So, from a music shop I bought a Nightwish CD Century Child,
and on the case were the words "Limited Special Edition".
Paying no attention to the curious fact that the store did not carry
any non-limited versions of the CD, I paid up and left the store.
Sidestory : It is said that only the "limited" edition carries
the heinous plague described futher down this document of despair,
but it is unconfirmed by me. This claim, combined with the other claim
that most CD stores only carry the "limited" one, makes me uncomfortable
just thinking about how many potential disappointed customers there are..
And besides, how limited is this "limited" edition? Limited to how many copies,
twenty million, perhaps? One should always remember that every edition
is always a "limited" one, for there's only a finite quantity of each, neh?
Back to the main story.
And now, at home, I turned on my PC and the amps hooked up to the PC,
flicked in the CD and..
And the CD drive didn't recognize the piece of plastic as anything,
much less the latest redbook experience from the sensational
Finnish progressive symphonic gothic fantasy speed rock metal band Nightwish.
So I ejected it, and tried again. Again. Again..
Nope, it does not work.
"WTF, did I pick up a bad CD from the store or something?"
For a while I even thought that maybe the intense heat in the car affected
the CD somehow and corrupted it or something - stupid me.
Finally, I picked up an old CD player machine, and tried out the CD.
And oh, it works perfectly. Just, y'know, not on my PC,
the primary sound system of my abode.
So, I had heard of copy protections being tried out on redbook audio,
so maybe this is something like that? And maybe someone in the 'net has
the same problemo, and yes indeed, it's some kind of a new copy protection.
A copy protection, the main function of which is to not play on CD drives?
That's what they say. And until someone comes along to correct my belief, I'll assume
that someone actually thought that it counts as a proper copy protection
when you completely block people with PCs from using the CDs in any shape, manner or form.
That makes me incapable of listening to my newest investment
in an ideal sound environment, and that, friends and foes, does suck.
Apparently, the idea of "copy protection" did translate
to some people as "Let's fuck everyone who plays their CDs on their PCs over!"
and they also want me to take it up the ass.
Well, some brainiac figured that the acceptable, great
"substitute" for the PC people is the fact that they can download the LP from
the official website, and they quite went out of their way to make this appear
a great, nice, wonderful idea! Okay, as if this wasn't well shitty enough
(There's no way in hell I'll start downloading music from the Internet),
there's a nice catch: You need to download some kind of a program and install
it to be able to get the music from the 'net. Sounds like a pr0n site scheme, doesn't it?
Ahem. If I knew something about pr0n sites, that is..
Anyway, the program can only be downloaded by accessing the website and typing in
a code, found in the jacket of the CD case. So, would these fuckers implement a catch-within-a-catch?
Hell yeah. You can only use the code to d/l the app thrice, and then 'tis useless.
Thank you, kiss buh-bye to a part of the resale value! And what if you lose the app in some way?
Somebody seems to think that it is unheard-of for data to be lost thrice in an infinite timeframe..
And exactly how long will you be able to download those songs from the website?
From experience I know that these offers tend to expire shortly,
I suppose due to gradual loss of interest courtesy of the webmasters?
What the corporate bastards also either forgot or ignore is that this is not
a copy protection even in the five least senses of the word. You can still merrily
transfer the CD tracks onto your computer through any good analogue line-out if you've
got a factual CD player, and, like, any brain matter, or just if you do
some kind of a raw duplication of the CD (which I suppose is ever possible), or whatever.
And d'ya think the mass pirates have trouble circumventing your precious protection?
Oh ha ha ha think again. I doubt that any determined pir8 will suffer or be set back because of this.
Also, I'm not sure about the form of the downloadable music.
I haven't tried it out so I cannot know for sure the method of downloading
and listening the songs, and for fuck's sake I'm not going to try it out,
but here's some food for thought in some cases...
If you just get them in MP3 format upon using, it's all just too fucked up for words,
since you can just go and give the MP3s to everyone you know
and share them via the 'net and burn them on your CD-Rs and whatever.
In that case, there's nothing copyprotectionary about the whole bit at all, obviously.
So, option two. Say you need the program to play the songs, 'cause they're
encrypted in an unusual format. I don't like to install unnecessary software;
they take up resources, space, and god knows an app like this
could well just be full of spyware. We all know what's wrong with those attributes.
Well, option three. Maybe you need to use the program to listen to the songs directly from the 'net?
Many realize that this option would just be plain evil. And I'm behind a 56K modem.
So? Three choices, none of them consistent with the protection scheme
(or any good, for that matter), two of them likely and not one
a stable, steady solution for preventing distribution of
the preciously hated "illegal music".
And yes! See - I wonder if they paid to use this scheme?
Maybe it's reflected in the CD retail price too, hmm?
And in the end, the only thing this shit manages to accomplish is piss off honest
people like me who bought the CD and just want to play it through their PCs,
and don't want to burn CD-Rs of it just to get to listen to the CD on the CD drive..
reminds me of certain PSX country lockouts, even. Just more arbitrary and stupid.
So there, the full story / conspiracy theory / speculation bit.
Think twice before you support a band when they employ such questionable vehicles.
Oh, Jesus. Is that some kind of a sick joke?
Hell yeah, I'd say it's limited when I can't fucking PLAY it at all.
Maybe this'll convert me into the quintessential MP3-hoarding guy
and I'll never expose my rear to the market forces by buying a CD again.