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Fairplay DRM : What can and can't I do?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Alasta, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular


    I understand that Fairplay DRM is imposed on songs downloaded from the iTunes Music Store in order to limit piracy. Fair enough, but this leads me to wonder exactly what restrictions are imposed, and how they might affect me.

    If I replace my Mac, can I transfer all of my songs to my new Mac? If I replace my Mac five times in the next ten years, will I still be able to have my songs on my newest machine, or will the DRM tell me that the songs have been played/installed on too many different machines? Will my music still work if my Mac dies and I have to restore a backup? What happens when I replace my iPod?

    I'm the sort of person who buys music now, and listens to it for years and years into the future, so I'm really anxious to get some reassurance that I won't end up having to buy all of my iTMS content all over again in a few years' time because of the limitations imposed by the DRM.
  2. macrumors 65816


    You authorize various machines, up to five at a time. So if you replace your mac, you just deauthorize it and authorize the new one. Your music will work fine if you have to restore from a backup. You might have to authorize it again or something, but it will work.

    If you replace your iPod, it will just synch to your itunes. Not a big deal.

    And of course, you can burn all of this to CD too, no DRM, just like a regular CD. You can do this unlimited times so long as you change the list of songs being burned after 10 times using it.

    The drm apple uses is designed to be mostly transparent.
  3. macrumors regular

    Just to clarify, burning and re-ripping reduces quality. Also, there is a product, called Hymn, that lets you remove the DRM on protected AAC files. However, it won't work if you have ever used iTunes 6 with your iTMS account.
  4. macrumors regular


    Thanks for that.

    So, if my understanding is correct, when you authorise a particular Mac, it sends a message to the iTunes Music Store to request that it be added to the list of the authorised Macs for that specific iTMS user account. The iTMS monitors the number of Macs authorised for that iTMS user account to ensure that it never exceeds five.

    I suppose it would pay to take care to ensure that you deauthorise your Mac if you are replacing or disposing of it, so that it doesn't unnecessarily occupy a space on your list of authorised Macs.
  5. macrumors G5


    Yes: and before sending it in for warranty service ... ;)
  6. Moderator


    Staff Member

    That's correct. You can also click a button inside iTunes to deauthorise all computers attached to your account, although you are limited to doing this once per year.

    By the way, it seems to link to your Mac's unique serial number, because even if you format and reinstall without deauthorising, it doesn't eat up one of your 5 authorisations.

    Edit: Gotta be quicker than that, gekko! :p
  7. macrumors 603


    That's right, but if you do forget to deauthorise and you fill up the 5 computer limit, you can choose to deauthorise all computers from the iTMS and start over again, so you can never get stuck.
  8. macrumors regular

    How about on Windows PCs? Is it some kind of hardware hash (similar to MS Product Activation)?
  9. Moderator


    Staff Member

    I've never used it on Windows, so I don't know.
  10. macrumors 68000


    The burn playlist limit is now 7 times. This was changed at the same time they increased the number of authorised machines to 5.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Windows machines work the same way, however make sure you de-authourize before you upgrade your copy of windows. The identifier iTMS uses seems to be linked to the software rather than the hardware as it is on a Mac.

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