Feeds

DVD Jon aims to smash digital Tower of Babel

doubleTwist rolls out media sharing utility

A new approach to endpoint data protection

doubleTwist, the firm founded by scourge of DRM manufacturers Jon Lech Johansen (AKA DVD Jon) last March, has released software designed to allow users to share digital media files - including copy protected content - across devices.

doubleTwist desktop allows users to "share and sync digital media without worrying about codecs and bitrates". The Windows utility will allow users to play a video made on a Nokia smartphone on an iPod or Sony PSP, for example. The software is available as a free download from doubletwist.com. The firm also released a developers kit designed to spur adoption of the technology.

"We've built a format agnostic solution that handles the complexity of file and device compatibility so consumers don't have to," said Jon Lech Johansen, founder and CTO.

doubleTwist said the digital media landscape has become a "tower of Babel" thanks to multiple formats and competing technologies. The firm aims to ease consumer hassles and confusion with technology that allows punters to "share, consume and sync audio, video and photos regardless of device, file format or social network", as explained in a statement on doubleTwist desktop (extract below).

When a user connects a digital camera, mobile phone or PSP, media files are found and displayed on doubleTwist desktop. Users select the media they wish to transfer and the application transparently handles any necessary format conversions. The application also integrates with iTunes, allowing users to sync their music playlists and iTunes music purchases with their Sony Ericsson, Sony PSP, Windows Mobile, LG Viewty, Nokia N series phones and Amazon's Kindle.

The ability to drag-&-drop copy protected media, purchased from iTunes, is sure to displease Apple. doubleTwist told Reuters that it is simply allowing users to enjoy fair use of material they have purchased. It said its technology doesn't encourage file-sharing. "Users can only play back the music they have already purchased and they are authorised to play," said Monique Farantzos, doubleTwist's co-founder and chief exec.

doubleTwist said it doesn't expect to face legal problems from Apple over its technology even though the consumer electronics giant was not made aware of what it was doing. DVD Jon has a long history of unpicking Apple's DRM technologies allowing punters to buy DRM-less tracks from Apple iTunes in 2005 long before Apple offered MP3 tracks at a premium, for example. His reverse engineering work has also covered copy protection schemes in Windows Media Player and (most famously) DVD copy protection technology. Since his December 2003 acquittal over the creation of the DeCSS utility, following a long-running prosecution in his native Norway, Johansen has escaped further significant legal problems over his work.

A Twist on social networking

In a nod to the current fad for Web 2.0 applications, doubleTwist also launched "Twist me!," a social network application designed to allows users to share media directly from their profile pages. The beta release allows punters to share media with their Facebook friends and provides sync support for the Sony PSP, Nokia N Series, Sony Ericsson Walkman & Cybershot phones, LG Viewty, and Windows Mobile smart phones. Support for Apple iPhone devices is in development.

The launch of the products on Tuesday, the first from doubleTwist, comes as the firm announced the completion of its first round of funding from Index Ventures and Northzone Ventures. Index Ventures previously backed Last.fm, the popular online social music, and Skype, among others. ®

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
POW! Apple smites Macbook Air EFI firmware update borkage
Fruity firm provides digital balm for furious fanbois
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?