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Old 10-09-2009, 03:00 PM
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Default Blu-ray Digital Copy: Only a Good Experience for iTunes Users

There are a lot of things that I don't like about Blu-ray as a format, but as the industry has settled on it as the physical standard for HD discs, things have slowly started to improve. One such improvement is the increased proliferation of Managed Digital Copy on Blu-ray discs. It works like this: in many new Blu-ray packages, you'll have the Blu-ray disc, a regular DVD, and a small card with a code on it. When you insert the regular DVD in your computer, you'll typically get an auto-loader (pictured above) for the movie, and it will give you the ability to transfer a DVD resolution (or lower if they offer a portable device version) copy of the movie to your computer in one of two DRM-laden formats: iTunes MPEG4, or Windows Media Player WMV. In each case, the code you're provided is used to authenticate the WMV and MPEG4 versions of the movie. The neat part is that you can get both the iTunes and Windows Media Player versions of the movie - I did this with four Blu-ray discs I purchased.

The DRM is of course where this scenario starts to fail, but it's not too bad if you're an iTunes user - which is somewhat painful for me to admit. There are a lot of things I don't like about iTunes, but the way it handles DRM for video is the way it should work. The permissions for you to own the content are stored on the iTunes server, so when I migrated my computer from Windows Vista to Windows 7, I simply re-imported my movies, and authorized my computer. It was completely seamless and trouble-free.

The Windows Media Player scenario was a complete disaster. Before wiping my system I tried to export the DRM tokens for the movies, but was unsuccessful. It had been a few years since I'd messed with Windows Media DRM, and I thought there was a way to export the DRM permissions, but I couldn't figure it out. After the system wipe I tried playing the DRM-laden files again, and they asked me for the coupon code to re-authenticate. The problem? Upon entering the code I was given an error stating that the authentication number had been exceeded. It seems the movie studios will give you permission to transfer the movie to your computer only once; you're expected to use that computer forever. Oh, did I mention that the DRM used isn't compatible with the Zune? Even if you have the right DRM token on your system, the files will only transfer to PlaysForSure devices. Sorry Zune HD owners.

Blu-ray digital copy is a mixed-blessing: it's pretty much seamless if you're a iPod user, but if you're not, I suggest learning the esoteric art of ripping Blu-ray DVDs [affiliate] and making your own DRM-free copies of the movies you own. It's the only way to use the content you paid for the way you want to use it.

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He's still searching for the ultimate netbook.

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Old 10-09-2009, 04:09 PM
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Unfortunately the market for Zune is not large enough for the studios to have Zune versions, and I know no one that uses the ancient and awful windows Media Play DRM. Itunes in general handles DRM, for both Music and Video better than than 4.0, I only use the Zune pass because of this I don't buy anything from the Marketplace, until they get their act together
 
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarpad View Post
Unfortunately the market for Zune is not large enough for the studios to have Zune versions
True - but the Zune DRM is very closely related to the Windows Media DRM...in fact, it's virtually the same thing because Zune DRM'd tracks can be put onto PlaysForSure devices (if memory serves). This is really mostly about the Zune team tweaking the Zune software and devices to work with the DRM that the studios are using - I doubt the studios would have to do anything at all.
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:13 PM
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I too am running Windows 7 RTM on my primary machine, and, as a longtime Slysoft customer, can't wait for their products to be Windows 7 compatible!
 
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by brianchris View Post
I too am running Windows 7 RTM on my primary machine, and, as a longtime Slysoft customer, can't wait for their products to be Windows 7 compatible!
I'm running both AnyDVD and CloneDVD Mobile on my Windows 7 systems...they work fine. Were you having problems with them?
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Old 10-09-2009, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
I'm running both AnyDVD and CloneDVD Mobile on my Windows 7 systems...they work fine. Were you having problems with them?
No....I just try to keep my main production machine extra clean by, whenever possible, not installing something unless it is indicated from the developer that the OS I'm currently using is supported. I do that knowing full well a lot of apps work even though they aren't indicated to. And some apps I had to install any ways (such as iTunes 9 and SPB Wallet 2) because I needed them ASAP.

I know that policy of mine may be a little overkill
 
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:06 PM
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Jason...Thanks (!) for writing about the WMP/Zune issue with DRM. I've been complaining about this to the Zune team for 20 months. The Zune team should be upfront, and tell buyers the Zune is not PlayForSure compatible. Or, they should at least warn users about the DRM issues. Chalk one up for IPOD in THIS case.

Paul
 
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:08 PM
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No....I just try to keep my main production machine extra clean by, whenever possible, not installing something unless it is indicated from the developer that the OS I'm currently using is supported.
Aha. I hear you - though with Windows 7 having the same core as Windows Vista, virtually everything that works on Vista works great on 7.
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Old 10-09-2009, 08:52 PM
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I actually went and registered for the site just so I could comment on this post. Managed Copy and Digital Copy have absolutely nothing to do with each other. With digital copy you're getting a low-res, DRMed copy of a DVD, not a Blu-ray.

Managed Copy isn't even available yet and since it'll require new hardware to use, I doubt you're getting managed copies. Managed Copy will be a very different concept. I suggest doing some research on the topic. Here's a good place to start.

And from Blu-ray.com:
1.13 Will Blu-ray support mandatory managed copy?

Yes, mandatory managed copy (MMC) will be part of the Blu-ray format. This feature will enable consumers to make legal copies of their Blu-ray movies that can be transferred over a home network. Please note that "mandatory" refers to the movies having to offer this capability, while it will be up to each hardware manufacturer to decide if they want to support this feature.
Not only that but Microsoft DRM is one of the supported DRM formats. So it's entirely possible that Windows and WMP may actually end up being easier to use than iTunes with Managed Copy. Studios haven't been able to do DRM right yet so only time will tell on that one.
 
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by MolsonFL View Post
I actually went and registered for the site just so I could comment on this post. Managed Copy and Digital Copy have absolutely nothing to do with each other. With digital copy you're getting a low-res, DRMed copy of a DVD, not a Blu-ray.
Thanks, I appreciate the effort and the correction - I got the two terms confused, and have updated my article to appropriately name the feature. I also clarified that the copy of the movie you're getting is DVD resolution - or lower in the case of a "portable" version. I thought that would be obvious since it's a DVD, not a Blu-ray disc, but it can't hurt to be more obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MolsonFL View Post
Not only that but Microsoft DRM is one of the supported DRM formats. So it's entirely possible that Windows and WMP may actually end up being easier to use than iTunes with Managed Copy. Studios haven't been able to do DRM right yet so only time will tell on that one.
I guess we'll see, but unless Managed Copy is done as part of a futuristic Zune-based system, with sever side components to involve authorization of computer system, I can't see it better than iTunes (I can't believe I just wrote that). DRM tokens that only exist on one computer, and are made nearly impossible to transfer to another computer, make for a highly problematic system...
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