microsoft over Zune where he describes his experience with the Zune MP3 player from Microsoft, the Zune marketplace software installation he had trouble with because he was using Firefox and goes on to describe why he thinks consumers are angry with Microsoft over the Zune. I say he thinks because he just references himself, so I don’t think he is talking for a group of people.

The first time I tried to download the Zune software, it wouldn’t let me even though my system met the Zune software standards – Win XP SP2, a processor that runs at least at 1.5GHz, memory of at least….hang on what is this nonsense anyway!? I got none of this minimum hardware requirements rubbish when I installed iTunes 7, which installed without hitch in exactly five minutes.

Of course he is comparing 1st generation to 7th generation software, if you go by the version alone, I didn’t do any searching to confirm it, but I remember problem reports with iTunes when it first came out. But you would think Microsoft would try to convert everything they find using the PlaysForSure DRM that windows media player uses, its common courtesy. So, this is not a good comparison, even though Microsoft should’ve had it more polished to start with, being that this has already been done well somewhere else.

The point of all this is that Microsoft seems to have taken the one major thing that consumers don’t like about iPod and iTunes – the DRM restricted closed system – and ignored all the good things. Instead of presenting Joe and Jane consumer with a viable alternative to iPod, Microsoft Zune has given consumers a poorer imitation of the same. That’s why consumers are angry and Zune players, despite massive publicity are still sitting on store shelves.

This is definitely closer to the truth. But I wouldn’t pay for a first generation anything, if I wasn’t getting a Zune from somewhere for free, I would not end up with one for probably a couple years anyway. Heck, I think I bought my first iPod a little over a year ago, so, I really haven’t been any early adopter of much, although that is changing.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 27, 2006 at 4:11 am

Categories: Gadgets, Microsoft News, Reviews   Tags: , , ,

First Zune Hacks Released

I’ve posted before, Share a Song with Zune and Get Credit Back and iPod the Pong of Digital Music, about the Zune DRM and how it will probably be cracked soon after release, well, this isn’t a crack, but someone has developed a complicated hack to bypass the DRM, and while this is pretty much the same thing as copying a file to a USB drive and then to another computer, this just shows you how quickly something will probably be coming. How hard would it be to write a little program that does this for you? Not to hard I don’t think, and while Microsoft could probably fix this easily in a future update, would they really want to?

How great would it be to have an MP3 player that can send other MP3 players songs without restrictions? I think that would be a popular MP3 player, and if Microsoft has tried to create the Zune to block such sharing, with their DRM, they have tried right? This could definitely help Microsoft get a jump in market share, it’s not their fault these Zune Hacks have been released.

Now, I’m not saying they are up to anything, I’m just trying to come up with a reason for Microsoft to not block such hacks, or at least not for awhile, and in an update that we don’t have to load, so we could choose not to block that hack, etc.

Anyway, this started as a way to use the Zune as a portable hard drive, and then all they had to do was bypass the DRM, and they did that by renaming file extensions on the music files to jpg, transferring with at least one actual jpeg file to another Zune and renaming to the actual extension again. There’s already one program created to make it easier to do, check the Zune Boards with the tutorial there once you sign up to the board. This was also posted at Gizmodo here and here and at Zune Scene.

The Zune can be used to store and transfer various file formats such as zip files, PDF files and word documents. No Zune hardware or software changes are required at all. This technique will not bypass any DRM on any protected files.

Instructions are included below. The Zune device will appear in “My Computer” and visual access to files is available. Please make these registry modifications at your own risk to your PC. Source: Zune Scene.

Zune tips or Zune hacks, whatever you want to call this one, there will be more on the way.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 26, 2006 at 6:37 am

Categories: Gadgets   Tags: , , , , ,

Consumers Will Pirate Because of DRM Frustration

Last week at the Digital Home Developers Conference Brad Hunt, the MPAA’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said that piracy is the inevitable outcome of our inability to provide a simple, inter-compatible and non-intrusive DRM solution. Consumers will pirate content if it’s easier, especially if it’s easier sharing it in their home, this is a proven fact, make it hard for consumers and they will move to the easiest option, downloading from the internet and using pirated copies.

“At a time when entertainment devices such as high-definition DVD players, media center PCs, IPTV set top boxes and digital media adapters are being introduced in the marketplace with increasing frequency, it is imperative that controls be in place to curb illegal duplication of copyrighted content,” Hunt said.

Hunt also recited a now familiar statistic.

“I think it is really important to realize that virtually all of the major [movie] studios earn most of their income from content enjoyed in the home,” he said. “In 2005, theater revenue made up only 15.7 percent of total studio profits, while home video entertainment was around 47.1 percent.” Source: Yahoo

I doubt they will ever make a good, non intrusive DRM solution, but hopefully they will be able to make all of them interact so we have less troubles over all. Of course not all of piracy is caused by DRM problems, some I would say is because they wait so long to release DVD’s, etc, if people want it now, they will try to get it now, and if the only solution is piracy, well, it doesn’t make it right, but it will make more people inclined to do it.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 17, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Categories: Piracy   Tags: , ,

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