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Old 09-04-2011, 01:26 PM   #1
David Marseilles
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Message from your ebook retailer, from the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rhapsody Team
Important information about your downloaded music

Greetings! We're passionate about making sure our members get all the music you love, as much as you want, everywhere you are. This is a friendly reminder that, in just over 30 days, Rhapsody/RealNetworks will no longer re-license certain music files you purchased before July 2008.
Got this in my email today. It's not my first "we're deactivating your property, you're welcome!" message I've gotten. And apparently, it won't be my last. Because despite living in a world where music can be profitably sold in an open and non-DRM format, books can not.

Real should offer me mp3s at full quality to replace my .raxs, but they are not. Instead, they expect me to convert the file, burn it to CD, then convert it again back to mp3. That first step can only be done with their software, and I'm convinced they've rigged it to ensure the worst possible quality, because while I'm no audiophile, the fuzz that results after these the conversion make the music completely unlistenable.

Maybe Amazon, B&N and Adobe partners will be more friendly to consumers when, inevitably, ebooks lose their DRM. But we shouldn't have to hope our property won't be damaged in the transition, or have to trust anyone else to ensure we'll continue to hold on to what we paid for, nor should we have to face legal uncertainty in exercising self-help to free content on our own. Nor should there be additional steps after handing over our money to keep what we've paid for.

Apparently however, knowing our history does not save us from repeating it. DRM is dead, long live DRM. For whatever it's worth, this has been a public service message... from the future!
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:42 PM   #2
kennyc
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That's ridiculous
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:37 PM   #3
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The Future



We're from the future Charlie!
Your books are imperiled!
DRM schemes have orphaned your data!
The end is nigh!
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:48 PM   #4
RainingLemur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Marseilles View Post
I'm convinced they've rigged it to ensure the worst possible quality, because while I'm no audiophile, the fuzz that results after these the conversion make the music completely unlistenable.
This is one reason I wont use Rhapsody anymore. We tried it out on recommendation from one of my coworkers/friends...but quickly dumped it because the sound quality was doo-doo.
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Old 09-04-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
ucfgrad93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phogg View Post

We're from the future Charlie!
Your books are imperiled!
DRM schemes have orphaned your data!
The end is nigh!
Karma for you, good sir or madam!
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Old 09-05-2011, 02:44 AM   #6
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Hey, remember me why i began buying music online only when no-drm mp3 showed up.

As to e-books, inept is my friend
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Marseilles View Post
Real should offer me mp3s at full quality to replace my .raxs, but they are not. Instead, they expect me to convert the file, burn it to CD, then convert it again back to mp3. That first step can only be done with their software, and I'm convinced they've rigged it to ensure the worst possible quality, because while I'm no audiophile, the fuzz that results after these the conversion make the music completely unlistenable.
Assuming it doesn't sound like fuzz when you play it normally, you could record it with Total Recorder instead. But I wouldn't try encoding it to mp3 after that because it would sound awful. Realmedia and mp3 are both lossy formats and they discard different frequencies. So if you transcode from one to the other you will be losing twice as many frequencies. To keep the same quality as the Realmedia you would need to leave them as wavs (or use flac).
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Old 09-05-2011, 07:22 AM   #8
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Once again it's confirmed that there is no such a thing as "buying" DRM'd content...
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:07 AM   #9
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I saw this with Walmart digital music, then Yahoo! Music, as well as Napster - in these cases, they either left the music subscription business or went out of business. And with Rhapsody, they've stopped supporting RAX. In a lot of cases, "burning to CD" was recommended to avoid the loss of playback before their license servers went down.

What's the pattern, here? DRM. It, by it's very nature, makes content consumption limited in usage. Think you're safe with Amazon or Apple? I doubt it. Maybe 10 years, maybe even 20 - but I doubt that ebook you bought today will be readable when you're old and gray, more likely the license servers will have been shutdown and / or the company has gone out of business, or out of that particular business.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:32 AM   #10
rkomar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roebeet View Post
What's the pattern, here? DRM. It, by it's very nature, makes content consumption limited in usage. Think you're safe with Amazon or Apple? I doubt it. Maybe 10 years, maybe even 20 - but I doubt that ebook you bought today will be readable when you're old and gray, more likely the license servers will have been shutdown and / or the company has gone out of business, or out of that particular business.
Or the service of maintaining those old licenses (which costs without bringing in any revenue) will be "sold" to a shell company that can shut down the servers without making the original vendor look so bad.

DRM is more about removing the competition from already purchased goods than it is about removing piracy.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:42 AM   #11
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For what it's worth, Barnes & Noble has slowly letting its proprietary eReader format die (i.e., dropping support of it in all of their ereaders except the first one, phasing out support of the Fictionwise/eReader apps), without offering to convert them to ePub. If you bought it from Barnes & Noble, it's converted to ePub (encrypted in the eReader algorithm DRM), but if you bought it from their Fictionwise/eReader subsidiaries, too bad. In some cases, you haven't been able to download the books since 4/1/2010.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Marseilles View Post
Got this in my email today. It's not my first "we're deactivating your property, you're welcome!" message I've gotten. And apparently, it won't be my last. Because despite living in a world where music can be profitably sold in an open and non-DRM format, books can not.

Real should offer me mp3s at full quality to replace my .raxs, but they are not. Instead, they expect me to convert the file, burn it to CD, then convert it again back to mp3. That first step can only be done with their software, and I'm convinced they've rigged it to ensure the worst possible quality, because while I'm no audiophile, the fuzz that results after these the conversion make the music completely unlistenable.

Maybe Amazon, B&N and Adobe partners will be more friendly to consumers when, inevitably, ebooks lose their DRM. But we shouldn't have to hope our property won't be damaged in the transition, or have to trust anyone else to ensure we'll continue to hold on to what we paid for, nor should we have to face legal uncertainty in exercising self-help to free content on our own. Nor should there be additional steps after handing over our money to keep what we've paid for.

Apparently however, knowing our history does not save us from repeating it. DRM is dead, long live DRM. For whatever it's worth, this has been a public service message... from the future!
The great thing about the B&N DRM is that after downloading a book you do not need an DRM server anymore. The encryption is completely enclosed within the ebook file. Even if B&N would not exist anymore, you would still be able to read your books with any device or program supporting the DRM.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geertm View Post
The great thing about the B&N DRM is that after downloading a book you do not need an DRM server anymore. The encryption is completely enclosed within the ebook file. Even if B&N would not exist anymore, you would still be able to read your books with any device or program supporting the DRM.
That's also true of Amazon's DRM. However, if B&N or Amazon went out of business (or decided to stop supporting that particular form of DRM), there would be no way to get a new device or application that would be able to read your books.

According to bgalbrecht earlier in the thread, this has already happened with B&N's Fictionwise/eReader subsidiaries.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:20 AM   #14
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Which reminds me, I need to recode my Audible books...
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:47 AM   #15
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Am I understanding this correctly...you bought the song from them, but now after a certain time the song will no longer work?
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