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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
Danny Ricci wrote in telling us,

"It's final, Universal is going to release CDs that can only be played on some newer stereo systems and Windows-based PCs. There is no support for Macs, DVD Players, and some CD players. Microsoft must have paid them big bucks for this, (although Windows users won't be able to rip eather, just play). See the article. Time for Apple users to unite and lead a boycott, remember, as always, We Shall Provail."

Boycott indeed. There is no way that any of us here at Macrumors will ever purchase Universal CD's again unless this protection is removed. The notion...buying a CD and not immediately importing it into iTunes as MP3's--lunacy. We certainly hope that all the Mac faithful out there (or PS2 faithful, or...) will follow suit.


macrumors newbie
Dec 12, 2001
Older equipment?

I understand where Universal is coming from, but I don't believe this is the correct approach. First of all, what about everybody who has older home electronics? I have some very nice home theater equipment, but it is around 5 years old. Does this mean these CDs are not going to work?

I have a decent sized audio CD collection (around 600) and it is very nice to have all the songs I own on my PowerBook hard drive. When travelling, I cannot lug around hundreds of CDs. I admit I download music, but for evaluation. I want to hear music before I run out and buy the CD. If I don't buy the CD, I don't keep it on my hard drive. If I buy it, I will end up encoding the music myself. Now, Universal is saying Windows users can listen to the CDs, but not rip them? I am sure somebody will crack this very quickly. There is always going to be somebody that can get around the copy protection. The part that really bugs me is that as a Mac user, we are not even allowed to listen to the CD. This is obviously because Universal doesn't want to go to the trouble of making it work for us Mac users.

I just hope this causes a huge problem for Universal, so others don't follow suit.


macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
Natick, MA
ban Universal brand cd's

If they want to use the 'protection' then it better not be in the US. Since I will not buy any of Universal's music cd's if it has that nasty item in it.


macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2001

Just why would a CD not play on "older" CD equipment? Unless it was say, an MP3-CD... but then if it was an MP3-CD, then it would play on any computer.. I don't see how such a thing is possible that it would play on Windows and not on Mac.. there must be a screwup in the info there somewhere..

I for one will not buy any such thing.. I refuse to pay for something that I can't use any way I please.. Sounds like another Divx-style sales disaster is on the way for Universal.. When will they ever learn?


Moderator emeritus
Jan 2, 2001
Metairie, LA
the RIAA

I can see it now. Millions of people buying new CD's, so excited to hear the music they decide to rip open the case and listen to it on their way home from the music store. Only to find the CD won't even read on their car stereo. A bit perplexed, they decide to wait till they get home to their home stereo, and it won't play on that either. Frustrated, they bring the CD which they think is defective back to the store, and get another. Then they go through the process all over again.

What I don't understand is how making CD's unreadable by Macintosh computers can help the recording industry? If it's simply because Microsoft is still trying to monopolize the tech industry, then I'm sure we'll see more battling in the federal courts.

The way I see it, the advent of mp3 is something that was inevitable. Technology is always going to advance, and the recording industry was just holding their breath, hoping nothing would come about. It's their own damned fault for making music so expensive that we've come to this.

As for making the discs copy-proof, isn't paying $18.99 for a CD the same thing as buying the rights listen and do what u want with the recording, as long as u do not capitalize on it to make money. I know I'm probably off on some of these points, but this is ridiculous!



macrumors member
Oct 25, 2001

morons! how long do you think it will take hack and make it playable on a mac?
the really sad part is: copying won't stop but people will be EXTREMELY pissed if it forces them to buy new hifi systems
marketing chumps are idiots


macrumors newbie
Nov 5, 2001

After reading that article, it looks like schemes like this have failed in the past due to consumers backlash.

I think of it like this: They are adding this security to prevent people from ripping CDs. As a result, anyone who wants to do such things with their music just won't buy the CD! Considering the fact that most people I know immediately make a backup copy or import to their mp3 collection upon buying a new CD, I know none of them will support this idea.

In addition, by making the CD only able to play on a limited number of devices (the mentioned that even some CD players wouldn't be able to play it!), I really doubt that this plan will take-off.

Personally, it wouldn't even be the end of my world if I couldn't share music online (although I love to). It's more the idea that when you buy protected music, you don't really have the ability to use it the way you want, and in many ways, it doesn't feel like you "own" it at all.

The article cites the fact that DVDs and videogames are copy protected and that's working fine, but as I see it, music is just different. Although it can be stored on the same media, the very nature of "owning" music is very different than the idea of "owning" a movie or video game; Consumers make use of music in different ways. While DVDs and video games can for the most part remain in your living room, music is often enjoyed in a variety of places - in your car, on your mp3 player, on mixed cds, at work, etc...When you buy a CD, you are not only paying for the music - you are paying for the freedom to enjoy it however you choose. As a result, I think the copy protection suggested really takes a lot of the value out of the product you are paying for.


macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
Natick, MA
And how many people are going to buy a new system for one cd?? None of the smart ones. If there is a hack that comes about, it will be used by the people that want to make tons of copies.

I just want to use my existing equipment, which plays everything I have quite nicely at this time.


macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2001
Another blow to th Mac...

Y'know, it's bad enough that there are so many e-CD's I can't use on my Mac, but now I can't even use a REGULAR CD?!? Yeah, to call it B.S. is to put it mildly. Oh well, there's 25 million potential customers Universal just lost...

And by the way, if a site admin's reading this, I know this is kinda nitpicky - but let's correct the spelling of 'Provail.' It's prEvail, with an 'e'. If we're going to look strong in this fight, we can at least spell things correctly. That's just embarassing...


macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
WestCost, USA

I am mad, very Mad.

I will now have to Hack my legal music so I can burn it to CD-R just so I can play it on my DVD player, Mac and maybe on my in-dash CD in the car. This is encuraging us to hack and crack it all!! Those that want to use their property the way they want will start it, then onece the hack is out... all can use it. The muisic biz is way behind in Tech and will never catch up. They are still confused how 11 year olds that downloaed the latest Backstreet boys CD off Napster were able to get the upper hand on them. I may just go out and get that Crapy universal CD just so I can see what kind of damage I can do to it.

Universal... this is personal


macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2001
It's been done before to a certain extent...

I believe BMG tried it with a Natalie Imbruglia cd and so many people complained that they restocked with normal cds after a while... Music is meant to be easy, the worry about how to play it will put everyone off, even those with all the appropriate software/hardware. I want a CD where i can play at home/ at work/ in the car/ at my friends etc without ANY hassle. It will never work.... it mustn't!

[Edited by Chumley on 12-19-2001 at 05:02 AM]


macrumors member
Oct 25, 2001

I actually want them to do it because it will kill them
sales will plumet and they'll be forced to do the same as with BMG's Imbruglia fiasco, repress and replace cd's.
they are finally paying the price for overcharging music

Thinks Different

macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2001


As long as there will be AV-cables and AV-input cards, you'll always be able to copy the sound whatever source its coming from. Or are the new stereos not gonna have a headphone-output?

It just takes a little math knowledge to see how easy this problem is to solve for the major labels. Just let the music free and sell all CD to and affordable price.
F. ex you have to bay about 20 bucks for a pop CD in sweden. Lets say 1 out of 10 will actually buy the CD at this price, and 9 will download it instead.
If the CD would have been 5 bucks, I'm pretty sure they'd have sold more than 4 out of 10, easily.

Also, no "real" bands make their income from CD-selling. Only pop-stars do (Britney spears, BSB, etc.), and who cares if they'd fade away?
How come the independent labels never have complained about mp3s?


macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2001
Champaign, IL, USA
Universal are only hurting themselves

Universal are only hurting themselves with this move. This means that purchasing universal cd's is no longer an option for mac users, we are now forced to pirate their music. I can gaurntee that someone (mac user or not) will work out a way around the protection and be able to rip the CD into MP3s. Once that happens, the CD will be passed around LimeWire and various other clients and we'll get it that way. In the meantime go to universal, write a complaint to them (i won't ever buy any of your products again etc.) write to amazon and cdnow saying that you will purchase nothing from their website unless they remove all CDs with such protection.


macrumors newbie
Dec 18, 2001
Anyone Have a List?

Can anyone provide a list of record companies that Universal owns/controls/operates? A boycott is easier if we are all informed. Are companies serviced by Universal's distribution arm also affected by this? Also, the fact that a CD would play in a Wintel PC but not a Mac, DVD player, etc. is a tad strange. From my understanding, the "encryption" placed on other CD's (such as that of the Natalie Imbruglia debacle) is digital 'noise' that interferes with the drivers of a CDRom drive. Actually, the information I've heard is that this only interrupts a Wintel drive. Can anyone tell me more/correct my misinformation?


macrumors member
Oct 17, 2001
This is beyond stupid.
Mac user can already enjoy Playsation game on there mac. It will be so easy to crack music CD's and put them on a web site for free download.
People won't even want to buy those new CD's, and they just look n the internet to download their fav song.


From what I can tell

From what I can tell, I believe that the CD is encrypted or something. Digital noise will not interfere with most cd rom players, but will interfere with a wintel box. Since it does not work on the Macintosh or on some cdrom players, I would guess that the CD requires some proprietary decoding algorithm. But then again, that would mean that 99% of all cd players would not play them and that would mean that Universal has marketers with IQs below 20



macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2001
How it Works (I think)

I believe the CDs are recorded in a "dual mode" of some sort. Basically, the standard audio tracks (like on a normal cd) are put on one part of the CD and "noise" is added that interfears with ALL computers (I'll get to the wintel way in a second). So, newer stereos can play these CDs, but some older ones pick up the noise and can't.

Now for the wintel part, there's the other part of the CD. These are special windows-media type files that use the digital rights management which is a proprietary thing that Microsoft runs. These are sort of like .wma files with encryption. The Windows Media Player type app can "play" these files because it speaks the language and knows how to decode these files. No other type of apps can do this, like iTunes and such.

I'm sure that someone will be able to figure out a mac program to open these windows media type files in time, but of course this will be "illegal" as a violation of the DMCA.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2001
Scared Old Men...

Everyone knows that the advent of MP3’s (and MP3 swapping) increased sales of audio CD’s, and had the big guys only recognized this fact, we might just be looking at a fairer market today. Instead, they refused to change with the times – refused to reduce prices to something more competitive (like $7-$10 a CD), and now are refusing to maintain the little trust and support they have from their remaining customers by giving us LESS PRODUCT for the SAME PRICE?

I’m going out TODAY to get Virtual PC for OSX. As soon as I get home I’m downloading Morpheus. As soon as this is done, I’m will to proceed to “borrow” every new piece of music I desire. When the music industry decides they want me back, they’ll let me know by treating me with a little respect. If so, I’ll go back to my local store and complete my collection with the actual CD’s and cover art (and in so, doing my part to compensate the artist).


macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2001
i think these rich *******s are just going to see EVERYONE and i mean EVERYONE get they're **** online now, and not buy CD's at all. Serves em right rich bastards.


macrumors member
Jun 6, 2001
Death Of Record Labels

I think this will be great. Especially if the other Big Boys follow suit. If that happens, and everyone goes out and downloads everything, maybe bands won't use labels at all. After all, most bands make way more money off a T-shirt or poster than off of their CD's.
Simple solution (well, sorta)

If I can not play a Universal CD in any of my equipment, it doesn't get bought. It's really very simple. Besides, most of my music comes from companies like Sire, WaxTrax and Netwerk (are any of these Universal subsidiaries?). And if I want to make a copy, I can always get my DV camcorder and my headphone jack-to-RCA cable and make a recording from the receiver into my DV camcorder--a perfect digital copy of a clean analog signal. This is how I made .MP3s of my LPs (since I didn't want to put wear and tear on my records and turntable). There's always a way around this nonsense folks.

What kills me is, these morons are using the cloak of copyright protection to help them exercise such ridiculously tight control over everything that they pull a Bill Gates. Amazing. There's a saying that says that people who have little but are content are richer than those who have plenty and yet do not feel filled.
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