Asus Transformer Prime update: Google video rental or unlocked bootloader, you choose

Asus has responded to demands for an unlocked bootloader for its its latest Transformer Prime tablet.

It turns out that DRM is the culprit – at least, that is what Asus says on its Facebook page:

Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers’ requirement for DRM

…continue reading Asus Transformer Prime update: Google video rental or unlocked bootloader, you choose

DRM-protected epub a good buy?

Someone considering a Sony Reader from Waterstones (a UK bookseller) asked me what I thought.

I haven’t tried the Sony Reader yet – it would be an interesting thing to review and I’ve heard good reports of its usability and readability. The snag for me would be that I’m already device-laden when out and about,

…continue reading DRM-protected epub a good buy?

slotMusic: you say hello, I say goodbye

A new format called slotMusic delivers music as DRM-free MP3 files on a microSD card, with a USB adaptor so you can plug it into any PC.

Hmm, not as convenient as downloads because you have to mess around with fiddly little cards.

If I want to buy music files on a physical medium I

…continue reading slotMusic: you say hello, I say goodbye

Another DRM trainwreck

A former URGE subscriber tells her story on Valleywag:

I got an email that said Urge was closing and my membership would be transferred to Rhapsody 25 … I was unable to refresh my licenses because Urge had closed … turns out, they never moved the DRM over to their servers because “they couldn’t.” Something

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At last: legal music downloads, no DRM, no lossy compression

HDtracks is offering music downloads in no-compromise AIFF or FLAC formats. Currently they are CD quality; coming soon is 96/24 FLAC which is in theory better than CD, though some argue that the benefits are inaudible. All downloads are DRM-free. If you insist, you can have MP3 instead. Prices are $1.49 per track, $11.98 per

…continue reading At last: legal music downloads, no DRM, no lossy compression

Napster crashed my PC

Oh dear. I’m writing an article on DRM and was trying out Napster. The way this works begins with installation of the Napster application. I ran setup on my Vista Business machine, and got a blue screen. Undeterred, I restarted and ran setup again. This appeared to work, although the PC demanded a restart and

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Fixing Windows Media Player after a system upgrade

A while back I upgraded my motherboard. Windows Media Player seemed fine – in fact, it works quite a bit better with the faster CPU – until today, when it started crashing shortly after starting. The faulting module was Indiv01.key.

The solution is in this thread. On Vista, what you have to do is to

…continue reading Fixing Windows Media Player after a system upgrade

Amazon launches iTunes music store competitor

Amazon’s MP3 download store has launched. Unlike the otherwise similar service from emusic.com, Amazon’s store features many of the big names that form the pop mainstream, from Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen to Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and John Lennon (but not the Beatles). There are still big gaps, but this is a significant initiative.

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Will Windows DRM spoil the BBC iPlayer party?

I am intensely interested in the BBC iPlayer, set to launch on 27 July. It’s a landmark in the convergence of the internet and broadcasting.

This is a convergence I welcome. I missed most of the Glastonbury 2007 broadcasts, but I’ve enjoyed the BBC’s watch and listen page which gives you immediate access to most

…continue reading Will Windows DRM spoil the BBC iPlayer party?

Amazon and the future of music downloads

What’s the significance of Amazon’s announced DRM-free music download store?

Amazon is a major internet property for which I have a lot of respect. It had to decide between Microsoft DRM (“Plays for Sure”) or none, and it went for the latter. I think this is the end of the road for Plays for Sure. Apparently

…continue reading Amazon and the future of music downloads