All right then, let’s get this over with. I’ve said a lot of bad things about Apple, but that’s because they deserve it. I’m not out to make enemies here, but as Robin Williams said “if you were right, I would agree with you”. In my opinion, Apple are a horrid, holier-than-thou, “also-ran” green-eyed-monster in the computing world. They know it too, and it’s evident in everything they do.
Although this short-falling doesn’t extend in to their rich-media offerings, the same paranoid, insular philosophy does. Quick to judge, slow to change. It’s amazing they’ve survived, but look at what they’re up against. Music Match Jukebox? What a pile of arse-biscuit that was. Why Sony isn’t king of on-line music and video is still a total mystery to me.
It’s obvious that I really don’t like Apple and the blinkered zealots which they spawn, but that shouldn’t (and doesn’t) prevent me from acknowledging a sensible, bold and necessary move on Apple’s part. They are powerful after all (at least in media) and only a fool would disregard what they do and say.
Although I really dislike the way they’ve gone about implementing it, Apple now offer DRM-free music.
This is the way it needs to be done, and as the number-one retailer of on-line music, I think it’s a very classy act and it sets a precedent. Everyone else has no choice but to follow and I’m impressed with what Apple have done. They trust the user and that’s admirable. What’s the sound of one hand clapping?…
Of course, they don’t (and never will) do this with movies or TV shows. As I’ve discussed before, the H.264 they insist on using makes most of what they offer rather undesirable to anyone who wants to use it on anything but an iPod, were it to be DRM free. I might actually consider purchasing movies from Apple if I could use them in Windows Media Center, but unlike their audio files, it ain’t gonna happen.
So should I now convince you not to steal music and films? I think it’s the same as convincing you to give up alcohol or religion. You have to decide to do this for yourself. I would point out that you only need a DVD long enough to rip it to your computer, but that’s where legality rears its ugly head. Do you LoveFilm? I’m sure lots of people do!
The fact is, aside from stamping-out child pornography, there is nothing that draws more attention from law enforcement agencies at the moment than copyright theft. The RIAA seem about to be made an arm of the US government, and although that doesn’t directly affect those of us who are not US residents, we’d be churlish to assume that it doesn’t impact on us all in some way.
The bottom line is that paying for a legal, consistently high-quality copy of your chosen poison isn’t a bad idea. It’s a lot less hassle and if it doesn’t work, you can always take it back. The media companies aren’t going to win the piracy wars by punishing violators. They will win the war by making it cheap and easy to get what you want AND obey the crazy-ass law. Well, almost…
The Average Windows Nerd