Eno and DRM Free MP3s

Posted on July 27, 2008
Filed Under digital-lifestlye, music | 4 Comments

I can hit the quinella and make a new post that ties together two recents posts about music I love and DRM protected music. I realized that Brian Eno’s Here Come the Warm Jets is probably the album I love most that I don’t own. Somewhere in a box I believe I have a cassette of it that I recorded during an overnight at WREK. That was one of the perks of working in the station – bring blank cassettes and tape all the music you can stand too. I went to search for it on Amazon and I found that it is available as a DRM free MP3s.

I’ve never bought MP3s from Amazon. For that matter, I’ve never bought from iTunes either. I have one song I got via a coupon for a free download, Jimi Hendrix’ “When 6 was 9″. Apple has never received cash from me for music or movies, mainly because of my disdain for DRM protection, even when defeatable. I downloaded the OS X version of the Amazon Music downloader, completed the purchase and the downloader came up and within a minute or two I had the songs. They are in good sounding 256 kb unprotected MP3s. The downloader tool created an Amazon directory in my OS X Music folder, and it also added them to iTunes. 20 seconds after the purchase, I was listening to the album.

This is really a winner, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not getting involved with DRM music but I will buy it this way. Everything about the experience was pleasant and Just Worked. I like it when it goes like that. Brian Eno (or probably his record label) made a little money he might not have any other way. I wish it could just go straight to Eno. Now, if record labels were largely disintermediated out and bands could sign up directly with Amazon, we’d really have something.

A quote from the album seem appropriate now:

Some of them are old, some of them are new
Some of them will turn up when you least expect them to
And when they do, remember me, remember me.

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4 Responses to “Eno and DRM Free MP3s”

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  1. Ken Kennedy on July 27th, 2008 2:02 pm

    I agree…I buy music at this point from Amazon MP3, Amie Street, and Magnatune. All are pure MP3 plays, which is the only way I’m willing to go. (Amie Street and Magnatune are mostly non-mainstream stuff, though there are some surprising finds on Amie Street, like Johnny Cash and Thomas Dolby).

    Amazon definitely has a great process, though. Pretty seamless. Ironic that their video stuff is DRM’d out the wazoo, but I expect that’s as much the studios as anything else.

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  3. PJ Cabrera on July 29th, 2008 4:57 am

    I don’t mind buying DRM’ed stuff when there’s a known workaround, unless it’s available for a similar or close price without DRM. Amazon gets my music dollars these days. Before Amazon, I removed the DRM off of iTunes tracks by burning to CD and re-encoding as MP3.

    iTunes video DRM can be removed by playing them full size with Quicktime on Windows and re-recording them as MPEG with FRAP (after high end gaming, this is the only other reason I still have a native Windows machine, otherwise I’d only use the shit through VMware.)

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  5. PJ Cabrera on July 29th, 2008 5:08 am

    Oh, and in case any Mac geeks care, you can remove iTunes video DRM on Mac with DVI- or HDMI-ready video capture gear (like from Pinnacle) and two Macs.

    1) Connect the DVI output of the first Mac to the HD video capture gear.
    2) Connect HD video capture gear to the second Mac.
    3) Play the vid full screen on the first Mac, making sure it goes out the DVI output.
    4) Record on the second Mac with iMovie or your video editing suite of choice.

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  7. PJ Cabrera on July 29th, 2008 5:10 am

    Actually, that goes for *any* video DRM, not just iTunes, as long as the media player doesn’t encode the output with HDCP.

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