Sunday, August 01, 2004

Why Would I Buy A CD I Can't Rip?

I've bought every Beastie Boys album except their first, and I would like to get their latest, except for the stupid copy-controlled CD it comes on. If you haven't heard of copied controlled CDs, they don't meet all the requirements of the CD standard, and thus only work on certain players and -- for some reason I'm not totally sure of -- can't be copied or ripped into MP3s. If you're after more details, there's plenty of pages on the topic out there.

The mark of the devil (aka the copy controlled logo)

Why would technology that stops copies of the CD being made stop me from buying it? These days I have all my music on my laptop in MP3 format. It's much more convenient, and has the big advantage that you can create playlist mixes of music that run for hours and can sample from any of the albums you have. I'm too used to the convenience, and compared to it, the CD's are a pain: you first have to locate the CD case you're after; you can only listen to one CD at a time, and if you want to music to go where you go you have to take the CD; you also have put the CD in the drive when you want to listen to it, and take it out again when you're finished; and while you're listening to the music the CD drive isn't available for use for other things.

I think there's something hamfistedly barbaric about trying to deal with piracy in a way that stops you from playing the music how you want to. I know all you big record company executives read my blog, so I hope you're paying attention, (with a sneer:) y'all!

You can apparently rip these CDs with some software called Isobuster. However, according to its online help, to do this it requires the right sort of CD drive. As I understand it, the capabilities that the drive has to have don't seem to relate to specific features -- that you could look up in some documentation -- so while I might be able to find out if my drive is one of those it will work with, who knows how long that might take -- it doesn't seem to me worth the effort.

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