iZune?

February 14, 2007

Ha ha ha.

The Zune-phone? Will it wrap your text messages in DRM so that they expire after three days? I think I can hear Steve Jobs laughing his arse off.

As much as it amuses me to see Microsoft playing a game of catchup with the Apple brand, I don’t think that more market penetration for Microsoft is really what the world needs.

From the article:

source close to Microsoft tells Next the software giant is also involved in an imminent “massive announcement” on digital rights management.

Oh oh. That should be interesting.

But how can you take this stuff seriously when the author has this to say about DRM:

DRM is used by the music industry to control music piracy by preventing music files being copied. But the side effect is to tie music buyers to particular hardware or software.

Huh? iTunes allows for very simple conversion of your personally imported library between Apple formats and generic mp3, and has simple workarounds for protected purchased music files. It is only the WMV format that causes problems.

I would have thought that more serious DRM issues would be thing like when it infringes on your rights to music you have purchased legally, such as preventing playback on different devices (the “one version for your computer, one version for your phone, one version for your portable music player etc. ad infinitum” model), or degradation of quality when not payed back via approved connections (cough-cough-vista-cough), or even when it is installed without your knowledge and leaves your computer vulnerable to exploitation.

I understand that record companies still need to make money from their products, but the advent of digital music formats and decent audio compression has changed the whole paradigm. Using DRM in an attempt to cling to their old business model has them in a losing war of attrition, and they are making everyone involved miserable in the process.

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