FairUse4WM, will anyone learn this time?
If URGE+Zune doesn't fail for being more of the same, it will fail for URGE's clumsy interface (check out the 14-day trial to see for yourself). But in a smaller way, it will fail because Microsoft is fumbling with their DRM technology once again.
It looks like the cat is finally out of the bag on FairUse4WM, the latest user-friendly tool for stripping Windows DRM from protected WMAs. A month ago, I was fortunate enough to get to test it out before it was released into the wild. The idea of taking an unlimited song subscription for all it's worth should have been more exciting this time around, but I can honestly report a lack of enthusiasm after that first song was successfully stripped of DRM. Don't get me wrong, Vid Endtia has done some amazing work here. Cracking a DRM scheme and implementing your work into an app anyone can use is no small task. Maybe the fact that we've been here before is partly to blame.
But even more so, I was unenthusiastic about the whole thing because I can do better than millions of DRM-stripped WMAs each available to me almost instantly. I can get a -V0 VBR MP3 rip or lossless FLAC rip of any album in the MusicNet library, and well beyond that, just as quickly. USENET. Private BitTorrent trackers. I'll note that people gladly shell out money for them in the form of Usenet subscriptions and private tracker donations, because they offer what people want. They blow old-P2P out of the water, and they offer more than any legal digital music store. But how can any law-abiding company expect to compete with:
- Music available before the official release date, sometimes months in advance
- DRM-free MP3s or lossless FLACs that many labels still have not agreed to distribute
In the current copyright climate, they can't.
28 Aug 06 | +Permalink+ | Comments (0)