Now there’s an ironic title. Shades of Charlie Chaplin for sure run throughout this post, so much so I have no problem declaring Fair Use for displaying this still, which I downloaded from Wikipedia to emphasise this story. All rights remain reserved with whoever owns those rights, despite the still being 70 years old….
There I was, relaxing after lunch, sun shining, birds chirping, Jeeves-and-Wooster time. I’d bought the latest Bob Dylan album, Modern Times, admittedly in the dinosaur way (hard physical CD from bricks-and-mortar HMV high street store), and I thought I would import it into my iTunes while listening to it. After all, it was Sunday afternoon.
It took a long time, much longer than usual, for the iTunes/GraceNotes CDDB stuff to happen, some strange noises but finally it did. Then I started the importing. First track went fine. Then everything died on me. Not a kernel panic, but Not Responding and Spinning Disc and requiring quite some effort before I could Force Quit iTunes in order to eject the CD. And even then I couldn’t eject the CD at first. But finally I succeeded.
I tried again. But no luck, the Mac refused to recognise the CD any more. Kept ejecting it.
So I thought “CD problem”. Went and tried playing it on my Bose. 10 tracks recognised, all playable. Tried playing it on my Sony Vaio, 10 tracks recognised, all playable on Windows Media Player. Tried ripping the tracks using Media Player, also all fine.
So the problem was not with the CD but with something in the DRM space between the CD and iTunes. Specifically between the CD and iTunes. [Please bear in mind that even my worst enemies wouldn’t accuse me of being pro-Microsoft anti-Apple. I like iTunes, I like Apple, I like the Mac, I like the iPod, even if I am frustrated by the DRM. I live with it in the hope that the DRM will disappear, in the belief that the DRM exists because of the music industry and not Apple per se, and that the problem cannot continue for more than a couple of years].
Anyway, I was getting ever so slightly irked by all this.
So I checked if Boing Boing had anything on it, Cory and gang are usually pretty sharp when it comes to DRM idiocies. And sure enough I found this story: Bob Dylan and iTunes sell un-rippable music; update: Cory has placed an amended story now, which you can see here.
I read it, and moved from there to Kim Cameron’s Identity Blog. And, even though I go there often for research on Identity, for once I was motivated to comment.
For which I needed a login. Which I didn’t have, so I sought to get one. Nowhere to get one, or at least nowhere I could see without installing missing plug-ins I wasn’t allowed to install. Smelt like the Microsoft-v-Apple nonsense. I use Firefox on an Intel MacBook running OSX.
So I thought I’d use an InfoCard, the alternative route suggested. How do I get one? I read the blurb. And tried to “click on the movie below to see how Infocards work”. Nothing to click. No movie playing. The Microsoft-v-Apple smell got stronger.
No login. No way to get a login. No ability to comment therefore.
So I gave up and made myself a cup of tea.
And wrote this post.
Modern Times, indeed. People, we’re in for a bellyful of laughs at this rate.
Or a linux-based DRM-free ecosystem for all this.