Played Playa
February 2, 2008 5:02 PM   Subscribe

You guys gave me some brilliant music suggestions in a previous question. So here's the next part of the problem. I need to manage my music. There are issues and I'm feeling very stupid.

I have 43 songs from a DRM source (Bigpond music)(very bad idea). The rest of my stuff is ripped from CD's. The 43 songs need to have licencing information in order to play. Being a slacker, I was using Windows Media Player to manage my music as that was what came with the laptop and I wasn't picky. Version 9 allows you to backup the licence information as well as the music. Version 11 doesn't seem to do this (if it does, I couldn't find out how). The DRM source no longer supports V9. I'm currently on V11 and looking at re-downloading the whole shebang again. I'm deeply unhappy with both Bigpond Music and Media Player and I don't want to go through this hassle every time I need to upgrade or reinstall.

My basic requirements are to play music on my PC in some sort of jukebox style and to transfer music to a portable player (I currently have an old Creative MuVo) or to a backup drive - all with the minimum hassle possible.

What is the easiest way to do this? Should I just bite the bullet and get an iPod? Frankly, if I threw away the 43 songs it wouldn't kill me but as I know nothing about the market, perhaps someone has a more practical suggestion? (God - I never want to have to feel this dumb again)
posted by ninazer0 to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would strongly recommend getting an iPod and using WINAMP (note: NOT iTUNES!!! I HATE iTUNES with a firey passion!). Using ml_ipod plugin, I can do everything through winamp with my 3rd gen iPod nano.

ml_ipod plugin:

Also, if you are only dealing with 43 songs and you REALLY want to keep them, you could re-record them without DRM, or just simply buy the CDs. At least you don't have 1,000s of songs from a DRM source (sadly, I know some friends who do).
posted by mikeo2 at 5:16 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Are you able to burn the songs to an audio CD? It's possible that once you do that, you can rip the songs from the CD in whatever format you want them to be in. I haven't used Bigpond Music so I don't know how that works, but I know it works with songs bought through iTunes.
posted by wondermouse at 5:21 PM on February 2, 2008

Best answer: Music DRM is self-defeating, because they're handing you the decryption keys at the same time as they hand you the music. If they didn't do that, you couldn't play the stuff. So, play it, and while you're happily listening, you can have Audacity make an unencumbered .wav copy for you.
posted by flabdablet at 6:23 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Ok, assume that I've sorted out the 43 songs (I haven't but Audacity looks like it might solve the issue once I redownload the whole shebang again). How do I not get in this mess again?

I want to grow my library via download. Where do I go from here? I know there are a ton of music stores online, plus a multitude of players and such. What will require the least mucking about with re-recording, converting and other shenannigans? Part of the lure of Itunes for me is access to a huge library of music (I assume it's huge - is it any good?) as I'd prefer not to have 20 different accounts all over the place. Is that even possible in this day and age?? I am happy to pay for the music.

Please assume I am 5 years old and educate me. I really do know nothing.
posted by ninazer0 at 7:05 PM on February 2, 2008

Best answer: Depending on your taste, Emusic might be a good fit. I like a lot of international/indie/classical stuff and Emusic has most of what I want. I get 30 downloads a month for a reasonable price and they are DRM-free mp3s. If I can't find it on emusic, I usually go with Amazon, because now they are offering DRM-free mp3s too.
posted by melissam at 7:21 PM on February 2, 2008

Best answer: Obligatory Jamendo link.
posted by flabdablet at 7:29 PM on February 2, 2008

I refuse to download DRM-encumbered music, on principle. It's never as cheap as it looks.
posted by flabdablet at 7:30 PM on February 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Neither is anything from BigPond, for that matter.
posted by flabdablet at 8:14 PM on February 2, 2008

Response by poster: Amazon is not available to non-USians at this time, which is a shame. Any other non-evil places that don't ignore Aussies?
posted by ninazer0 at 11:24 PM on February 2, 2008

Best answer: iTunes has started to sell some of their music without DRM. I don't know if they're still charging a premium for it, though. You can also use a tool like Hymn to strip the iTunes DRM quite easily.

A better solution might be to investigate one of the DRM-free stores. A little googling gave me this list. I'm sure with a little more effort, you can find a more recent one.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:42 AM on February 3, 2008

Response by poster: And in further news, a quick comparison of my music to the store's history has found that I am short by about 30 songs that I KNOW I got from them but which don't appear on my download history. Customer service are "looking into it". Wankers.

With a hand on my heart, I swear that I shall never use another DRM-crazy service again as long as I live, and I shall never, EVER have anything to do with Bigpond (herafter known as Bigpong) ever again.

Thankyou all for your patience and help.
posted by ninazer0 at 4:02 PM on February 3, 2008

If you need more music, and have a list of albums, email me.
posted by herbaliser at 3:07 PM on February 4, 2008

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