Apple Locks New iPods to iTunes
September 16, 2007 2:19 PM
comment(s) - last by
New code added to iTunes database file prevents iPods from being used with any program other than iTunes.
Less than two weeks ago
its entire iPod lineup along with introducing a new iPod model, the iPod touch. The product line update consisted of new features and designs for Apple’s iPod brand. The update, though, shouldn’t be taken entirely at face value; Apple also managed to
some code that locks the new iPods to only work with iTunes.
Apple has locked out other digital content management software by adding “SHA1 hashes” to the beginning of the iTunesDB file, the database file which keeps track of digital content stored on the iPods. The enhanced code locks the iTunes database to one specific iPod and also prevents any modifications to it. If an attempt is made to either change the database file to a different iPod or to modify the file, the iPod reports “0 songs” are stored on the device. What this means is that essentially only iTunes can add or delete content from the iPod.
The most plausible reason for locking then new iPods to iTunes is that Apple is becoming conscious of the growing threat that other music services are offering. Since many music labels are
, it is now easier than ever for music services like Rhapsody to load non-DRM music directly to iPods through its own player; meaning iTunes is taken out of the picture as the digital content handler for iPods.
Locking iPods to iTunes effectively inhibits other media players from handling content for iPods. This move also prevents other music services from truly competing with the iTunes store and maintains Apple’s dominance.
Apple has been very aggressive in the past to ensure that nothing changes the relationship between iPods and iTunes. Three years ago RealNetworks attempted to create an alliance between Apple and RealNetwork that would allow Real to license Apple’s Fairplay DRM technology so that it could sell files compatible with iPods.
Real’s ambitions turned out to be a failure when its talks with Apple failed, and so the company decided to simply reverse engineer Apple's FairPlay to create Harmony technology, which allowed music sold via RealNetworks to work on Apple’s iPods along with a plethora of other portable devices.
Apple nearly immediately issued a scathing response, and stated that Real’s move violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Apple also issued a firmware update to its iPods which blocked iPod access to Harmony files. At the time Apple said it was “stunned” by RealNetwork’s moves and accused it of using "tactics and ethics of a hacker."
Do you have an iPod but run Linux? Tough luck says Apple. Windows users who prefer to use other management tools, such as Winamp, will also need to use iTunes exclusively for now as well.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: How doe sthis differ from MS Antitrust
9/17/2007 3:46:06 AM
Should clarify that the article actually refers to apple's monopoly in music downloads and the tying of that to the ipod rather than the other way round.
"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
Apple Announces New iPods
September 5, 2007, 2:38 PM
iTunes Now Offering DRM-Free Music Tracks for $1.29
May 30, 2007, 12:12 PM
Twitter Senior VP: "Diversity is Important, But We Can’t Lower the Bar"
November 9, 2015, 9:59 AM
CNN Resorts to Internet Censorship to Promote Clinton Over Senator Sanders
October 15, 2015, 2:47 PM
Breaking Bad: How to Crash Google's Chrome Browser With Just 8 Characters
September 23, 2015, 11:08 AM
Quick Note: Amazon UK Offers £10 Back on Any Order £50 or Over
August 3, 2015, 12:05 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Most Popular Articles
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
2017 Porsche Panamera: I’ll Take Three of These.
July 24, 2016, 6:44 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information