Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×
Media (Apple)

Journal Journal: The Demon Inside iTunes

Well, I had my first negative experience with the DRM hiding inside of iTunes, and when it's bad, it's real bad. I've been using iTunes + iPod for over two years and had no trouble up until now, and it really has been a great experience.

That all changed with a simple BIOS update to my motherboard. Apparently iTunes is using that version identifier to help it determine if a system is authorized to play the music that I've supposedly already "purchased". I say "purchased" since it's now apparent to me that Apple is maintaining far too much control over this for my liking, and at best I'm only renting or licensing the ability to play certain music from them. When I buy something it should be mine to do with as I please, not subject to usage restrictions imposed by corporate America.

In any case, after flashing the BIOS, iTunes de-authorized my computer along with my entire library of purchased songs. And here's where I get really irritated -- my iPod was plugged into my computer, and upon the next launch of iTunes, completely unbeknownst to me, this malware promptly DELETES all of the supposedly un-authorized music from my iPod. Music which I had legally purchased, legally loaded onto my iPod, and music which I am still legally allowed to play. All of this happened without so much as a notification or warning of any kind.

Compounding the issue is that I was flashing the BIOS prior to a re-install of my OS, and I didn't discover what had happened until the middle of that process, when I naturally wanted to crank some tunes on the iPod. So now my iPod is effectively dead until the OS re-install completes, I re-install iTunes, "re-authorize" my already authorized computer, and then plug in the iPod and transfer my entire library back onto it. This is sheer, utter, absolute nonsense.

The worst of it is that it's technically trivial, although time-intensive, for me to convert all of my music to DRM-free formats. I'm planning to do this now simply to avoid any further troubles with Apple stealing my legal purchases away from me again. So, thanks Apple, you've done absolutely nothing to stop the dedicated copyright infringers, and caused a paying customer hours of headaches in the process. I won't be making any more iTunes purchases for some time. What will it take to get rid of this worthless DRM garbage once and for all?

Slashdot Top Deals

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray