Feeds

Apple brings discord to Hymn

iTunes 4.7.1 breaks DRM stripper

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Apple's latest iTunes update, which takes the jukebox software to version 4.7.1, breaks the anti-DRM utility Hymn, it has emerged.

The move marks the latest step in the Mac maker's attempts to prevent users stripping away the limitations it imposes on music downloaded from its iTunes Music Store.

Using applications like Hymn is, of course, contrary to Apple's ITMS terms and conditions. In the US and Europe, using the software is also an infringement of laws that forbid the circumvention of copy-protection mechanisms.

Hymn advocates, however, argue that the code simply re-establishes usage modes to which they have become accustomed, such as converting files to MP3 in order to play them on non-Apple portable music players. They stress that the code is not intended to facilitate unauthorised distribution of iTunes-sourced content, although the software does make this possible. But then so does ripping tracks from any standard CD.

Hymn strips away the DRM rights management data, space for which is incorporated into the AAC audio format Apple uses for ITMS. Apple also uses other elements within the file structure to identify protected AAC tracks, and one or more of these seems to have been added to iTunes 4.7.1's list of checks.

Apple appears to use the same procedure to spot files converted by Real Networks' Harmony software, which transplants Real's Helix DRM code for Apple's FairPlay DRM information. Like ITMS, Real's Rhapsody online music uses AAC as its file format.

Hymn users may be annoyed with the breakage, and the hoops they may now have to jump through to get tracks playing again. but Apple's has solde 230m songs to date and is selling 1.25m on averager each week; this shows that plenty of people are willing to work with Apple's - fairly liberal, as these things go -DRM limitations.

Real has pledged to get Harmony working again, so Rhapsody customers can once again copy and play their downloads on iPods. Hymn's developers say they too will tweak their code. Expect Apple to do so too. The game of cat and mouse continues. ®

Related stories

2004 in review: downloading digital music
Apple iPod out of tune with Real's Harmony
France rules Apple's DRM denial not anti-competition
Big guns board Intertrust DRM bandwagon
iTunes Japan hits 'inadequate DRM' hurdle
Real anti-Apple poll swamped by pro-Apple posters
DVD Jon cracks Airport music streaming
Virgin demands Apple license iTunes DRM
Real fires back at Apple in DRM dogfight

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.