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Copy Protected Audio CDs
Posted : 2/5/2002
(last updated 5/15/2002)

Tips for Copy Protected Audio CDs: (from the 5/15/2002 news page)
Many readers wrote in reply to the news item in yesterday's news (Cnet story on protected CDs that don't mount/won't eject in Macs) with links to several articles on work-arounds. One of the pages mentioned with tips was http://online.securityfocus.com/news/411 (titled "Marker pens, sticky tape crack music CD protection").

Apple Comments on Protected/Non-Std CD: (from the 5/14/2002 news page)
Cnet has an article dated yesterday (that I missed) titled "Apple: Play music at your own risk" that links to an Apple knowledge base article titled Mac OS: Cannot Eject Copy Protected Audio Disc, Computer Starts Up to Gray Screen. The article quotes Apple as saying that any repairs needed from playing non-standard CDs (such as these protected audio CDs) is not covered by the warranty or AppleCare.
The old tip of holding down the mouse button at powerup to eject a CD is noted as one thing to try as well as several other other suggestions. (And most drives have a manual eject hole you can use with a paperclip,etc. if all else fails.)

Universal Comments on Protected Audio CDs: Here's my email from a few weeks back telling Universal I will not buy any Audio CDs that cannot be used to rip MP3 files for use with my portable MP3 players. Their reply is also included.

    My Email
    " From: Mike
    Sent: Friday, January 18, 2002 6:55 PM
    To: umg@umusic.com
    Subject: I won't buy copy protected CDs

    I wanted to say that I will not personally buy any of your "protected" audio CDs. I have never used Napster, etc. and buy all my Audio CDs - but as an owner of several MP3 players including a $399 Apple iPOD - I refuse to buy any CD that does not allow me to transfer the files to my MP3 players for personal use.
    Mike "

Of course the problem is there may be no way to tell if the CD you're buying is protected. But I'd return any CD that was to the store for a refund.

    Their Reply
    " Mr. ,
    Thank you for sharing your perspective regarding copy protection issues in the music industry, todate UMG has only copy protected the CD "More Fast & Furious."

    It is not the intention of UMG to stop personal copying, analog copies are still possible, it is the illegal digital mass distribution of pirated copies that is the issue. As with all computer software there may be incompatibilities with some computer systems. The CD is designed to play on PCs. The current version of the copy-protection technology does not allow you to copy files from the CD into MP3 format. UMG is currently making every effort possible to upgrade our available technology to add new features and increase playability.

    This CD will play in PCs running Microsoft Windows95, Windows98, Windows2000, Windows ME, Windows XP or Windows NT 4 with Service Pack 4. We hope to include Macintosh-based playability on copy-protected discs in the future.
    MusicHelpOnline Support "

See the related links below for other info/articles - including one from TechTV noting they used an NEC DVD ROM drive to rip protected CDs to MP3s.

Reader Comments on Protected CDs: Here's the most recent reader emails on the issue of protected Audio CDs:

OS X User Comments on 'Fast and Furious' Protected Audio CD (MP3s already on CD?) I don't own this CD, but a reader sent a note about OS X and the 'More Fast and Furious' protected Audio CD:

    " Mike,
    I recently purchased the More Fast & Furious CD. It appears that the copy protection consists of corrupting the directory or some other necessary fotmatting so that computers cannot read the audio partition of the disc. There is a separate partition that when mounted on a PC gives access to a player application that seems to play the CD. This is where they screw up.
    When mounted in a Mac, the hidden directory on the partition shows up by using Norton Disk Doctor's Get More Info menu command. The directory has the full CD encoded in MP3 at 160 bit rate. Apparently, this is what the PC player accesses. These CD's should be called copy friendly! They are aleady encoded for you!
    Thanks for the Awesome site,
    he later wrote:

    I used the built in DVD ROM drive(Matshita SR-8583 ROM version C61f) in a Yikes G4 running OS X 10.1.2. The CD works the same in my Yamaha 2200ix 16x10x40 firewire CD-R drive firmware revision J. "

I don't think some older audio CD players can play MP3 files, so I assume there's also analog tracks on the CD. Note that one link below (to TechTV story) noted an NEC DVD ROM drive was able to rip tracks from a protected CD. I have had no problems ripping tracks from the Universal CD "oh Brother, where art thou" using the PB G4 (DVD ROM drive) using iTunes. (I did not realize when I bought it that some said it was a protected CD.)

" Thought this might be of interest to your readers Mike, for the news page. (see link at end)

What happens this year re: this issue will set the rules for the upcoming DECADE in the way we are allowed, or more importantly, NOT ALLOWED to use the music and movies we buy. It's ridiculous, but soon, we will have all these great technologies and nothing to use them with. It could derail the digital hub idea, and put Apple out of business entirely, all in an effort to prevent teenagers from trading music like they have been doing for decades.

And yet, I just visited a music store for the first time in years (I've been spending money on DVDs, cars and computers), and new CDs are running $19 a pop! Beyond belief. DVDs are cheaper in many cases. Yet an album takes at most a few hundred thousand dollars to produce, and a movie takes at least a few million. In addition, manufacturing a DVD is a much costlier task than making a CD, though both are CHEAPER than making a VHS or audio tape, which sell for less. Granted, movies have another source of revenue, but still. No wonder so many kids are stealing. They are being told they must have something, and then are asked to pay twice what it is worth to get it. I'm against trading MP3s as a rule, but I see where these youngsters are coming from on this issue at this point. I have an iPod, one of the greatest products introduced in the last year or two, and now I am being told that wanting to USE it is some how a criminal act?! Talk about paranoia and greed.

Anyway, here's the link.
Mike K. "

See farther down in the Related Links section for other web pages I have found from the last year on this issue also.

" Hello,
Last saturday I went to the music store to buy some CD's:

- Deep Forest - Pacifique
- Gregorian - Masters of Chant
- Gregorian - Masters of Chant Chapter II

OK, nice cd's at home and I started my beloved Mac. Turned on my Firewire Plextor Cd burner (Ripping is better then the internal Sony) and started I-tunes. I've ripped the Cd's to MP3s.

Today I started my mac in Mac OS 9 mode. Put in a CD and ..... and ..... everything freezes, but the CD rom is spinning, trying to put a CD-icon on my desktop. The Reset button was nearby and push that button, and be quick enough to eject the CD !

It was the "Gregorian - Masters of Chant Chapter II" CD. THe same happened with the Internal Sony drive and the external PLextor !. ( => Song "moment of peace" is in some hitlists)

I've turned the jewelcase of the CD and there was a little sentence on it:
" This CD cannot be played on a computer disk drive. "
(P) + (C) 2001 edel media & entertainment GmbH - EDEL records. All Rights .....

I think there's a big difference between
=> The CD will not play
or => Your system will hang !!

You can refer to this article at The Register: http://theregister.co.uk/content/archive/23736.html
What philips thinks about it .....

There is NO symbol on it that refers to a Copy Protected CD, only a very small sentence at the back bottom.

A few questions:
a) What do you think, making a CD database with names of Copy Protected CD's
[See below for links to a listing site of protected CDs, although I welcome reports on Protected CD problems on Macs and would gladly list them here.-Mike]
b) Why can I read/play/rip under Mac OS X and not under Mac OS 9
[I'd guess that's due to the driver used perhaps.-Mike]
c) What about data loss when I insert such an CD and you even don't noticed it's such an Protected CD ?
[I don't think there's any recourse for this other than legal - I'm not a lawyer and the chance of data loss I suspect is rare-Mike]

I think this is worth posting it.
With kind regards
Peter "

If any other 2002 Quicksilver owners have problems with PCI IDE cards (or SCSI cards), regardless of brand or have run this card in a 2002 Quicksilver OK, let me know your card/system/drive setup details.

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