Note to Apple – DRM gets in the way of my adoption of innovation

Hey, Apple – I like iTunes – it’s an elegant user interface, it works on both my Macs and Windows boxes, the Music Store has a good selection and is nicely integrated with the software, I like the fact that you can write scripts and Automator actions using iTunes. BUT – Your DRM is getting … Continue reading “Note to Apple – DRM gets in the way of my adoption of innovation”

Hey, Apple –

I like iTunes – it’s an elegant user interface, it works on both my Macs and Windows boxes, the Music Store has a good selection and is nicely integrated with the software, I like the fact that you can write scripts and Automator actions using iTunes.

BUT –

Your DRM is getting in my way. My personal way. This is not about abstract rights. It’s about the ways I want to use my music after I purchase it from your store.

It’s also not about wanting to share music over peer-to-peer networks. I don’t want to do that. I *don’t* do that.

But I use other devices that aren’t made by Apple. I use a Squeezebox to stream music to my home stereo. I am on the verge of ordering an Olive Musica. I will probably convert at least one of my Windows machines to Ubuntu soon. And none of those environments can play music as it comes from the iTunes Music Store.

Up until recently this hasn’t been a problem, as I’ve been able to use JHymn to strip the copy protection off the files. Yeah, it’s been a hassle to have to go through the extra step of doing the stripping every time I purchase music from iTunes, so in some sense it probably has had the effect of limiting my purchasing.

But now JHymn doesn’t work on the new iTunes version (6.0 and above) at all. Luckily I thought to check first before upgrading iTunes on my machines. If I cared about getting video content from the iTunes Music Store this would probably be a serious drawback. But I’m really not interested in video – just the music.

I don’t know enough of the details to know what made JHymn break with this new upgrade – but I suspect it’s not accidental.

So the ultimate deterrence to innovation here is that I’m not upgrading iTunes from version 5 until I can either get JHymn to work or Apple provides me the equivalent functionality. So come on, Apple – show some real leadership here!

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