The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

Window Media Player 11 and DRM

Last week, I mentioned a security issue in Leopard (and got a lot of response). This week I take Microsoft to task over something less severe, but a lot more annoying to me. Windows Media Player 11 and DRM (Digital Rights Management). In previous versions of WMP, there was an option to back up the licenses for any music you had bought and then restore on a new computer or after a rebuild.

For some reason that defies logic, Microsoft quietly removed the ability to back up licenses in WMP 11. That’s right…no ability to back up the licenses. So…you’ve bought 100 songs online. The licenses are safely locked away on your computer. Your hard drive crashes…or you get a new computer…or you decide to rebuild your computer. You can copy the music files over…but they won’t play without the licenses. Not exactly customer friendly. Microsoft’s “solution” to this problem? You can find it at this link. Basic gist is to re-download the licenses from where you bought the music…but oh yeah…not all stores allow you to re-download the licenses…you’re just out of luck.

I’ve got a few words for Microsoft.

DRM – Dumb. Rotten. Move.

I have been happy to see that Wal-Mart and Amazon have started to sell DRM free music…256K MP3 in Wal-Mart’s case. Not sure what level of MP3 Amazon is selling. I’ll be going there from now on. Both of them are limited to music put out by EMI or Universal. (Was going to buy some Toby Keith songs the other night, but backed off for now because they weren’t available as MP3s.) Ars Technica had a good article on this recently.

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December 6, 2007 - Posted by | music, tech

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