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Update — No DRM In New iPod Shuffle 264

Posted by kdawson
from the nothing-to-see-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BoingBoing Gadgets has updated their story from yesterday on DRM contained in the new iPod Shuffle. (We also discussed this rumor last week.) It's a false alarm. There is a chip in the headphone controls but it is just an encoder chip. There is no DRM and no reason to believe that third party headphones wouldn't work with the new Shuffle. (Apple would still prefer you to license the encoder under the Made for iPod program, but with no DRM, there is no DMCA risk to a manufacturer reverse engineering it.) The money quote: 'For the record, we do not believe that the new iPod headphones with in-line remote use DRM that affects audio playback in any way.'"
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Update — No DRM In New iPod Shuffle

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  • by spankyofoz (445751) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @02:45AM (#27222085)

    So...no DRM, only ARM.

    They are still trying to lock you into their crappy products, or 3rd party products that have paid the Apple tax for certification and pass those costs onto you.

    Why does it always get so complicated every time Apple try to reinvent simplicity?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @03:07AM (#27222145)

    Please stop calling authentication chips DRM. DRM = digital rights management, its for digital content, you cant physically have DRM on a headphone cord.

  • Re:Simplicity (Score:2, Informative)

    by theeddie55 (982783) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @06:02AM (#27222811)
    yes, other companies have been putting inline controls in headphones for years, but that's in addition to the controls on the unit, not instead of, most of these devices would still work just as well with standard headphones.
  • by mobby_6kl (668092) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @06:11AM (#27222827)

    No, the remote on my Sony discman (probably, IIRC the connectors were similar) wouldn't work with my SAFA CD/MP3 player, but when a classmate stepped on my Sony's remote and made most buttons useless (there were of course separate buttons for next and previous tracks, play/pause as well as volume control and remote lock instead of the ridiculous morse code bullshit) I could still use my discman with ANY headphones I had. From $2 shitty earbuds from a cheap walkman knockoff to my ER-4s, the only difference being that I had to use the controls on the device itself. Also, while the remote was still in one piece, I could again use any of my headphones with the remote by unplugging the Sony earbuds from the top of the remote and plugging the ER-4s in.

    Does that clear it up? Discman: no remote, no remote functionality. Shuffle: no remote, no functionality. At least not until you buy an adapter for half the price of the player [apple.com] itself.

  • Re:Simplicity (Score:2, Informative)

    by theeddie55 (982783) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @06:41AM (#27222963)
    By "work just as well" i mean you'd still have all the controls available, with no controls available when using standard headphones, that's not working just as well.
  • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @07:21AM (#27223135)

    Not just that, but there's also now some sort of crypto signature on the index files the newer iPods create/read. If it's not present then the iPod refuses to recognise any of the music.

    This seems to be there solely to destroy interoperability with any non-iTunes software (Amarok). Great, thanks Apple.

    (Sightly OT - as linux user, with a 40+ GB music collection, mostly in mp3 format, what is the best current high capacity media player? 32GB Xen X-fi with an additional SD Card? Or is there anything else non-Apple that can store all my music?)

  • by bloodninja (1291306) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @07:55AM (#27223329)

    Those wires inside the cable are extremely tiny and are joined with nylon thread (probably for endurance) which makes those signal wires almost impossible to handle by hand. So unless you have some special tools and alot of patience I can't recommend cutting the cables.

    That special tool is called fire! Half a second under flame and the nylon fibers ball up near the bottom, and the copper wires can then be twisted together. Everything has those fibers now, and you need this technique to modify everything from a cellphone charger to a bluetooth headset to a standalone DVD player.

  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @08:36AM (#27223641)

    Lots of other companies do "made for xxx" stickers, and it takes time to certify that something really is compatible, so you have to charge for it, even if you're not looking for a new revenue stream.

    Yeah, but there's a big fucking difference between doing that and locking out and suing anyone who doesn't want to pay for the certification!

    If a third-party doesn't want to pay for "made for iPod" certification, then they shouldn't be allowed to write the logo on the box. But they should still be allowed to sell the product!

  • Re:Simplicity (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@woCURIErld3.net minus physicist> on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @09:16AM (#27224017) Homepage

    This entirely misses the point though - without the Apple headphones there is no way to control the iPod, You can't pause, skip tracks, change volume etc. All it does is play when normal headphones are installed.

    Most (all?) other MP3 players that use remote controls on the headphone line have the remote control as a separate part which you can use with any headphones you like. Even the old iPod remotes are like that. Now you have to buy a remote control just to use non-Apple headphones, and currently there isn't one available.

    It's not DRM but that doesn't make it any more attractive to me.

  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @10:28AM (#27224919)

    No it doesn't. Rights in DRM are copyrights. A typical DRM scheme is to encrypt a music file and then try to make sure that only people who have paid for it are able to decrypt it. Or forcing people to activate software before using it. Essentially trying to use encryption and authentication to stop copyright infringement.

    Expanding the term to cover things like a closed protocol allowing the remote on the headphone cord to control an MP3 player risks making it meaningless. Though actually I could accept it if the MP3 player authenticated the controller in the headphones before it allowed the controls to work on them.

  • Re:Simplicity (Score:2, Informative)

    by beelsebob (529313) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @11:05AM (#27225451)

    Yes there is, the power button is a off/sequential play/shuffled play button, and is on the body of the device.

    Do some research before you start whining.

  • Re:Why all the fuss? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ricky-road-flats (770129) on Tuesday March 17, 2009 @11:14AM (#27225587)
    > > There's no standard way to control a device from a standard headphone jack

    > Sounds like a good argument to develop a standard rather than applaud this bad behaviour.

    There is a kind-of standard which solved the problem years back, which (for instance) my old Sony Minidisc player and at least 3 or 4 of the phones I've had follow.

    You have a propriety connection into the phone, and at the other end of the cable you have your clip with microphone/volume/pause/track-skip/answer-call buttons and sometimes a tiny screen, then have a standard 3.5mm jack on there. Problem solved. You can have all the control appropriate to the unit, and use whichever headphones you want.

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