Well, kind of. According to a post over at Macworld UK Steve Ballmer does not think Apple can lead the way in the digital home market. The reason? Lack of a proper DRM system. According to the post he also goes on to say “…the most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’.” While on one can argue with the amount of music piracy we have, does it really relate to a single portable player?
I have to say that I purchase all of my music, in the stores however. I was also an iPod owner for a while. In addition I promote most of Microsoft digital media products because they work and they are easy to use. Is Steve right about Apple? There Fairplay DRM has proved to be less then perfect in securing the media (which is the point of it). There have been at least 3 breaks of their DRM in the very short time they have been using. Microsoft has had one break, but that was a long time ago and at the time I don’t remember there being “that much” media out there.
DRM sucks, both Apple and Microsoft need to know this. They need DRM systems in place that do not have problems. A user does not need to spend money on media, and then have WMP not able to play it. Microsoft has not done great with that, Apple has been a nice job having their DRM system not get in the way of media playback.
Biggest issue here is people will steal content until the content owners get it in there minds that we want to own the content we pay for, not rent it. Whether they are using an iPod, Portable Media Center, or whatever. There is no reason why I should have restricted rights on a song I purchase off MSN Music, iTMS, MusicMatch, etc when I can go to the local record store and purchase the CD, rip the tracks in a Lossless format, and then do whatever I want with them! Telling me I can not give this to a friend of mine when they did not pay for it is fine, telling me I can not move it to a portable device is not! Sorry, that I kind of lost track of the topic, but whatever.