Record companies' latest attempts to foist CD copy protection on to us...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John J Nelson, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. John J Nelson

    John J Nelson Stunt Coordinator

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    Is everyone here buying and playing these CDs with no problems? I'm referring to the latest UK/European versions of discs by Foo Fighters, Phil Collins*, Lighthouse Family* etc. - they all apparently have the latest version of Cactus Data Shield, the protection method that caused all the problems with 'White Lilies Island' earlier in the year.
    Am I the only one that wouldn't one of these so-called 'CDs' in my collection, regardless of whether it plays OK? I have equipment that was designed to play red-book standard audio CDs, and this (and the odd DVD [​IMG] ) is all that I will accept. I will not buy CDs that have deliberately-corrupted TOCs, data with deliberate errors to push error-correction routines to the limit, and God knows what other corruptions of the audio CD standard.
    This seems to be an almost-exclusively European problem at the moment - the US/Canadian versions of these CDs are unprotected, so I'll happily buy the cheaper uncorrupted versions for the time being [​IMG]
    It worries me that corrupted CDs are fast becoming accepted... if us computer-savvy individuals knuckle under and buy them, you can be sure that the rest of the population will too. Then red-book CDs will become rarer than rocking-horse doo-doo.
    -- J.
    *...and why are record companies targeting music that appeals to the... uh... older buyer anyway? I can just imagine an army of 40 and 50-something Dads up and down the country busy ripping and uploading Phil Collins MP3s on Christmas morning [​IMG]
     
  2. Jeff Savage

    Jeff Savage Second Unit

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    I have one import CD that I special ordered. When it came in I noticed that it said it could not be used in a computer. I was very shocked but since it as a special order I could not return it.

    Well I brought it home and guess what..it would not play in my DVD player. I am told that this is because most DVD players start life as some sort of DVD-ROM drive. The same methods that prevent it from working in a CD-ROM drive prevented it from working in my DVD player. I was pissed.

    I got my older CD player out of storage and hooked it up and it played just fine. Now this CD player also happens to have a digital coax out (PCM). Running the COAX out to my SB Live card enabled me to make a perfect digital copy on my PC (for my own personal use of course).

    My point is that as long as these CD's will play in a red-book player with a digital out, what is the point of all the copy protection nonsense in the first place?

    Laters,
    Jeff
     
  3. John J Nelson

    John J Nelson Stunt Coordinator

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    Sounds like your disc had the Key2Audio system, developed by Sony disc manufacturing in Europe. This is a pretty basic form of protection, and works by mastering the CD with two TOCs - one good one at the start of the disc, and one deliberately bad TOC at the end.
    Audio CD players will (or should [​IMG] ) pick up the first TOC, and the disc will play fine. A multisession computer CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, however, will look for the last TOC if more than one is available (in order to be able to play multisession CD-Rs). It finds the bad TOC, and bingo, the disc spins in the drive and won't play (or kills your iMac completely [​IMG] )
    Apart from the bad TOC (which certain individuals have discovered can be defeated with magic markers and stickers [​IMG] ), Key2Audio CDs are redbook standard, and will output a pure digital audio stream that can be copied to Minidisc, or ripped to MP3 with no problems.
    The Cactus Data Shield is a far more pernicious form of copy-protection. Although the data-stream is left intact (ie. no deliberate errors to produce bad-quality rips), the TOC structure is messed with to a much greater degree, making playback on anything other than a simple audio CD player a decidedly hit-or-miss affair. The disc will work in a computer, but forces playback of a low-quality compressed version of the music - the audio CD tracks are very difficult, if not impossible, to access. This is the system that is becoming widespread in Europe, and I would definitely NOT want one of these 'CDs' in my collection.
    -- J.
     
  4. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    I do know that if I ever got a cd like that I would definitely take it back. I just read on another board that the nz release of Robbie Williams latest cd has some protection on it, so it is definitely spreading.
     
  5. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    It only takes ONE person to find a way to copy it and put it on a P2P network and especially if people all think this, the "Copy-Protection" is giving them incentive to pirate it instead of buying it.

    I downloaded 192kbps MP3s of White Lilies Island a week after it came out in the UK, then when the playable version came out, I bought it.
     
  6. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    Is it possible that if you have an older computer (mac or pc) that does not read multi-session CDs, it can still read them? I have some older Macs that do not read multi-session, but I don't have CP audio CDs.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, I hear you. Fortunately, copy-protected CDs are rare in the US. If a CD of interest to you is copy-protected in the UK, you could always order the US version from www.amazon.com . Yes, you will pay more, but at least you won't have compatibilty issues.
    The disc that really frustrates me is the Roger Waters compilation disc. It was not released by the US label, so only the UK version, which is copy-protected, is available here (in some stores and online). Tear down the wall! NOT! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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