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Before you buy the new Foo Fighers disc

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Before you buy the new Foo Fighters disc

know that the geniuses at RCA have made it unplayable on iPods. I bought the set yesterday and was stoked to move it to my iPod and start listening. I have total confidence it is a terrific album. However, the asshats at RCA figured some anti-piracy trick and made it so you can’t load the discs into iTunes. Good move, geniuses, alienating about 10 million rock fans.

So, this space was meant to be me reviewing the new Foo disc… but I can’t. I don’t use CD players anymore and my iPod isn’t good enough for these assholes. Let the record reflect, I don’t blame this on the band nor do I cast aspersions on the album. It may be great. I may never know. This is what the manufacturers website said:

Can I transfer MediaMax digital audio files to my iPod?
Apple’s proprietary technology doesn’t support secure music formats other than their own, and therefore the secure music file formats on this disc can’t be directly imported into iTunes or iPods.

Nice how they blame it on Apple. However, I have 600 other CDs that went into iTunes with no trouble at all. In fact, I have NEVER had a single Cd problem with iTunes until this disc. God, this is SO frustrating. I mean, the only possibly way I can hear MY new Cd is to download it off Kazaa. Good thinking, RCA.

So tomorrow for lunch, instead of sitting at the park by the office, I have to drive back over to Best Buy to tell them to shove this CD set up their asses.

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About Lono

  • Wow. I hope we don’t see more companies do stuff like this. It’s one thing to try and limit CD burning but quite another to purposely lock out the most popular digital audio player out there. That’s pathetic. This makes me wonder…is this album actually available on iTunes to buy?

  • So, let’s see. The record company wants you to spend cash money to buy a product you can’t use, which is thus inferior to what you can download for free. This copy control nonsense also applies to the new Backstreet Boys CD.

    Also, I DO hold the artists responsible for this nonsense. They could refuse to deliver an album if it’s going to be screwed with like this, or short of that they could publicly bitch about it. Some public gesture equivalent to Tom Petty’s album cover for Hard Promises would be helpful.

  • This is not entirely true. Check out my mini-review here for the lowdown on how to beat the system and rip your songs to your iPod.

  • Can the tracks be converted to MP3 format?

    Sterfish–I believe I saw it on iTunes last night.

    Al–I agree with you. An artist like Foo Fighters certainly has some leverage with their record company to balk at this.

  • Matt, YES THEY CAN BE RIPPED. But listen carefully and read this and hear the gospel.

    You MUST do one of the following:

    A) DISABLE AUTORUN on your PC.



    I chose option B and I am listening to my legally-purchased copy of FF on my iPod right now. I got it to work. If you fail to take one of these two steps, a license may be installed on your computer making the task of ripping the CD more difficult (although still not impossible).

    Pass the gospel along!

  • I’m just upset that no one listens to my pleas to not buy this crap. If it’s copy-protected and you buy it, you’ve just told the record industry that you’re okay with copy protection and okay with THEM telling YOU how you can use the music you purchased. I stick by my stance: I will not, under any circumstance, knowingly buy a copy-protected album. If everyone did this, the industry would get the point loud and clear – they’d be stuck with thousands and maybe millions of unsellable discs. The other option, which I mention every time this comes up, too, is to buy it, then return it as a faulty disc, and keep doing that so the labels receive a huge crate of “bad” discs (and that’s exactly what they are) that they can’t do anything with, either.

  • The Theory

    why are you buying a Foo Fighters album in the first place? I mean, seriously…

  • Does that method work on Macs too?

  • Because I am a big fan of Dave Grohl, or was. Don’t worry, I can’t possibly imagine ever purchasing anything from RCA ever again. I caution anyone who listens to music and has a computer to not purchase their products.

    gee, making music that young and computer literate people can’t use. Way to alienate your target demographic. Everyone under 60 is using computers now. My 7 year old nephew has his own computer.

  • lono, i added a link to this article up in my “stupid” post. (i originally meant to but forgot. i think the anger and amazement made me lose the ole’ train of thought)

  • Tom, I agree with you but I have no self control. When I want a new CD… I just can’t help myself. They’re a drug. I am addicted. =)

  • The shift trick didn’t work. I mean, it did disable the stupid software that pops up… but it still doesn’t record right to iTunes.

    as for suggestion one, disable auto run… I have NO idea how to go about that.

    I think I may have a way to outsmart it though. I am going to take the discs to work and load them onto Windows Media Player and then onto my 256 meg flash drive. This will split the songs into audio files and seperate out the software bullshit.

    Then, I hope to come home and load the tracks from the flash drive onto iTunes.

    Yup, that is what I am doing tomorrow night. You’ll be out partying with your friends and having a good Friday night. I’ll be fighting software, out of principle.

    I will make this fucker work. Then, I will return it to Best Buy out of principle. This is because I want it to get all the way back to the band and the manufacturer that people are returning the CD because it doesn’t work.

  • You stick it to the man!

  • Timbo

    I think the vendors like Best Buy and such should offer replacement discs that don’t have all the programming on them.

  • Just read on Yahoo! that the DRM is PC-only. My mac is immune.

  • Ha ha PC suckers. Sorry, couldn’t resist. 🙂


  • Of course, more accurately, I didn’t want to resist.

  • Does it seem ironic that this article has not one, but two links to the Amazon where you can buy this CD? =D
    I’ve always thought the whole idea of copy-protection was stupid anyway, I mean, if the music can be heard, it can be copied, even if the only way to do that is to put a microphone in front of your speakers. I can’t imagine any situation right now where you would have to go that far; making a 1:1 copy in a hardware-only CD copier (or on Linux or a Mac) will just copy the music, along with any DRM, straight over.
    Of course, the real solution is not to buy any music from the Big Four, copy-protected or not: http://www.downhillbattle.org

  • I used the SHIFT trick on my Mac and successfully ripped the Foo Fighters tracks to my iPod.

    Be careful about thinking Mac is immune to all copy protection schemes.

    Lono, I don’t blame you and hope you have better luck.

  • You can see the Amazon links as places to buy the album.

    But you can also think of them as letting you see an image of exactly which album you don’t want to buy.

    The choice is still ours. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

  • Warfreak2, reviewers are required to have links to the items being reviewed.

    But, in general, I agree with your statement. More often than not, I’m simply not interested in what the big labels have to offer. I still buy some things, but absolutely will not under any circumstances pay to support copy-protection. And, really, that sends a stronger message – album sales of non-copy protected albums go up and sales of copy-protected discs go down. Not buying at all is an admirable stance, but it’s not going to send any kind of message that means anything other than “people didn’t want this album.”

  • Trashpicker

    I had a friend ask me to make a copy of this over the weekend for another friend. I had no problem whatsoever ripping the CD’s with MusicMatch 7.1. Of course, I have autorun disabled.

  • Kevin B

    I was reading your post while listening to my IPOD at my desk, knowing that I had imported the new Foo Fighters to Itunes over the weekend. Curious to see what I actually had, I turned to the tracks. They are working perfectly, no issues at all. I did nothing special to load them, I did not know any of this. I did not buy the Dualdisc, just the regular one.

    What’s up?

  • So how do I disable ‘Autorun’?

  • The Theory

    >>Be careful about thinking Mac is immune to all copy protection schemes.<< Yup-- but the *majority* of them don't work. And, dare I say, (though I have no evidence to back this up) that the older your operating system (aka, pre-X) that will drastically lower the percentage of album affected by "protection software." There is only one cd in my large collection that I've had any problems with... and since i get a lot of pre-releases with the software, it's not for lack of subject material.

  • Find an older version of Itunes. I have 4.7.1 and it works fine.

  • One of the best quotes on this subject:
    “Trying to make a file uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet”

    Be weary of using legacy versions of iTunes, since they have a tendency to force you to upgrade. They can drop support of their older versions which could prevent access to the iTunes Music Store.

  • Sorry, Lono, I didn’t see that I screwed up my link. Try here instead.

  • to be fair, I have a friend at work who has iTunes seeing if she can crack it. Again, I can get the track onto iTunes, but they are jacked up. They sound like the ‘spoofs’ record companies load on peer to peer sites.

    I absolutely intend to make this mofo play on my iPod, and then I absolutely intend to return it to Best Buy for a refund. This isn’t about returning a CD, it is about returning software that doesn’t work.

  • um, for those asking about the shift key on the mac you don’t need to, just import it. this does suck though…

  • All the more reason to go Mac… for now. Copy protection rots.

  • jarred

    Use some of the older ripping programs such as Audio Grabber, they will rip almost anything, completley ignoring any copy protection. There is also much more flexability when using these programs. I would also reccommend ripping to MP3 as it contains no DRM controls, meaning you won’t run into problems later on when you trade in your ipod for something else.

  • Dillon

    There are tons of artists doing this now. The latest Dave Matthews CD is that way. Here is the way around this:

    First, use Windows Media player to rip the CD. When you first try to play the newly created MP3 file, it will license them and you will be able to play them on your PC.

    Next, use Windows media player to burn them to a CD. This will create a CD that’s not encrypted… meaning you will then be able to rip (the new CD), and then be able to transfer it to iPod or anything else as regular non-encrypted music.

    They’ve made it a pain in the a$$, but now you just have to create a CD using the licensed MP3s, and then rip them back off of that CD as unlicensed.