18 August 2005

DRM: We are not amused

I had my first encounter with DRM, and it wasn't pretty.

DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a way of putting controls on digital media (MP3 music files, most notably) to restrict its use.

Cindy and I went to Del Taco the other day, and I idly pulled off my peel-and-win sticker. I won a free download of one song!

After a couple of days I got around to claiming my prize. After a couple of small hassles (confusion about where to get the song, and having to give my email address) I downloaded the song of my choice. Yay!

I double-clicked the song in my MP3 directory. Windows Media Player came up. I don't like WMP and try not to use it. So I closed it and opened WinAmp.

The file was not playable in WinAmp. But, but but . . . I got the song legally - I won the right to have the song (not quite as good an argument as 'I paid good money for it!', but hey, I won the right to have it!) but I can't play it the way I want to? My song? On my computer?

*sigh* Whatever . . . it WAS free . . . so load WMP and try again.

"Downloading License"

Uhhh . . . license for what? I won the song . . . I picked out the song I wanted, and you let me download it. I need a license for WHAT? For my song? On my computer?

Windows Media Hassler connects to Internet to download the license (whatever that is) and . . Cannot Reach Network.

What do you need a network for? I want to hear my song.

Click on Internet Explorer. Google (the start page) comes right up. Clear out Windows Media Nazi and try to load my song again . . .

Cannot reach network. *I* can reach the network. But WMN can't.


It was three more days before I got my song. The song I can only play using the player it tells me to. The song I can't play on any computer except this one.

This is why I don't buy music downloads.

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