DRM or — “Digital Rights Management” for the blissfully unbroken — is a dream stuck in Hell and is also the facockta name Microsoft has branded its media licensing initiative and it means if, like me, you choose to rent your downloaded music, instead of purchasing it or stealing it, your life is currently miserable.
When you use a music subscription service like Napster or Yahoo! Music Unlimited or Rhapsody
you are required to play with DRM. DRM encodes a license so you can use
.WMA music files on your computer and on your portable music player.
The DRM license is coded to you and to your machine so no one else can
pirate the music you download and that is an excellent and noble idea.
The problem is DRM doesn’t work very well and if DRM isn’t working you
cannot play your music because if your license is corrupt or expired
you get cut off from your music like a pirate trying to play with
things that are no longer yours.
I support artists who want to be paid for their music.
Swapping CDs or
downloading music in torrents is stealing. I despise iTunes. I lost a
lot of money buying music there but could never recover my library for
use on another machine once I downloaded it no matter how many times I
backed up my libraries. iTunes were forgiving, for awhile, and let me
re-download my entire library three different times. It took three days
of constant downloading on a 3MB DSL line to retrieve my library each
time. It was a hassle to get my library back and, so, I stopped asking
iTunes for access to the music I had paid for but no longer had access
to for enjoyment.
In my line of work I get a new computer system twice
a year so being able to move my library from one computer to another
was important, but impossible, with iTunes.
I love the notion of paying a monthly fee to access thousands of songs
I might want to download or just steam via the internet. I don’t want
to locally store all those songs anymore. I just want to pick what I
want to hear and maybe download 500 songs instead of 10,000 songs.
Right now my music rental service is Yahoo! Music Unlimited and there
are problems. My DRM license keeps expiring after a “beta update” for
the service a week ago so the music on my new replacement iRiver h10 portable jukebox
will not play.
I logon to Yahoo! Music Unlimited to download a song or
two to “refresh” my license as the online Yahoo! no-helpline suggests
and nothing happens. The only way to get music to play on my device is
to erase all the songs on my h10 and re-synchronize with the Yahoo!
service. That is getting old and it takes forever to copy over all
Today I was informed by my Yahoo! Music Unlimited software that all my
previously downloaded music had expired on my computer as well as on my
Not possible according to the terms of my subscription.
What’s the workaround for that? Well, the only solution I can find
appears to be to delete all my downloaded songs from my computer and my
iRiver h10 and then “acquire” a new DRM license and re-download all my
It’s madness, I tell ye and iTunes are looking better every day!
Now I’m stuck. My portable player is blank without songs.
Music Unlimited is blank without songs. I have no idea why my DRM
license keeps getting corrupted. If I start downloading again will my
DRM license hold and then work longer than three days or will I have to
erase everything and re-download everything again?
I don’t care if Yahoo! Music Unlimited is in Beta — Yahoo! took my
money for the service — Beta testing is free because it is unstable,
so Yahoo! can’t get out of this problem by claiming their product isn’t
a “release version” unless they want to refund my money first.
I’ll let you know if Yahoo! ever answers my plea to “have my account
reset” for a third time in less than a week so I can have the honor of
re-re-re-re-acquiring my new facockta Digital Rights Management license
and the beautiful music it holds captive.