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Microsoft

Zune DRM Cracked 232

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-took-a-bit-longer-than-epected dept.
An anonymous reader noted that Zune Scene is reporting that the Zune DRM has been cracked with software now available that strips the DRM from Zune Marketplace tracks and those shared with WiFi.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Zune DRM Cracked

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  • And yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The One and Only (691315) * <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:01AM (#19867251) Homepage
    No one cares. Breaking AACS, iTunes, or even CSS was a big (albeit inevitable) deal, but I suspect most of us just shrug this story off for one simple reason--Microsoft, with its ill-thought-out strategy of expanding into every conceivable market at once, at whim, and with no controlling strategy has made itself an irrelevant bit player in multiple markets.
  • by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:14AM (#19867405)
    In a word, No.

    The problem with DRM, in a nutshell, is that you ultimately have to provide the keys for accessing the content to the end user. All DRM, no matter how it's designed, is at the most basic level just security through obscurity. Since decryption keys have to be provided to the end user it's just a matter of time before one of the (potentially) millions of users worldwide manages to find those keys and figure out how to make use of them. Companies spend more and more on trying to restrict access to those keys, and now to revoke compromised keys (think AACS), but even that's a losing battle. Companies spend tons of money and some teenaged hacker in Russia still manages to crack the encryption fairly quickly. It's a no-win battle for the companies. They just haven't admitted defeat yet.
  • Re:Alright! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordKaT (619540) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:16AM (#19867417) Homepage Journal
    I swear to god, it's impossible to tell a fucking joke to a geek.
  • Re:And yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AusIV (950840) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:26AM (#19867523)
    This strikes me as somewhat different than breaking AACS, FairPlay, or CSS. If you bought something restricted by one of those formats, it's plausible you want to remove the DRM so you can play it on a platform that is technically capable of playing it, and restricted solely by the DRM. You've paid for the media, and you want to play it on another platform.


    The difference with the Zune's DRM is that it effectively allows music "rentals" through WiFi sharing. People can "squirt" each other a song then remove the DRM, effectively getting the song for free. Not much different than pirating off of p2p networks, but it does mean Microsoft has created an incredibly effective piracy device.

    For the rest, I agree. Microsoft has tried to over expand, making itself irrelevant in quite a few markets. In the process, they've half-assed their position in their original market, alienating a lot of customers. I've had several more technical friends switch to Linux, and less technical friends switch to Macs in the time since MS has started focusing more on running everything than making a solid OS. Microsoft needs to seriously reconsider their priorities if they want to avoid becoming irrelevant in all of their markets.

  • oh no! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by friedman101 (618627) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:35AM (#19867621)
    DRM exists entirely for the protection of the RIAA, not Microsoft. This will only increase the popularity of the Zune. An mp3 player that can share files over wifi with no restrictions, sign me up. I can't see Microsoft being too proactive about locking down the DRM again.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:36AM (#19867639) Homepage

    I don't think so. That may have been the case when 10.0 or 10.1 came out, but at this point Macs are more common. Combined with the perception of security (and the Apple ads touting such), the Mac is a very nice target. If someone was able to make a good Mac virus that didn't require security authentication or other such things, they could get a lot of press (and probably a very easy shot at a good position in computer security). I'm sure there are plenty of people trying.

    The Zune took so long because most people don't care. The average consumer doesn't care (or doesn't know that they should), and they bought an iPod anyway. The average techie (who does care) either bought an iPod, or probably doesn't buy DRMed music. Doing this is an interesting challenge, but it doesn't have the motivation behind it of cracking the DRM on the largest selling player and music store.

    The market share thing for OS X is a myth. It's not perfect, but it is more secure by design than XP (Vista was supposed to improve that, I don't know how good a job it really did, I haven't looked). The Zune just wasn't a very temping target, so this took a while.

  • Re:And yet... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EMeta (860558) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @10:43AM (#19867699)
    "...since MS has started focusing more on running everything than making a solid OS."

    What is this magical, mystical time period you're talking about where making a solid OS was a successful MS priority? '99-'02? Hadn't they already started with the branching then? (e.g., MSN?)

  • by DarkJC (810888) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @11:04AM (#19867895)
    All that effort to make a post and you didn't even bother making it semi-useful by including a link..
  • Re:Beyond Me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @11:44AM (#19868217) Homepage
    you are incorrect. It's the consensus here that the Zune is a great piece of hardware. everyone agrees it has a fantastic screen awesome power and is overall a incredible device.....

    that was turned into a turd by the software that it runs. They took the decent software inside and then shoved DRM in by the heaploads. Making it a turd.

    That makes it the horribly piece of junk.

    Once it's cracked and a 3rd party firmware can be installed to run it, I'll be buying 2 or more of them. In it's current DRM and windows Locked state, nobody wants it.

    Microsoft catered so hard to the RIAA and MPAA organized crime families that they ruined the product.

    it's like the microsoft keyboards, they are actually awesome, but nobody would own one if they refused to type words or phrases that were on a banned list.

  • by jelle (14827) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @02:05PM (#19869517) Homepage
    Actually, it might even increase sales, which all goes to show how DRM isn't good for hardware sales.

    Since DRM is about selling the customer _less_, how is it a surprise that DRM isn't good for sales?

  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @02:13PM (#19869575)
    Shoot. I liked mine better then the iPod's at the time it was released.

    Not really sure why anyone would total diss it other then hype/marketing/backlash/etc.. It's not like iTunes was a DRM free happy land when the Zune was launched either.
    Interface was no worse then iPOD (seriously, I'd love to see someone that has actually used both try and claim the interface sucked or was somehow worse), storage for the price point was the same, Zune had bigger screen which was a feature I wanted since I use it for carrying around photos and listening to the radio as much as MP3's.

    It was a decent product, sales have been so-so but nothing special. But it just gets too much flask IMO because it's MS and not Apple.
    Hell, apple could probably launch a $600 phone with virtually no 3rd party apps and that can't even send pictures in text messages and people would probably buy it.
  • by macslut (724441) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @04:37PM (#19870719)
    You say that as if the iPod has been updated since the Zune came out. It hasn't. All that's really changed is that the Zune has dropped to almost $50 less than the 30GB iPod and people still aren't buying it. The Zune may have a bigger screen, but the iPod has a *better* screen. Of course the iPhone has an even better/bigger screen, but sticking with the iPod/Zune comparison, the interface for the Zune does suck compared to the iPod. Sorry, but a fake scroll-wheel doesn't cut it. It's even worse when you compare it to the full system (meaning desktop software).
  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Sunday July 15, 2007 @05:01PM (#19870863)
    I didn't say it as anything has changed.
    And seriously. You opinion on the interface was very convincing. It sucks because it sucks. What does it actually do worse.
    If you pick the thing up you can navigate through songs/albums/artists/media/etc very quickly and easily. Hence, it doesn't suck.
    Everyone's going to have a preference (though 90% of the ones I'm going to read about the zune I can rightfully dismiss as people that have no clue what their talking about). But I've yet to see the race between zune and iPod users finding music or using the device in other ways.
    Oh yeah, and the better screen. I guess the specs are arguable. But "better" in most cases is subjective. Never had a problem with my screen, and bigger is better on a device of similar size. It's easier for people to see pics of my dog/cat/wife/car/whatever on the zune then it would be on a comparable iPod. In fact, I really wanted to Zen Vision W, but it was just a tad too big to be carried around.

    But I know I know. Apple is great, MS sucks. Your statements were very thought out.
  • by funkdancer (582069) <funkyNO@SPAMfunkdancer.com> on Sunday July 15, 2007 @07:15PM (#19871803)
    After nearly losing it (!!!) over trying to get my wife's Nano updated with new songs under Vista, Redchair's Anapod explorer dropping the synch every so often, I just decided it wasn't worth the agony and the stress. The whole situation just really started to get under my skin.

    So went out and bought two 4gb Samsung K3s. Beautiful piece of hardware, and as long as you stay away from the included software, completely DRM free. Synchs beautifully with WMP, which will convert my lossless CD rips to 192kbps versions. Or I could just drop suitable WMA or MP3 files straight into the folder structure.

    [angry rant]
    Not having to stress out battling the proprietary DRM solutions in Apple's players will give me a longer life, I'm sure. So yeah, just f*#k DRM, give me players I can just use like I want any day. As long as I'm not allowed to use legitimately purchased music any way I see fit, you'll never see me pay $$$ for downloads. As long as CD can still be ripped, I'll continue buying those - and copying to my car, HTPC, work PC, home PC and portable players as I bloody well see fit. I paid for my music, now let me use it. Anyway, when it is so much easier to just torrent an album than get set up with a commercial DRM provider, they really are kidding themselves about how they're dealing with the whole piracy issue.
    [/angry rant]

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