Thursday, Jun 05, 2003
So I've been thinking (always a dangerous sign). With Apple's new Music Store, they enforce digital rights management (DRM) by apparently encrypting the songs they download to you with a key to ensure that only a computer registered to you can listen to the music. Other bloggers have verified that the actual content portion of the song is changed, not just some identifying header, having purchased the same song under two IDs and otherwise identical conditions, and finding no similarity to the data within the song files, though they play identically.
Under Apple's digital rights management scheme (which, by the way, for all the evils of DRM, is the least evil I've seen), an Apple Music Store customer can play their purchased music on a Mac that has been linked to their account, and at any time up to three macs can be so linked. At the same time, any song from the Apple Music Store can be played on any iPod, which brings me to my thought: How does the iPod get around the DRM?
What I mean to say is, if the song file is protected, presumably through some sort of encryption, so that only computers in possession of a decryption key linked to the user's account can decrypt a song, how are the iPods exempt?
It seems to me that there are four possible solutions:
With a little time and two Apple Music Store accounts, it should be easy to tell which of these systems is being used (unless it's something other than the possibilities above). I might do it if I have the time in the next week or so, but I'm really just more curious than anything else. I don't feel the need to go around trying to break Apple's DRM and be a new EFF poster child fighting the DMCA.
For now my main hope is that TiVo sends out an update for its Home Media Option so that it can play my Apple-bought music, especially since Apple's courting independent labels today, and many more cool bands could be in the store in the next couple months.
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