Sunday, October 29, 2006

AnalogWhole: Consolidate Your Windows Media Files Painlessly

One of the reasons why DRM (Digital Rights Management) is having a hard time "protecting" media (music and movie) files is because of the so-called analog hole. No amount of high-tech DRM protection works against the analog hole because no matter how extensive the software DRM protection gets, that so-called protection ends as the digital media is played back and is converted to its analog format. This method of copying "protected" files is not always easy but for a lot of determined users, it is not that difficult to do. A disadvantage of copying protected music through the analog hole is that the quality is usually degraded because the file starts out as digital, then it is converted to analog then re-converted into digital.

Enter AnalogWhole.

AnalogWhole is a software that allows DRM'd music to be played through Windows Media Player but instead of routing the output to the speaker, it is re-written as an unprotected MP3 file. Such approach minimizes the loss of quality because the file does not have to be 'recorded' from a speaker output, it is instead "captured" directly from the soundcard itself.

Is AnalogWhole a piracy tool? Not necessarily! In my opinion, if a person purchases music, he has the right to play it wherever he wants to. Music files protected using Windows Media Player DRM does not necessarily play on all types of MP3 player and the only way to make it works is by using software similar to AnalogWhole. Now, some "advocates" may disagree with me on this but that warrants its own blog post.

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