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November 5, 2005

Sony Copy Protection installs spyware

Normally I don't like promoting breaking the law, but if you want to hear a CD controlled by Sony's copy protection it's safer to download it from the Internet.

Via Antiwesley:

Sony, Rootkits and Digital Rights Management Gone Too Far

Using a Sony copy protected audio CD may install hidden software without your knowledge. Attempting to remove the software (which is extremely difficult) may result in the non-functioning of devices on your system. The installed software could easy be used by viruses and other attackers to hide files from antivirus software, allowing them to go undetected.

This is additionally surprising to me, as in October last year, Sony announced they were abandoning copy protection on their releases. I guess they changed their minds, huh?

On Amazon, the reviews for Van Zant's album are currently expressing their disgust. Sony have already released a patch to "unhide" the installed malware. But this doesn't change the fact that it's installed without the user's knowledge, and obviously if the user doesn't know it's there, they don't know they need a software pach. And I see nothing about them providing software to actually remove it.

See also: BBC News: Sony slated over anti-piracy CD, TechWeb: Security-spooked Users Slap Sony CD On Amazon.

Posted at 10:02 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

August 29, 2005

Previous Entry followups

  • MT 3.2 seems to have solved my problem with new entries showing entry #1 as the next link.
  • Since the R4 run of Justice League: Starcrossed was frelled, I ordered the R1 version from Amazon - this turned out to be in the original movie format and have both widescreen and full screen versions. Much better than the R4 Justice League DVDs.
  • As a side note to the whole Hotel experience, I saw the other week that Geri Halliwell's latest album has come out here, but I didn't buy it, because it had the same copy protection on it. Sorry, but I'm not paying $30 for a CD which may or may not work.
  • Yahoo fixed the login issues with Yahoo mail not long after I complained about it. Both Briefcase issues are still there.
  • LiveJournal still doesn't have trackback support, 8 months later.

Posted at 7:40 PM | Comments (1)

March 17, 2005

Worst New Album Experience Ever - Moby, Hotel

So Moby's latest album Hotel came out. I'd already decided to get the limited edition version, because it comes with an extra CD of ambient music and it's also in a lavish cardboard slip case. Unfortunately, it also comes with the dreaded "Copy Control" rubbish on it.

Hotel played... I won't say fine, because the intentional errors in the data manifested as clicks and ticks in the sound. This is especially obvious on the quieter tracks where the graceful strings are intermittently interrupted by a sound similar to a spark jumping between two wires. Then I tried to play the ambient CD, and my player wouldn't recognise it at all. When I put it in my PC, Windows reported it was corrupt or an invalid format. I bought the $40 Limited Edition version for an extra CD which turned out to have all the properties of a coaster.

OTOH, I also bought Daft Punk's new album "Human After All" yesterday. Not only was it only $25, but it is damn good. I'll have a review up on my music page (which is now valid XHTML! Woo!) soon.

Posted at 12:24 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1)

March 15, 2005

Hotel copy protected

Previously, Moby's said "if i release a cd and it has copy-protection on it, it's not by my choice.". Well, it looks like his new album "Hotel" has, indeed, got copy protection on it. *sigh*

Edit: and guess what.

Posted at 9:05 PM | Comments (1)

January 28, 2005

Moby Hotel

Moby has launched Moby Hotel to promote his upcoming album "Hotel". It's a Flash-based site cunningly structured to resemble a hotel. Instead of registering, you sign in to a room which becomes your password (though it does seem a lot like registering... :)

On offer are samples of tracks from Hotel including one track you can buy and download, information about Hotel, and ambient music from the bonus CD which comes with the limited edition.

Edit: see also my experience buying Hotel.

Posted at 6:56 PM | Comments (2)

January 10, 2005

Mike Oldfield screensavers

[Cover of Mike Oldfield's Elements]I got a DVD in the mail today from Amazon UK - Mike Oldfield's Elements, a collection of music videos from his Virgin era. They're all from the 70s and 80s, using state-of-the-art effects, so of course they're pretty dated...

The 70s vids have CSO all over them. Someone made the clever decision to use yellow CSO during the Tubular Bells performance, and unfortunately the front of one of Mike's guitars was yellow, leading to Invisible Guitar Syndrome.

Some of the 80s vids use computer graphics which are about screen-saver standard these days (seriously, if it wasn't for the live action, I'd swear I'd seen one running on a PC somewhere...)

Almost as fun as the special effects was watching Mike's hairstyle change through the years from his long-haired hippy phase to 80s styles including (at one point) a mullet. Class.

Now, a DVD of his later Warner Music output would be quite nice too...

Posted at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 3, 2005

Identifying music

I went to see a movie today. Before it started (and before the manditory 15 minutes of advertising they make us sit through beforehand) there was piped chillout music.

The song playing when we sat down was a minimalistic piece consisting of a steady beat, with samples of (1) an adult male saying "orange", (2) some small children laughing, and (3) a female voice, possibly computer synthesized, counting upwards. Morgan pronounced it the most irritating song ever.

Of course, good luck googling for it with those lyrics. It's not driving me nuts trying to find out the name and artist. It could have been a compilation album they were playing - the next song was Moby's "Porcelain", but that's still not really a lot of help...

Posted at 6:56 PM | Comments (1)

December 15, 2004

Grammy Awards

Good luck to Björk, who's nominated for two awards this year for Medulla and Oceania. She was nominated for best packaging on Family Tree last year, but didn't win.

I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing. It may prompt more people to buy Medulla, which is good, but on the other hand Medulla is not exactly the most accessible of albums. Even Björk's fans are deeply divided on it. On the other (third??) hand, the first Björk album I heard was Homogenic, which isn't exactly accessible either, and it's still my favourite of her albums.

On a related but tangental topic: Lord of the Rings, and the "Best Song Written For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media" award.

  1. Enya, May It Be - nominated but didn't win.
  2. ????
  3. Annie Lennox, Into The West - nominated

I guess Emiliana Torrini isn't well known enough to get nominated. Though I note that one of the nominations this year is Kylie Minogue's single Slow, which she co-wrote.

Posted at 8:19 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2004

Moby Music news

Moby reports he's finishing his latest albums to be released next March. I have no idea what single he's talking about there though...

Posted at 5:38 PM | Comments (0)

October 7, 2004

Songs I Hate #643572

The radio at work keeps playing the Maroon 5 song "She Will Be Loved". Apparently they find it necessary to play this song at least once an hour, as it seems every time I finish listening to one of my own CDs, the radio is playing the same damn song.

Is there a dearth of songs, perhaps? Decades of pop music, millions of songs to choose from, and the radio is stuck playing the same group of songs hour after hour?

This is why I stopped listening to the radio. That and the fact that all the advertising and DJ chatter meant that you got maybe three songs in a given half-hour period.

Posted at 9:45 PM | Comments (0)

October 5, 2004


Sony abandons copy-protected CDs

Sony Music Entertainment said it would stop producing the CDs because its message against illegal duplication has widely sunk in.

I am happy I'll be able to buy Sony CDs online without the fear it'll turn up and be unplayable. Hopefully the other music companies will do likewise.

Posted at 4:52 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2004

Björk + Enya = ?

The Sunday Star Times a couple of days ago had a review of Björk's latest album Medulla. I was a bit confused as to whether the reviewer actually liked it or not. "It's called "Where is the Line?", to which most sensible citizens would surely reply, "several hundred yards short of this song"." he says, but goes on to give it four stars anyway...

Meanwhile there was a bit of excitement in Enya fandom, when a Japanese site reported a release date for an Enya album. Sadly it turned out they'd jumped the gun - as reports, Enya had recorded a song called Sumiregusa for a marketing campaign, and someone assumed it meant an album was on the way. There's a very-choppy streaming version of the song on

It's been four years since A Day Without Rain came out with no sign of another album. With a five-year gap before that, only punctuated by the best of, her album gestation periods seem to be getting longer. :/

Posted at 7:39 PM | Comments (0)

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