The End of the Winamp DRM Loophole

Look at the Winamp version history and you will see a key update that was claimed to have happened a week ago, but didn't until now:

Winamp 5.08e:
* Updated Windows Media DRM License

Going back to check your current players, you will see that they no longer play Windows Media. This was truly the only way AOL/Nullsoft could completely prevent people from continuing to use their player for mischief; by getting a new Windows Media DRM License and expiring their old one. The good news for AOL: they've done all they can do. This is no longer on their heads. The good news for you: there is still a much better solution.

In other news, AllOfMp3 is finally seeing some real investigation. If you have some money in your account, you'll probably want to use it up. Its only a matter of time until Big Music finally stomps them out.

23 Feb 05 | +Permalink+ | Comments (11) | TrackBack (1)

Let the pixel fontsplosion begin!

BitFontMaker(via kottke) is a site that lets you design a 10px by 10px Pixel font and export it to a TrueType font. This is the greatest thing since spiced meat! I know there are already a lot of killer pixel fonts out there, but now... well... there'll be a whole lot more.

Aw hell lets take this opportunity to look at some amazing pixel jockeys.

Those lovable K10k dudes
The minipops guys who spawned the K10k crew's mini pixel love
Eboy who is in no way related to K10k
and it took me forever to dig up this last one...
Trevor Van Meter! (thank you so much for finding it for me ryan)

Speaking of kottke, now I know where you got that slick nav font...

22 Feb 05 | +Permalink+ | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Burning through Napster's collection, free, Part 3

Part 1 | Part 2

Whether or not AOL succeeds in blocking Winamp's "music-copying feature", a faster way to get the job done has surfaced.

A program called Virtuosa makes no distinction between DRMed files and non DRMed files when converting to other formats. It can convert an entire protected WMA to WAV in just a few seconds and encode to MP3 in just a few more, depending on the speed of your computer (Try the "re-recording the music as it plays" argument now!). The after your trial, the full version costs $40, so if you want the best free solution, Winamp + Output Stacker is still where it's at.

1. Download and install Virtuosa 5.0 Trial
15.0 MB / 15,361 KB / 15729497 bytes
MD5 Hash: 3EC9A443BA2EADDA370C0C7BA845A647

2. If you want to convert to MP3: Download the LAME 3.97a7 encoder and put the "lame_enc.dll" in your Virtuosa\Plugins\MpgL3 folder replacing the one that is already there. This new version of the LAME encoder greatly speeds up the MP3 encoding process.

3. Load downloaded Napster protected WMAs into Virtuosa

4. Select all of your files in the "Music and Movie Database" and go to File>Convert To

5. In the "File Format Conversion" window:
a. Choose an output format (MP3, WAV, WMA)
b. Choose an output directory
c. Click the check mark

6. Burn WAVs to CD with your favorite burning program or enjoy your MP3s

[Update: As of March 14, 2005, the method described here no longer works.
As of March 22, 2005, there is a new solution in Part 4]

18 Feb 05 | +Permalink+ | Comments (638) | TrackBack (3)

Burning through Napster's collection, free, Part 2

Follow-up to Burning through Napster's collection, free:

New key developments:

-If you use the "Out-lame" Winamp plugin in the Output Stacker in place of "Out-disk", you can convert straight to MP3. It still encodes no faster than realtime, but this is a great way to conserve space. WAV(Out-disk) is still recommended if you are burning CDs and want to keep as much quality as possible. I can confirm that this all works.

-You can run multiple instances of Winamp at once, each converting its own song. Each instance's playback will not interfere with any of the others, illustrating the fact that this is not simply recording the music off of your soundcard. Doing this, you can get FAR MORE than 252 full 80 minute CDs within 14 days. I can confirm that this works.

You can transcode(MP3) or decode(WAV) X albums in the time it takes for the longest track on the album to elapse. And since you're not limited to only tracks from one album at a time, you can trans/decode as many tracks as instances of Winamp your computer will run limited only by your computer's resources.

Quote from Napster's official statement:
"It would take 10 hours to convert 10 hours of music in this manner."

With the updated methods, you can convert 100 hours or 1,000 hours or 10,000 hours of music in 10 hours. The only limit is your computing resources.

**Attention! This method no longer works! Read The End of the Winamp DRM Loophole. Then check out Part 3**

16 Feb 05 | +Permalink+ | Comments (58) | TrackBack (3)

Clearing up a few things with the Napster article

Original article: Burning through Napster's collection, free

This is partly in response to this CNN Money article and partly in response to comments I've seen across the net.

-This had been successfully tested through Winamp version 5.08d [Edit: And continued to work until the day 5.08e and the new DRM license was released. This specific method is now dead. ]

-This doesn't just apply to Napster-to-Go. It applys to both Napster subscription plans. I don't know how that rumor got started. Napster-to-Go subscription offers unlimited streaming, downloading, and copying to a digital music device for $15/month. The regular Napster subscription offers unlimited streaming and downloading for $10/month. The tip works for both.

-WMA to WAV won't lose quality, and it is not the same as recording out of your sound card. This never leaves the software realm. You can, however, lose quality if you encode the WAVs back to a lossy format like MP3.

15 Feb 05 | +Permalink+ | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)

The digg effect, new design, IE users rejoice!

[2,000 Unique visitors]
A few days ago(2/12/2005) the Burning through Napster's collection, free post was digged.

In addition to bringing me tons of visitors, the digg exposure also got me linked on a bunch of sites, such as uneasysilence, crapulent,,, mac360, geekcast podcast,, and a bunch of forums.

With all of this exposure, there was no doubt that I'd be alienating a lot of users, as my older design didn't render properly in IE. Not only did it not work right; it redirected IE users to a page telling them to upgrade their browser to something better. ;)
Looking at the traffic from the last couple of days, it turns out only a little over 20% of all users tried to visit this blog from IE, with the majority using Firefox. But now that twenty percent can join in on the fun. This is a brand new design that looks identical in Firefox and IE. The index page of the old design can be seen here.
You can now access this blog from both and

[10,000 Uniques]
The Napster thing was just posted on BoingBoing. So it goes back up on, and needless to say I've more than doubled the traffic I got from digg. I'll update the graph at the end of the day when it is craziest.

[20,000 Uniques]
Gizmodo, Airbag, The Republica, J-Walk Blog,, FrostyPalace

[40,000 Uniques]
Engadget, Heavy, MonkeyFilter, GearLive, StereoGum...

[50,000 Uniques]
And now we're at the highest profile sites, who all have chosen to credit only big sites like Boing Boing and Engadget who linked to me.
Google News, CNN Money, Reuters, Houston Chronicle

[60,000 Uniques]
CNET, Australian IT

[70,000 Uniques]
The Inquirer, Billboard RadioMonitor, The Register, LA Times, Hack a Day

[80,000, 90,000, 100,000, and beyond...]

Part 2 is on digg now so I guess its only a matter of time until the cycle starts again to a lesser extent.

14 Feb 05 | +Permalink+ | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Burning through Napster's collection, free

At the request of Napster's legal department, I have taken down this page. For those of you looking for this method, please know it has not worked in over a year. If you still must see it I suggest

4 Feb 05 | +Permalink+ | Comments (227) | TrackBack (26)