14 March 2003
One to a customer
The parcel from HMV.com arrived this week, and surprises lay within. Most delightful of these was the complete absence of those irritating top-mounted title strips that never quite peel off the jewel box. (The Canadians have more sense about this, eh?) More offputting was the discovery, inside one of those jewel boxes, of an actual copy-protected disc.
On my desktop, Windows Media Player kicks in when presented with an audio CD, unless something else is set to autorun. (This is the case with so-called "enhanced" CDs that contain extraneous stuff of variable interest.) On Davnet by Damhnait Doyle, that "something else" is a little player utility that claims a bitrate about a third of what would be considered acceptable for ripping. The disc directory structure looks nothing like that of a proper audio CD.
I didn't have any particular plans to copy this disc, but I don't much enjoy having a red flag waved in my face either. And anyway, the history of copy-protection tells me that no scheme remains unbreakable for more than a few moments. So the major issue here is "Does it work properly elsewhere?" It plays in the car just fine. My JBL Harmony complained in spots, but then it's finicky; it's occasionally had difficulties with mundane Time-Life discs.
I suppose the next step is to report this to Fat Chuck's, and to grumble when called upon.