Real ‘frees’ Apple’s iPod player
Software firm RealNetworks says it has found a way for tunes from its store to be played on devices like Apple iPods.
Previously, the only tracks with digital protection the iPod would play were those from the iTunes store.
It says its engineers used publicly-available information in order to work out how to make files compatible with Apple’s digital rights management (DRM) software, which is called FairPlay.
What took them so long? Probably the legal review
Some details from Karl Lillevold (RealNetworks Sr. Codec Engineer):
As you know, the RealNetworks music store sells songs in 192 kbps AAC (as opposed to iTMS at 128 kbps). When transferring your purchased songs to the iPod, the AAC itself is not touched, but the Helix DRM is transmuxed to the DRM used by the iPod, i.e. fully protected and without trans-coding. If you then transfer the file back to your PC (for instance with Anapod), you get an M4P file, that is a protected MPEG-4 AAC file.
I’ve released FairKeys, a tool which lets you retrieve your FairPlay keys from Apple’s servers.
Instructions for MacOS X users:
1. Install MonoFramework-1.0.4.dmg
2. Start Terminal.app
3. curl -O ‘http://nanocrew.net/software/FairKeys-latest.tar.gz‘
4. tar -zxvf FairKeys-latest.tar.gz ; cd FairKeys-*
5. mcs -target:exe -out:”FairKeys.exe” -r:ICSharpCode.SharpZipLib.dll -r:System.Web.dll *.cs
6. mono FairKeys.exe <AppleID> <Password>
There’s an interesting post over in the hymn forums by a user calling himself laudmusic:
I work for major music publisher. We buy and convert files from ITMS as it’s cheaper than buying a whole CD from a one-stop when we need a master of a song we control.
Would love to have it AppleScriptable so I can incorporate Hymn into our creative system.
Searching for laudmusic turns up Michael Lau at Warner/Chappell.
From perennial favorites such as “Happy Birthday,” “Rhapsody In Blue,” “Winter Wonderland” and the ballads of Cole Porter to the hottest hits of recent years by such megastars as: R.E.M., Michael Jackson, Elton John, Sheryl Crow, Jewel and Madonna, Los Angeles-headquartered Warner/Chappell Music, Inc. now ranks as the premiere music publishing company in the world. Experiencing tenfold growth in revenue over the past decade, core businesses include exploitation of compositions, development of new writers and artists, licensing and printing of English and foreign language music, collection and payment of royalties on a worldwide basis, and the ongoing acquisition of music catalogs.
Did Warner/Chappell’s legal department review the iTMS TOS and come to the conclusion that it’s not worth the paper it’s, uhm, not written on?