Exclusive -PyMusique Creator : Napster DRM Cracked

Neowin previously reported on the work done by Cody Brocious to get iTunes working on Linux; in a soon to be released updated version, Cody and his group have announced plans to support the Napster Music Store as well.

However, in the process of making PyMusique work with Napster, the group have broken the Digital Rights Management (DRM) system that the company uses. Unlike Apple's iTunes, the DRM is applied 'server-side', making the decryption process a lot more complicated. The team have formulated a method for removing the DRM on WMA files allowing them to play on non-Windows systems.

Amazingly, Brocious says the DRM crack could be applied to other stores (MSN Music, Napster, Wall mart) using the WMA file format; "we would have to figure out how to get their license keys, which is a relatively trivial process". The origins of the WMA DRM crack are Beale Screamer's code which was released in late 2001.

Napster does not currently offer a client for Linux or Apple. Brocious, with help from project partner Alex Goodwin, claims that the software will enable users on Windows, Linux and Mac systems to access both the Napster and iTunes music stores.

Napster offer unlimited downloads for a monthly subscription of $14.95. Whilst the downloads are unlimited, the DRM on the files stops the user playing them if they cancel their subscription. PyMusique circumvents this restriction by removing the DRM and allowing unrestricted use of the file. However, whilst removing the DRM on the files, users of iTunes and Napster must still pay for the content.

Brocious expects the new version to be released in the coming days. In stark message to e-music vendors, the team urged them to "Release Linux versions of your software, closed source or not, so we can use your services without this hassle." One can't but wonder, on this note, just how many pigs would have to be flying for Microsoft to meet these demands.

Stay tuned at Neowin for more information.

View: Neowin Interview : Cody Brocious

View: Cody's blog | Napster.com

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1 Comments

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These guys are pretty amazing at what they do. It will be interesting to see how the companies react. On one hand, the DRM they so proudly work on is being broken, but, on the other, these stores are being opened up to yet more people, thus meaning a potential for greater profit.