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(ZDNet)   ZDNET reporter apparently believes that CD copy protection works.   ( divider line
    More: Amusing  
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2360 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Aug 2001 at 6:23 AM (16 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

41 Comments     (+0 »)
2001-08-09 06:32:09 AM  
How about that.
2001-08-09 06:57:15 AM  
Vote with your money: don't buy copy protected CD's. Nobody can make you buy their stuff if it isn't up to your standards.
2001-08-09 07:19:31 AM  
The title on this one is a little misleading. I thought this was going to be another, "New copy-protection is unbreakable..." article.

I think he's kinda right when he say's what the music industry is doing now (can't make a single, fair use copy) will fail. (Or atleast I hope it will) If they can find a bulletproof way of letting people make all the personal copies they want, but no copy of copies, then I got no problem with that. The only people who would have a problem are the people who leeched off of napster.

This isn't to say that any copy-protection won't be hacked in about 3 minutes. But it will keep the majority of people honest.
2001-08-09 07:35:32 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2001-08-09 08:13:42 AM  
Step one: get a high quality soundcard.
Step Two: get a high quality CD/Audio Media Drive
Step Three: Plug Audio Media player into sound card.
Step Four: Open Your favorite .WAV encoder
Step five: Press record on computer and play on audio player
Step Six: Clean up, trim, Encode and share with the world!!!

And that's not even really high-tech, yet It's automatic copy protection breaking. This is to make a point that, somewhere along the playing of audio media, actual SOUND comes out. There is no way you can prevent a sound from being copied.

--(| psyk0mantis |)--
2001-08-09 08:14:39 AM  
Oh, and props to greenfish for geting a pic with the reporter's makeup off :)
2001-08-09 08:47:51 AM  
This guy is a loser, tool, toad, idiot, stupid, poop head.

Thank you and good night.
2001-08-09 09:00:06 AM  
can't make second generation copies? Sure. (i think is the website)

Then we can just send eachother copies of what we have *smirk*
2001-08-09 09:11:45 AM  
Jeez...Could this guy suck the RIAA's dick a little further down his throat?

2001-08-09 09:35:59 AM  
What a farking moron. Since my friend told me about audiogalaxy about 2 weeks ago, I've downloaded over 2 gigs of mp3's.
2001-08-09 09:43:12 AM  
We all know that MP3 copy-protection will last about as long as DVD copy-protection did. Remember when that came out, how everybody and thier brother said it was unbreakable. Now, the condensed code is on T-shirts. You want to get rid of copying, don't make a 45 minute CD cost $20. Hell, there's phone sex lines cheaper per minute than some music.
2001-08-09 09:43:48 AM  
Psykomantis, There is one flaw in your plan. Works fine now, the question is for how long. Win XP has "Secure Audio Path", where every driver in the chain needs to be certified, or it won't work. Wanna guess that wav encoders won't work?
2001-08-09 09:45:06 AM  
I've been in the trade press long enough to recognize an author who didn't do his homework. I can pick 'em out of a lineup, and this guy is GUILTY.
2001-08-09 09:46:26 AM  
Not to defend the fascist regime or anything, but he's right. The technology that's being produced will act sort of like Xerox machines -- you can copy the original, but copies of copies of copies (ad infinitum) will degrade in quality. However, once you have the mp3's you just write those to a CDR and if you need to make copies, you hang onto the original (or the mp3's). Doesn't make copying impossible, just a little more annoying.
2001-08-09 09:59:58 AM  
Wow, its been a long time since I've heard any reporter this clueless.

BTW, to everyone who actually agrees they're going to try to make it so you can make first generation copies but not second generation, I've got some swampland to sell you...

If you look at the history of the RIAA and the MPAA, they *don't care* about fair use. They've been doing their best to get rid of it. And now, with the DMCA, they have gotten rid of it, and prosecute people for things that constitute fair use.


Actually, even better. You get a sound card with a digital output. The digital data is sent as input to the sound card - with a digital output, you never go through analog conversion. They're actually quite common, they're used mainly to interface with high-quality stereo components.


Actually, that's truly impossible with digital data. Degradation as such only works with analog data. You can have a *mechanism* which records, under controlled conditions, whether its a copy or not, but that can be cracked or ignored easier than most copy protection mechanisms themselves.

Once data is off of their controlled devices, it can be copied at will with no degradation. Its just a simple matter of copying all of the bits. The only key is to get it off of their controlled devices which takes your typical encryption-cracking on modern devices.

-= rei =-
2001-08-09 10:23:12 AM  
Rei - As I understand the code, the software that would the "sponsered" by the RIAA (or whatever group) to make personal copies of the data would include the ability to detect copies and degrade them as necessary. Essentially, it's like the checksum that is performed by most rippers when you grab an mp3 from a CD -- any copies would have a specific bit tagged to them in the checksum so that the next time you copy them it would be degraded. I'm not sure what stops someone from using a copier that doesn't degrade the copies, but then again, I use Kazaa, so .....
2001-08-09 10:38:51 AM  

That would only affect you when you're using their (uncracked) method to get them off the device. After that, the simple copy/cp/whatever command will not change any bits in the file, so it cannot affect any checksum. I.e., it would only affect first generation files, or affect nothing at all.

-= rei =-
2001-08-09 10:49:17 AM  
Never said the process was perfect -- Personally I agree with you, Rei, just playing anti-advocate.
2001-08-09 11:33:55 AM  
"BTW, to everyone who actually agrees they're going to try to make it so you can make first generation copies but not second generation, I've got some swampland to sell you..."

Sony did this with MiniDisc, so there's precedent, at least. Anyone know what the take-up on MD is? Virtually everyone I know has one, but then we're all gadget freaks...
2001-08-09 12:00:43 PM  
If Windows doesn't allow copying, people will just boot into Linux to rip their CDs. You might even get dedicated Linux distributions for ripping purposes.
2001-08-09 12:03:25 PM  
If people applied as much passion and ingenuity to curing cancer as they do to copying cds, oh well you get the idea.
And this latest round of proposed copy protection has already been shown to be easily cracked.
No matter what the RIAA thinks, this is still just a matter of taking a bunch of 1's and 0's and manipulating them.
2001-08-09 12:17:43 PM  
Mmcoder: But if they don't label the copy-protected CDs as such, how are consumers supposed to know (before it's too late)?
2001-08-09 12:25:23 PM  
BTW, for those of you who think that having a "degrade copies" bit will work, it won't. In case you didn't know, all existing CDs have "don't copy" bits, and yes, this bit is set on 99.9% of the RIAA-affiliated CDs out there. AFAIK, not a single ripping program out there cares about this bit. They all ignore it, as they will with the "degrade copies" bit.
2001-08-09 12:42:31 PM  
My patented process of microwaving CD's makes them copy proof.
2001-08-09 04:04:03 PM  
"At least I hope this is how it will work."

ha ha ha ha ha

He sounds like one of those computer expert guys who thinks that computers work like they do on the Jetsons.
2001-08-09 04:35:26 PM  
"Step one: get a high quality soundcard.
Step Two: get a high quality CD/Audio Media Drive
Step Three: Plug Audio Media player into sound card.
Step Four: Open Your favorite .WAV encoder
Step five: Press record on computer and play on audio player
Step Six: Clean up, trim, Encode and share with the world!!! "

RIAA plan to prevent this: make playing CDs IMPOSSIBLE.
2001-08-09 04:37:42 PM  
Besides, with all the freedom restrictions with XP, i doubt it will do well. It has the MS logo on it, but MS is just as bad as the RIAA. I'm too stupid to use Linux, but I know for sure that I will not use XP at all. I'd sooner go to MAC OS X (which I probably will once XP comes out, and support for 98 ceases.. haha, like they even supported it more than 6 months into its release..).
2001-08-09 04:38:29 PM  
You see, people that like freedom and personal expression, will hate XP. Its in their genes, Timmy. In their genes....
2001-08-09 05:36:46 PM  
step one: walk into music store
step two: pick cd
step three: take to cashier
step four: let cashier scan
step five: pay cashier
step six: leave and listen to new cd

Your all poor tight cheap BAR**ARDS if you cant just buy the cd. I mean mp3 quality is shiet anyway! You cant turn it up loud without hearing that c**p in the background. And yes mp3 quality is crap dont try and argue it!
2001-08-09 05:44:02 PM  

What encoder are you using? A "clap" is not the type of artifact mp3's produce, only a defective encoder could do that. Besides, for the same size, you can hold better quality audio with an mp3 than raw - you sample at, say, 100khz instead of 44.1, with 24 bit data instead of 16, and then encode, and it'll come out better, for the same size, than an uncompressed 44.1, 16 bit audio file.

-= rei =-
2001-08-09 06:10:55 PM  
Good one Rei.

i for one cannot tell the difference between CD quality and 128 bit quality.

(okay, i can, but it has to be real loud, and even then it doesn't really matter).

and havent you listened to their arguments? most of the stuff on cds is crap, except for like 1 or 2 songs. why pay 20 bucks for that?

oh, and i would never do what you suggested. i have since abbandonned all "popular" music for cd's and music.

oh, and if all those techincal ways of copying music fails, put a mic up to the speakers. :-)
2001-08-09 06:43:11 PM  
Well..................... i meant crap not clap but thats no real come back so I'll just quietly back out of this room as I have made a terrible error in judgement.
2001-08-09 09:11:21 PM  
Stevie, you can stop being an RIAA stoolie.

OK, if I can't rip, how do I put it on a Noma, MP3man, etc.?
2001-08-09 09:17:00 PM  

You're apparently under the impression that there still is a Fair Use clause in our copyright law :P

-= rei =-
2001-08-09 10:32:21 PM  
Windows XP is going to bite itself in the ass, especially in the product activation and licensing areas.

Nazzerov: have you checked out Mandrake 8.0? You barely ever see the command line anymore, and KDE is welcoming. It's a good distro for Linux newbies.

A word to all who plan to burn copy protected CDs: get an OLD burner!! New burners (10/12x) are being mode locked and can't write subcodes or in RAW mode!

--(| psyk0mantis |)--
2001-08-09 11:54:46 PM  
RobW, the difference is that the RIAA (Sony) controls the minidisc players. They don't control computers, although I'm sure they wish they did
2001-08-10 12:26:18 AM  
Rei- I normally think that your points are very well informed, but you are very mistaken:
"Besides, for the same size, you can hold better quality audio with an mp3 than raw - you sample at, say, 100khz instead of 44.1, with 24 bit data instead of 16, and then encode, and it'll come out better, for the same size, than an uncompressed 44.1, 16 bit audio file."

- Erm, that's not actually the case. The sample rate (as in "100khz" is not going to give you much in the way of a perceived quality boost than say, 48khz. In terms of frequency response, the roll-off is around 22,000hz for 48khz recording, and around 20,000hz for 44.1khz recording. In theory, at 100khz your roll-off would be around 50,000hz, but for this to have any impact, the source material would need to have freqencies in that area- and very few things in this world do.

The 24 bit data part really depends on the dynamics of the material being recorded, and of the nature of processing that will be applied to the data. If you are actually mastering a recording that has a wide dynamic range ie classical, then 24 bits is useful, as there is a lower noise floor and greater bit depth. But most rock music doesn't benefit from this, as it usually doesn't have a dynamic range of more than 25db at the most. (ie, it hovers around the 0db digital mark on your CD, and rarely drops to less than -25dd from 0.)

Besides that, once you've got your 24 bit recording, when you do convert it to 16 bit, the dithering algorithym used is critical- any old software just won't do.

The main issue here is that a correctly recorded never compressed (which is exactly what the mp3 codec does) audio file at 44.1khz and 16 bits is always going to be "better" than the old "record it at a high rate and bump it down".

Trust me, I 've logged just about every test in the book on this stuff - I'm a mastering and recording engineer from the dark days of digital ;-)

In the end, some of us like our music as it was recorded- not pulled through a lossy compression codec.
2001-08-10 12:48:21 AM  
"You'll be able to copy your music CDs over to your MP3 player or even make a duplicate CD, but you won't be able to copy the copy. At least I hope this is how it will work.

Sounds like this guy works on the development team. "Yep, we're going to make it do this...and that... yes that too. I assure you we have... ummm... the highest... hopes, that we can make this technology work! I'm sure of it, we can hope for the best!".
If he's not working on the project, he sure as hell sounds like he belongs in marketing.

Plus, he talks like he's mister 'leet h4x0r' because he can throw an article up on the internet. His thinking must be along the lines of, if I can't rip it... it sure as hell CAN NOT be done by you or anyone else!
What a moron.
2001-08-10 12:50:46 AM  
It probably DOES work. It's just that bypassing it also works.
2001-08-10 10:31:11 AM  
Err, you can't say that a lossy compression format creates better quality sound.

Rei = Idiot.
2001-08-10 11:16:17 AM  

Your logic has a gaping hole in it.

Which would be higher quality, a 44.1 khz audio file, or a 50khz audio file? Obviously, the 50khz audio file. But, you could losslessly compress the 50khz audio file down to the size of the 44.1. So, which would be better, the uncompressed 44.1khz audio file, or the losslessly compressed 50khz audio file? Obviously, the 50khz audio file.

Now, using an mp3-style compression, you could compress a *incredible* quality audio file down to the size of the uncompressed 44.1khz audio file, in the same way you can compress a 44.1khz audio file down to a meg per minute. The compressed *incredible* quality audio file won't be as high quality as the uncompressed *incredible* quality audio file, but it will far outstrip the 44.1khz audio file.

If you can't understand this, you have some *serious* problems. And watch yourself before you insult someone.

-= rei =-
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