Friday, April 30, 2004

Yeah... um... "Features"

Apple's finally - though silently - declared war tools used to strip iTunes Music Store songs of their DRM protection. How? Well, just download anything from the iTMS using iTunes 4.5 and try to strip the DRM using a piece of software like "PlayFair" (cutting to the chase: it won't work).

What Apple's done exactly obviously isn't obvious (got that?), but they seem to have altered the FairPlay DRM to resist existing tools for stripping it. That's why iPods need a software update to play new iTMS songs (in a related story, some people are reporting problems installing the new update, and Apple is looking into it).

As a trade-off-of-sorts, iTMS songs can now be played on up to five computers (nifty!). Apple added that feature with extremely little fan fare, and remains silent about the DRM-upgrade.

Hmmm... looks like a warning shot to developers looking to get around FairPlay. Well, take note (you know who you are).

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