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Steve Rindsberg
11-07-2005, 12:14 PM
If you use Windows and if you ever play CDs on your computer, you at least want to take a quick look at this:

http://www.sysinternals.com/Blog/

I think I've bought my last Sony product

marlene
11-09-2005, 08:56 PM
Funny you should mention playing CDs on the computer. I've been trying to, but am not smart enough to figure out how. When I put a music CD in the drive (a commercial CD, not home-burnt), the drive tells me it's a blank disk.

I looked at the page in your link, but it's way to technical for me. Can you tell me in 25 words or less what it all means? I gather it's insidious, whatever it is.

FvH

lurkalot
11-10-2005, 12:17 AM
If the rumour's are true, I agree no more Sony.

I don't think they will be doing themselves any favours.

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=27568

http://theinquirer.net/?article=27349

http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005/10/sony-rootkits-and-digital-rights.html

Molly/CA
11-10-2005, 07:22 AM
Sony's been trying to shoot itself in the foot with this kind of crap for years. I have a minidisk recorder (Sony, of course) that's advertised as a way to record meeting minutes, rehearsals, etc. (what I bought it for--minutes and my own practicing--) --well, yes, it is a superb recorder, even with its internal mike, but you can't play back a file your or work with the files in any of the Sony software. All you can do to edit the file or save it somewhere other than the original minidisk is run the signal from the headphone jack through the line-in on your computer into an editing program. Cute, hey?

Don't you love the record companies' idea that you're supposed to pay $18 for a CD and have no choice but to play the original --in your car, where it gets roasted and scratched, in your portable 'personal' player, which opens up like a clamshell to receive the CD and any grit going and with any luck you drop the CD and step on it.

And now this. I agree with the blogger --pray that some tort lawyer sees a golden opportunity.

I couldn't understand half of the

http://www.sysinternals.com/blog/2005/10/sony-rootkits-and-digital-rights.html

blog either (uh, how do I make a title link that's nicer to look at?) but it was sure interesting to see all Mark went through to get to the root, or rootkit, or the problem!

ktinkel
11-10-2005, 04:05 PM
… how do I make a title link that's nicer to look at?You can prettify (i.e., mask) any link by selecting it — This Is A Pretty Link (http://www.desktoppublishingforum.com/bb/showthread.php?p=17625#post17625), for example — clicking the Link icon (a globe with a chain), and entering the URL in the little pop-up at the top of the screen.

Then your text will appear underlined and in blue (classical link style) and clicking on it will take people to the URL.

By the way, I sort of fudged the link above. It should bring you right back to this message.

Steve Rindsberg
11-10-2005, 04:19 PM
What operating system are you playing (or trying to) the CDs on?
Just tossed a fresh Telarc CD into the Win2000 box and nothing happens here either.
But if I start Windows Media Player and have it open the cd (it's a bit obtuse...had to tell it ALL FILES|*.* and such) it started playing.

For some bizarre reason, it's giving me the song titles and CD playlist in Japanese though. Took quite a while to work out that the katakana meant "Paavo Jarvi". Stravinsky wasn't so bad. <g>

WMP is such an incredibly obtuse POS ...

Steve Rindsberg
11-10-2005, 04:25 PM
Oh yeah. The link. Basically: you pop in some Sony CDs, up pops a message telling you that you have to install their player to hear it. You don't. But you don't know that so you click OK. It installs some software that sits between you and the CD driver. It can eat CPU cycles and it hides itself (and any other bit of potentially dreadware that names itself in a certain way). If you figure out that it's there and try to remove it, your CD may cease to function at all.

Greedy and ignorant of them. That's bad enough but then when they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they denied it, then made it very difficult to get a fix and so far as I know, STILL haven't made a removal tool available.

Who needs it? Who needs them? Not I.

Steve Rindsberg
11-10-2005, 04:32 PM
well, yes, it is a superb recorder, even with its internal mike, but you can't play back a file your or work with the files in any of the Sony software. All you can do to edit the file or save it somewhere other than the original minidisk is run the signal from the headphone jack through the line-in on your computer into an editing program.>>

ISTR that some of these things have a kind of "digital line out" feature you can use to move the files directly to the PC; but the PC has to have the appropriate input jack. Most don't.

Sure would make more sense to put a USB port on the things, at least for the US market. I suspect they're made mainly for the Japanese market though. They're not all that popular here but are very common in Japan.

Shane Stanley
11-10-2005, 07:46 PM
Who needs it?

Well it looks like someone is _using_ it: http://sophos.com.au/pressoffice/news/articles/2005/11/stinxe.html

Shane

marlene
11-10-2005, 09:59 PM
XP. I just launched WMP and am now listening to the Waterboys. On really crappy speakers. <g>

I had trouble figuring out how to "open" the CD -- I finally clicked on the little downward pointing blue triangle to the right of the "Now Playing" tab.

And the song title it's displaying is the one following the track that's actually playing. Shouldn't complain, though -- at least they're in English. <g>

I started Nero SoundTrax -- I have no idea what it does, but thought it might have a more logical CD player -- and it's too complicated.

Maybe I should get an iPod.

FvH

marlene
11-10-2005, 10:03 PM
Oooh, that IS insidious. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.

FvH

ElyseC
11-11-2005, 07:01 AM
Maybe I should get an iPod.Or at least try iTunes. Music I want to play while working I get iTunes to pull in from my CDs. I've set up a bunch of playlists and can pick which I want to play or just tell iTunes to play one song, a list, or the whole darned library. I don't (yet) have an iPod.

The one thing I want an iPod for at this point is on-the-spot recording. Why not use a regular ol' tape recorder for that? Because I don't want these recordings to live on tape, I want to burn them to CD for posterity. I have relatives I want to record telling family history and I want to capture my kid's voice as he grows. My hunch is the kid will start getting into music and drama at school and perhaps through community theater soon, so I want to record that for him, for us and for his grandparents, too.

Steve Rindsberg
11-11-2005, 07:35 PM
Well, there ya go.

>>Maybe I should get an iPod.

People seem happy using them with Windows PCs.
I got mine so I could feel less guilty about how little I use the Mac and it's served well. Still, you'll want better speakers either way.

Steve Rindsberg
11-11-2005, 07:38 PM
I'd check with people who're using iPods for recording first. Is the quality up to par?
If not, couldn't you use the audio recording program thingie that comes with Macs to transfer tapes to the Mac?

Steve Rindsberg
11-11-2005, 07:41 PM
It was only a matter of time. And now that we're on "internet time" .... yikes!

ElyseC
11-12-2005, 05:06 PM
I'd check with people who're using iPods for recording first. Is the quality up to par? If not, couldn't you use the audio recording program thingie that comes with Macs to transfer tapes to the Mac?I've been watching relevant reader reports and product announcements at macintouch.com for probably six months and, personally, I doubt the quality going from tape to digital is up to going digital all the way, with no second generation issues and hum from the tape recorder mechanism. There's one very interesting new gizmo, the iKey, (http://www.ikey-audio.com/ikey.htm) that I'm watching.

Yes, I think I could use GarageBand to record, but I really want this setup to be as light and portable as possible and lugging a laptop isn't as nice in that department as would be an iPod.

iamback
11-13-2005, 02:23 PM
I just found this:

Sony BMG sued over cloaking software on music CD

One lawsuit has been filed and more are planned against record company Sony BMG after several of its music CDs were found to covertly install controversial anti-piracy software on computers.
Full story at NewScientist Breaking News:
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8307&feedId=online-news_rss20

Steve Rindsberg
11-13-2005, 07:01 PM
Ah, the iKey looks like it might be the missing link. A serious piece of gear that just uses the iPod as an HDD, no?

The other iPod recording gadgets I've seen advertised and/or reviewed have all been of the "almost as good as your pocket digital voice recorder thingie but what the hell, it goes on your iPod, it looks cool, what's not to love?" variety.

Steve Rindsberg
11-13-2005, 07:24 PM
Back from iKey's site. Interesting looking gadget, and the size is certainly right.
Only thing is that it appears to have only line-level inputs, meaning that you might need some kind of preamp to make it work with a microphone. Worth checking into that before popping for 230 bucks.

Molly/CA
11-14-2005, 06:22 AM
My son is a musician and school music teacher and just bought a second Ipod. He works for the district and goes around from school to school and sticks the IPod in a pocket and carries all the music he wants the kids to hear in it. (The mini would about go in his ear, much less a pocket, and has the same storage, a gigabyte) He takes it to solo gigs where he plays a background for himself on steel drum and thinks it's at least as good as any other system he had. I remember ten years ago it took a truckload of equipment to play a solo gig --but now most places he plays have adequate sound systems. That was on Catalina where they didn't, then, so the truckload included speakers.

Anyway, he thinks the quality is fine --it depends on the recording format, of course. The best quality compression is pretty good these days. I've heard the thing and it sounds pretty good to me.

For recording live, the microphone is probably the important thing. Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear --the signal going into the machine, whatever it is, has to be good.

Molly/CA
11-14-2005, 06:26 AM
As usual it's too simple for me to have figured out. What won't they think of next.

Molly/CA
11-14-2005, 06:36 AM
My NetMd's pretty old and I've quit using it for anything I want to transfer to the computer except in desperate situations, but I'm not sure you couldn't get a USB connector for it, or it might have come with one.

Which also worked only with the Sony software, so you still couldn't play back your own practicing.

The optical cable never worked either, nor did the hookup to the CD player that was supposed to let you put tracks onto the MD. Horrors. You might have been copying a tune from a Sony CD so you could listen to it skiplessly while you worked out. Or so I surmised.

Wasn't it Sony's disk protection that New Scientist reported on a while back --one of the codes you could nullify by carefully drawing a line over an area of the CD? NS had a lot of fun playing with the various harebrained 'protection' schemes --can't wait until they get hold of this one.

Kelvyn
11-14-2005, 11:09 AM
then made it very difficult to get a fix and so far as I know, STILL haven't made a removal tool available.

Billy Gates is riding to the rescue!! See here. (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1886122,00.asp)

ElyseC
11-15-2005, 10:42 AM
Yes, it does look like the missing link and, yes, the iPod is the storage device (if I'm reading it all correctly).

Until iKey, I've watched the Griffin devices, but the fusses against them have been, as you say, the quality and lack of stereo capability. Now, for the kind of spoken voice recording I want to do, stereo might not be all that vital, but if I can do it and capture a conversation between, say, reminiscing relatives, how much more delightful would that be for future generations to listen to, experiencing the whole thing closer to live.

ElyseC
11-15-2005, 10:47 AM
Yes, a lot more checking will be done, along with a lot of review reading, once I find them. No danger of my leaping before looking, for a few months anyway. <g>

ElyseC
11-15-2005, 10:49 AM
Indeed. Microphones must also be researched, reviews studied. Don't dare forget that GIGO!

Steve Rindsberg
11-15-2005, 12:03 PM
Billy Gates is riding to the rescue!! See here. (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1886122,00.asp)
How very cool ... The Right Thing!

ktinkel
11-16-2005, 08:02 AM
I think I've bought my last Sony productAs others have pointed out, this particular bit of code is being withdrawn by Sony, but there is a brief discussion (http://www.macintouch.com/) on Macintouch today about how this DRM stuff works. Sony’s software does not work on Macs, as has been noted here, but Dave Schroeder (who seems to follow CD and DVD recording technology) has this to say:
That is not to say that content owners will not continue to attempt to assert control with further DRM technologies in the future, and indeed, to attempt to convince computer and electronics makers to include only “approved” playback mechanisms (e.g., those that respect the DRM) along the lines of DVD players that play standard CSS-protected DVDs. But this isn’t yet the case with Apple or Mac OS X.
Which is, I guess, a warning for everyone on any platform, even the Mac.

BobRoosth
11-17-2005, 11:30 PM
My daughter found a review of the newest iPod that says its sampling rate is 44.1 kb. If true, that's CD quality. PC Magazine reports that the output quality is the best yet.

ElyseC
11-18-2005, 05:59 AM
My daughter found a review of the newest iPod that says its sampling rate is 44.1 kb. If true, that's CD quality. PC Magazine reports that the output quality is the best yet.Oo! An iPod and iKey plus a couple of halfway decent microphones are moving even higher on my holiday wish list!

Ian Petersen
11-18-2005, 11:28 AM
The iPod has always had a *hardware* sampling rate of 44.1 kHz with a 16 bit depth, but the standard iPod OS artificially limited it to something less (22 kHz ?) for recording. I believe it's possible to run Linux on a standard iPod and enable the full hardware sampling rate so one can record in full CD quality.

Output quality is of course independent of the recording sampling rate, and AFAIK has always been 'CD quality', but the quality of components, AD/DA converters etc. have a large rôle to play here.

Steve Rindsberg
11-18-2005, 05:23 PM
Have a look also at www.m-audio.com
Click the Products link, Mobile Recording and look at the MicroTrack device.
More money, but it's made to do just what you need, it looks like.

Even comes with a free copy of Audacity, which normally costs ... um. Nothing. ;-)


OoohOooh. And I see what *I* want SantaWeb to bring me ... JamLab.

deB
11-18-2005, 08:31 PM
If you use Windows and if you ever play CDs on your computer, you at least want to take a quick look at this:

http://www.sysinternals.com/Blog/


[Warning: irritated righteous flame follows. I'm irritated because I'm jerk enough to think it's MY computer, and MY operating system, and jerko software people have no more right to install stuff in it than my garage would have to install a tracking device in my car without my knowledge. And it seems to be getting worse, so we should all yell bloody murder.]

As this Sony "rootkit" story has unfolded, it's gotten nastier and nastier. This readable, non-geeky article http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,69601,00.html, just posted Thursday, is by a no-BS expert on security and cryptography. He goes deeper than the DRM angle - his question is, what's going on, that this stuff was out there for more than a year before anyone said boo about it? And NOBODY did anything about it until the public outcry ramped up, just in the past three weeks.

Even now, he says, despite statements to the contrary, NOBODY has come up with a way to remove the "rootkit" security risk that Sony installed - all they've done is remove the "cloaking" feature that makes it impossible to detect. Everything I've read says once it's installed, you can't get rid of it without damaging Windows.

The antivirus people have been no better. And multiple viruses have been found in the wild that exploit the security hole this thing installs.

The Sony software says it doesn't phone home; it does. The installer says you have to install it to play the CD; you don't. It's plainly & simply invasive nastyware, installing itself under false pretenses and doing damage to your Windows installation.

More than any other thing in all the years I've been bi-platform, this is the most ominous thing that leads me to think seriously about Linux and Mac. It's just disgusting to me that it's gotten to the point where they really think they own my computer and can do as they wish with it.

As I told eec today, I just wish Dell made Macs, because it's gotten to the point where I always get great service from Dell and everything works.

Meanwhile there was an item on NPR this morning about this next step... making adware seem more credible, by *certifying it!* Of course - why didn't I think of that?? Let's certify spam, too. http://news.com.com/Will+certification+legitimize+adware/2100-1029_3-5956985.html (http://news.com.com/Will+certification+legitimize+adware/2100-1029_3-5956985.html?tag=st.ref.goo)
"despite its high-profile backers, the plan won't put an end to ad-serving downloads that suck up system resources, critics say. Instead, it will give those applications a seal of approval (http://news.com.com/Catfight+in+the+spyware+corral/2100-1032_3-5567781.html?tag=nl)."

deB

Ian Petersen
11-18-2005, 10:47 PM
MicroTrackLooks interesting. I've had my eye on the Marantz PMD660 for a while: (http://tinyurl.com/52hnu). Not as sexy as the M-Audio, perhaps, but possibly better quality (not that M-Audio make poor quality stuff - their soundcards are excellent). They seem to be about the same price.JamLabI've nothing in principle against digital modelling amps, but in practice I find them tiresome and sterile, especially when pc-based, where latency can also be a problem. I'd go with hardware: POD or Vox Tonelab. The JamLab could be a fun practice tool though, which I suppose is what it is designed for. It's hard to beat a nice hand-wired valve amp though! <g>

Steve Rindsberg
11-19-2005, 01:46 PM
Re the JamLab

<hard to beat a nice hand-wired ....>

And hard to find one for 79 bucks <g>

I don't expect Great Sound out of the thing, that's certain.

I like the idea of being able to plug it into the laptop and noodle around w/o annoying the cats, family and neighbors. Marshall stacks can be a bit limiting in close quarters.

marlene
11-19-2005, 01:48 PM
I'd seriously consider getting an iPod if I knew how to get tracks from my music CDs into an iPod. I've got lots of CDs, and don't want to re-buy the songs in digital format if I can convert them myself.

It's bad enough I already had a lot of the music on vinyl, then re-bought it on CD. And I actually bought duplicates of some CDs, so I could take them to work when I had an office downtown.

FvH

Steve Rindsberg
11-19-2005, 01:50 PM
Er ... what makes you think that Sony or somebody like them hasn't got plans for Mac as well?

Granted, even *they* aren't stupid enough to try that on now, but I heard that they had Mac on the radar next.

As long as people will happily click anything that asks permission, I don't see any reason a Mac is safer than a PC. Smaller target, that's all.

Steve Rindsberg
11-19-2005, 01:55 PM
>>I've had my eye on the Marantz PMD660 for a while: (http://tinyurl.com/52hnu). Not as sexy as the M-Audio, perhaps,>>

Ooohhh.... I dunno. That looks VERY nice. AAMOF, if the two are in the same price range, I think I'd go with the Marantz unit, now that I've seen it.

Shane Stanley
11-19-2005, 09:00 PM
I'd seriously consider getting an iPod if I knew how to get tracks from my music CDs into an iPod.

Assuming iTunes works the same under Windows, there's nothing much simpler: just feed them in to add them to iTunes, then drag the ones you want to the iPod.

Shane

Ian Petersen
11-19-2005, 09:43 PM
<hard to beat a nice hand-wired ....>
And hard to find one for 79 bucksTrue. Although I recently built myself a nice little 5W combo from a kit that cost roughly twice as much. With materials for a cabinet and speaker it came to maybe $200. That's not bad for a fully hand-wired valve amp. And I certainly haven't used my POD much since, although the amp does still need a power attenuator to get it down to living room volumes. 5W is loud! But now I can noodle away into the wee hours without waking the neighbours and it really does sound like a Marshall stack - or perhaps closer to a Marshall 18W 'Bluesbreaker'. <g>

Ian Petersen
11-19-2005, 09:57 PM
Yes, I'd probably go for the Marantz too. For one thing, the M-Audio doesn't seem to have a built in microphone. On the other hand it's quite a bit smaller than the Marantz and it does have an S/PDIF (digital) input. Choices, choices! <g>

Steve Rindsberg
11-20-2005, 10:59 AM
Ahhhh ... what fun! And let's face it, playing through headphones just *isn't* the same.

Ian Petersen
11-20-2005, 12:40 PM
playing through headphones just *isn't* the same.It certainly isn't. But if you must then this (http://news.harmony-central.com/Newp/2005/JamPod.html) or this (http://news.harmony-central.com/Newp/2004/JamPlug.html) might be more fun than the M-Audio thingy. <g>

Bo Aakerstrom
11-21-2005, 05:05 PM
Greedy and ignorant of them. That's bad enough but then when they got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they denied it, then made it very difficult to get a fix and so far as I know, STILL haven't made a removal tool available.

Who needs it? Who needs them? Not I.

My brother-in-law installed some software from a CD that came with his shiny new mobile phone (cell phone). His PC went in to a "constant re-boot". He was instructed by the manufacturer's help desk to un-install the software (Which tells to me they already know there is something wrong with their application, but haven't bothered to do anything about it.), after doing so, the PC wouldn't boot up at all!

This is where I get drafted in to sort it out...

I managed to get to work in the end, but what does this have to do with this thread I hear you ask?

The phone is a Sony Ericsson!

Steve Rindsberg
11-21-2005, 05:16 PM
Oooeee ... for $29, I'll buy the JamPod when it shows up in the stores hereabouts.

Steve Rindsberg
11-21-2005, 05:18 PM
>> The phone is a Sony Ericsson!

Just a coincidence, of course. Sure. A coincidence. Yeah. That's what it must be. Uh-huh.

Ouch. What'd you end up having to do in order to clean up the mess? Last-Known-Good bootup?

Bo Aakerstrom
11-23-2005, 01:42 PM
Last Known Good bootup resolved the problem at least for now. It seems like there were some addressing issues (corrupted information on the hard drive) to resolve even after rolling back to a date prior to installing the stuff on the CD, so all I can do is to wait and see.

marlene
11-25-2005, 09:26 PM
just feed them in to add them to iTunes

You mean just put the CD in the drive and do whatever it is that feeds them into iTunes? I thought the tracks had to be converted to mp3 files or something. Or does iTunes do that? I am so ignorant about the whole process.

mxh

Shane Stanley
11-26-2005, 12:46 AM
You mean just put the CD in the drive and do whatever it is that feeds them into iTunes? I thought the tracks had to be converted to mp3 files or something. Or does iTunes do that?

iTunes does it. You set a preference for "On CD Insert", one option for which is Import Songs, and then you set encoding.

Shane