Sony BMG – still tossers

You’d think that I’d know better but I’ve unwittingly managed to “infect” a Windows 2000 PC with some unwanted software from those nice people at Settec.

I bought the Kasabian eponymous album over the weekend, and very good it is too. Unfortunately I wanted to play this through the PC that was available to me at the time. There’s no stereo and so the PC with speakers plus iTunes is the best method of playing my legally purchased compact discs. When the disc was inserted it installed, without my consent, a program that seemed to call itself “aplayer” and turns out to be some proprietary audio player come copy protection software called Alpha Player.

This software is designed to protect the CD from being ripped or cloned, presumably by ensuring that it is played only through the proprietary player rather than through my preferred media player of choice, in this case iTunes. It couldn’t prevent it on this occasion because I wouldn’t allow the PC to reboot but why the hell should I be dictated how I play my music? If I wanted to add this album into the iTunes collection I’d actually have to either rip it by some other method or illegally download the album from some p2p network, when in fact it shouldn’t be bloody necessary to have to break the sodding law to do that.

I was able to rip it as the PC hadn’t, and still hasn’t, rebooted but I’m now worried as to the effect this program has had on this installation. Seeing as the now infamous rootkit has caused Sony so much bad press recently has this CD done something similar here? It isn’t a US copy of the disk so I’m hoping that there’s no rootkit involved, but I do have this Alpha Player lumped on this PC which I would rather not be there.

Bollocks to you Sony BMG. Perhaps the reason why people are ripping albums rather than buying them legitimately is because you put so many obstacles in the way of people trying to play legally purchased music. Rather than wasting money on preventative measures that are easily circumvented why not just reduce the cost of the products so that people are more likely to buy the bloody things in the first place. People won’t pay the full cost of an album as it stands, this is a large reason why album sales have been falling. Piracy has always been a problem – charging too much for music is a bigger issue than people copying, you profit-chasing, artist-plundering wankers.

Luckily my Linux machine is unaffected by your lunacy.

One thought on “Sony BMG – still tossers

  1. I think the ‘alpha player’ is easily removed, it’s just a small application to allow you to play the substandard compressed tracks that are also on the CD. If it’s the same ‘Copy Controlled’ system I recently encountered on the Gorillaz ‘Demon Days’ CD, they’re wasting their time as, even under Windoze Nero 6 can see both sessions on the CD, and you can do as you will with it. Not that I’d EVER try to circumvent a copy protection system of course, that would be illegal. I sent the last copy protected CD I got back to CD-Wow ( they sent me a postage paid return envelope when I complained ), and asked them why they didn’t state that the CD was copy protected. They said that the record companies are ” very reluctant” to state which CD are copy protected.
    I’d make my displeasure known at the record shop and the record company, the more people complain the better

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