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back to article New music file aims to sink piracy using blogs and Twitter

A new music file format has become the latest to try to supersede the basic MP3, promising licensed files will have "tangible benefits" over pirated tracks for the first time. MusicDNA has been developed by Dagfinn Bach, part of the team that developed the current de facto standard at the Fraunhofer Institute 20 years ago. Bach' …

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FAIL

DRM in all but words?

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n what is claimed as MusicDNA's main advantage over illegally downloaded mp3s, the metadata of licensed files can be automatically updated whenever a player is connected to the internet. Labels will also have the option of providing user-customisable content.

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DRM?

Automaticall updated = Fuck off and cry when I disconnect the service. (probably licensed from Microsoft and called 'Plays for Sure') Then all your paid for tracks will be useless.

Fail for obvious reasons

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FAIL

Yes.

I predict this will crash and burn.

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FAIL

umm, no thanks.

"the metadata of licensed files can be automatically updated whenever a player is connected to the internet. Labels will also have the option of providing user-customisable content."

El Reg, that's surely a typo. You mean, "Labels will also have the option of filling your device with advertising material."

Secondly, who buys a song for the written lyrics etc? I mean, first of all, the lyrics are almost always online. Second of all, if you want your music to come with pictures etc., so they look better when you're showing off your iPod/phone/whatever then basic MP3s are already used for this function by every major player & service. What is the advantage of this new format if it offers no benefit in playback quality? It sounds distinctly like a new way to add DRM to digital music. Door, stable, horse, bolted.

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FAIL

The benefits are...?

So by buying the track legally I open myself to being watched and then bombarded with spam, with no extra boost to sound quality. Forgive me for not thinking that this is a particularly compelling "benefit".

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WTF?

Huh.

For a second I thought this sounded like a vaguely good idea, but when you put it that way... not so much.

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Troll

The good thing about MP3 is

its easy and it's free

It would be nice to have Mp3 with Extra but would the content be worth paying for or will it be like DVD extra content. $hite

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Easy and free?

My arse. It's patented up to it's neck.

You misspelled "vorbis" - easy, free and as a bonus, better-sounding a lot of the time.

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Free?

MP3 is not free - it's licensed by Fraunhoffer. You must be thinking of Ogg Vorbis.

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Unhappy

Can't take it with you

Doesn't work on my mp3 player though. (Do we have music players that play other formats yet?)

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Yes, lots

A lot of players will play a variety of formats these day. My Samsung Pebble plays Ogg Vorbis, in fact this was the reason I chose it over the other ones I was considering.

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FAIL

How is that a benefit?

Couldn't the same thing be achieved by making the album/track artwork a QR code containing the artist's website link? (Because let's face it, all the things they list as "advantages" are things that the artist should be pushing through their web presence).

Quite aside from which, I have no idea why I would want to have my files remotely updated by these fine folk every time I go on the internet. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.

I'll stick to my download once, listen forever account with emusic, thanks.

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Yeah, right

"lyrics, artwork and tour dates to blog posts, videos and Twitter feeds"

Why? Not all music lovers are cretins.

Sounds like another dose of "Web 2.0" and "an enhanced listening experience"

Crank that whalesong up to 11 (and DRM it to buggery)

And if the record industry thinks I'm gonna trust them with fumbling around inside my PC - especially after the malware that Sony tried to foist on everyone - may I just say: FOAD.

Any odds how long before the first exploit?

(Can we have a FOAD icon, please)

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Ok, ok...

I gotta know, what would a FOAD icon look like? All I can envision is a frog or toad giving the bird.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't hit me

It would be a picture of the Moderatrix being angry or something. FOAD souds like something she'd say a lot.

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Leave my metadata alone!

And I can find all that other junk using a search engine, thanks.

Nope, we need another idea.

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FAIL

This line says why it will fail

MusicDNA files will be backwards compatible with existing MP3 players though, so will offer no improvement in sound quality

Ahh so no improvement in sound quality, but loaded up with a pile of DRM and useless crap?

Yes, i will be sticking with my MP3's thank you :P

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FAIL

Now with bonus advertising

It must have been a 21st century Einstein that came up with this one. I can imagine the meeting:

"Hey, look, this'll stop the kids stealing music and stop Bono whining. We'll have a new format and it will include adverts. It'll also phone home so we know what they are listening to. They'll lap it up when they see the advantages over a vanilla mp3. Bring on the celebratory hookers and Columbian marching powder, we're gonna be rich again!!!"

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Headmaster

Columbian marching powder?

Nah, I'm pretty sure it was Discovery's hangar they found the wrap of chang in. Columbia's hangar hasn't been that much of a party zone lately.

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I can't wait

I can't wait for my music player to send all my personal information to someone who can then spam me with "targeted" ads. How cool!!!

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FAIL

Secret tracks...

and bum content. This has all been tried before. Do you buy the DVD to watch the movie, or for the sometimes snide development chatter, goober game and cut with reason alternate takes?

All I need is for the stupid thing to open a browser and shoving twitter feeds at me just because I'm playing a song. I play the stuff for the audio experience.

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FAIL

hmmmm

Yet another place for malware to hide can't see this ever working.

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Alien

Srsly?

My, what a bit of FAIL this is... It's just an mp3 with tags added at the end -- and as a bonus, this FAIL could only have come through Fraunhofer because those lametards own the patent for mp3 and would sue any other lametard who would try this first.

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FAIL

Okay....

So I can have DRM free old files that work with everything and no changes needed or these new DRM loaded files that can only be used with the very latest devices and software ( yes I know about the backward compat mode, but if want the full SP ), which are endorsed by the nasty corps?

Hmmm, tricky choice that one!

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WTF?

This reminds me of another file...

Files that dial out from your machine whenever you're connected to the internet, to broadcast information from your machine to the home server?

my outbound firewall is going to LOVE you.

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Sound great....

i can still play my "backup" Mp3 files on any new device that features it...... Not sure that i am bothered about the whole "bonus" features of the new format though. Lyrics? dont care..... Tour dates? dont care...... Pretty pictures? dont care.

And since when would they "update" the information anyway? I cant see a band updating any content other than pushing tour tickets. It would be money for nothing (no pun intended, dire straits fans).

so all in all, it doesnt actually stop the piracy, it merely attempts to get people to pay for the track because it contains stuff you can get for free from anywhere.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Srsly?

Good lord, that's the internettiest comment I've seen in quite some time.

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Heart

y thnk u

Narf.

;)

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nice

and congrats on the invention on the word "internettiest"

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O rly?

Can't be. He didn't even use the terms 'epic' or 'lol,' not to mention it was mostly spelled correctly. And there was no cat doing dumb stuff.

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Silver badge

Very obvious...

"MusicDNA files will be backwards compatible with existing MP3 players though, so will offer no improvement in sound quality"

The music industry wouldnt want an improvement in sound quality. Most of their (newer) artists sound aweful, so bad quality (and audio processing) hide this.

If they want me to buy "digital" music:

a) Produce music I want to listen to, and

b) Sell them in FLAC

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strippers

Won't be long before someone does a nice little app to strip the crud from the MP3 data... given that this takes off of course (like a lead brick I think).

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Pirate

ID3

MP3 ID3 pretty much holds all the info you want.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ID3#ID3v2

It would have been better to start up a company that focused on filling these bits in, including the URL metadata (which then would be useful to point to gigs n stuff).

But no, it's DRM, in a fluffy package back door.

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"a fluffy package back door"

Sounds a bit wrong to me.

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The benefit of the doubt

Hmmm. Let's not be quite so quick to dimiss this out of hand as yet another evil machination on the part of greedy music moguls still pining for the lost Eden of limitless profits from an out-dated retail mechanism. I'll whisper it, but this could actually represent some of the first progressive thinking in how music is sold and marketed in the digital era.

I know. It's a heresy, but there you go. If the music business spent more time investing in this sort of R&D, rather than staging endless showtrials and employing ambulance-chasing lawyers we might actually see a greater proportion of music fans being prepared to ditch their torrent clients and embrace a value-added, content-rich, continuously updated retail model.

I know it's cool to hate on the fat-cat music biz crooks, but let's just see if they give this idea or something similar a try. For all their lazy, petulant intransigence, I'm still willing to let them state their case make a fresh start of it.

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Well at least someone's having a go

I'm not convinced it will work but it's one approach to resolving the conflict between music downloaders and music makers.

Obviously it's DRM - it's just DRM that they hope some people may want or at least tolerate.

And as ever it won't be the opinions of us regtards that decide the success or failure of the plan.

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Dead Vulture

Empty space

I really couldn't be less interested in yet another file format which promises to deliver what I already get elsewhere. Only this time, the damn things will want to track me!... Oh, and bombard me with a ton of content I don't even want.

If it can be played, it can be copied. If it can be copied, it can be converted. And if it can be converted, it will all end up in a file format like MP3 or FLAC or anything else we want... minus all the other garbage they will try to cram down our throats. It's all just another form of DRM.

Will these idiots never learn? They're trying to continue a business model that ceased to function a decade ago. It's dying... let's pull the plug already!

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I hope the car industry doesnt get as desperate

as the music industry, and steal our roads and then make our cars go to their friends shops and you can only fill your ford on ford two star

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Not really DRM

As noted, all this could be done with ID tags and it's the player or application over-seeing all those files which keeps them updated.

I've used MP3 tracks with additional tags to make what's shown on a small LCD screens more suitable than what other tags contain with my own MP3 player application, I could also store licensing information in there if I wanted.

None of that stops the MP3 being used as an MP3, it doesn't make MP3 DRM'd in any sense except a player can look for such licensed information and reject those without it. A player not looking for that meta data will play it just as before, unless what's proposed here is a more significant shift in what's in an MP3 file, and that doesn't seem possible while maintaining the promised backwards compatibility.

Seems little different to dynamically changing the song's filename to have "[Next Gig: London Apollo]" on the end. You can remove that or any tag or add to make a song compatible with a DRM'd application which wants it.

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Flame

Pillocks

Gotta love the music biz:

Q) We're losing money because we don't know what good music is anymore and so hire awful artists - what can we do?

A1) Blame open-source advocates/the general public/free speech/invent fake pirating stats.

A2) Come up with some bullshit to convince people that they should pay much more for ad-/spyware that costs them v. little to produce.

A3) Demand control of the internet to prevent vastly exaggerated pirating that doesn't really happen.

A4) Extort money via entrapment off grandparents/other innocent people that half the time probably don't even know what HTTP stands for because we want to send a message that they're money grabbing bastards ... and that we're not.

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Happy

The rest of the story...

...they'll only play in Silverlight!

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FAIL

What a fabulous idea

I mean, considering theres no big label support, and they're releasing a nive little player to go with it! which is super cute, because being a complete unknown and competing with iPods is afantastic business model which cant possibly fail at all.

you really want to push DRM music? let me download an album in FLAC --AND-- throw in the digital masters, so I can strip individual elements. then we might have something to talk about, otherwise... really? every DRM system has a built-in fail point beyond which the files will refuse to authenticate and play. why would I pay money for something that is guaranteed not to work one day, and not because of a bad scratch, cracked vinyl, or tired tape, but because the DRM company couldnt hold up its side of the bargain?

and unlike disc scratches, tape failure, etc, when that day rolls around its not just one album. It'd be like waking up one morning to discover every CD you bought from EMI just evaporated. thats why people dont touch the damned things.

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Fail 2.0

This has got to be a great example of thinking up a cr@p idea that nobody wants or needs, and would actually make the experience worse at the same time.

Was this thought up by the Labour Party?

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Jobs Horns

Let's ask, shall we?

Perhaps these geniuses should ask listeners what really matters to them instead of asking RIAA. They might find out something really odd, for example it may be that folks really want a karaoke option where the vocals are muted and the lyrics have a bouncing ball; maybe some folks would like to detract or enhance percussion, bass, brass or guitar as a way to practice perhaps with the notes displayed a musician-karaoke if you will. Whatever it is, it has to be portable if for no other reason than a guitarist with a pignose could use nothing more than an !pod for backup.

Oh, if someone wants to do this, feel free. I hereby cast the idea into the public domain, sorry Steve no patent there, that said the implementation is up to you.

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Go

There's an idea

A music file format that supported multiple stereo tracks (vocals, instrument1, Instrument2, etc) bonus points if the tracks are tagable so you could have instrument1 be guitar, or bagpipes, or xylophone.

The note/tabliture for a track (sub-track?) could be stored as metadata attached to each subtrack, possibly in the form of an attendant MIDI file. The format would be huge, essentially 3+ MP3s, and 2+ MIDI files per file unless there was some badass compression involved.

I think I might actually be willing to tolerate some DRM for that. (provided that it's a pay-once, keep forever, unlike the napster model that when you stopped paying, your music stopped playing)

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WTF?

DRMs discourage people from seeking legal channels.

Eh? Then that means I can't take my MP3's which reside on my SD cards, and use them in my car stereo. I see this as an EPIC FAIL if they want to prevent people stealing MP3s. The only way you can encourage people to buy their MP3s is to change the music business model. However there are still people that mistakenly believe that they can make music, thus make money. Nope. If you are professional musicians, then you need to look into other revenue streams. Merchandise, trademarking the band name, touring, proper marketting etc etc. This is where the money is at.

I will NEVER use DRM protected MP3s and will ALWAYS seek alternatives. Currently I buy all my MP3s from 7Digital where there is no DRM, and it will play on my mobile, my car stereo, my computer, ........

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Pirate

Music DNA database

When you connect to interwebs they will create a database of which users bought and therefore own each track, so if two users have the same assets they know who bought it first and therefore who the Long John Silvers are. Wait... is that black spot? Sound useful?

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Flame

Hmmm

Pretty strange one this isn't it?

Unless I'm missing something iTunes already gets the album artwork for me... Yes it's a bit anal, but I quite like my music having it's artwork.

I don't know the techy stuff around it, but the end result is the same.

Lyrics/Tour dates etc can all be found online, can't imagine people are that fussed about having them on their mp3 players? Oh, and can't most mp3 players handle lyrics already?

And it not being superior sound to mp3 seems a bit strange. Whatever happened to mp3hd, which supposedly does have better sound?

Even if mp3hd doesn't/didn't take off there's always FLAC (yeah, the files are massive but so's my PC's hard drive ;) )

I feel like I'm probably missing the point, but from what I can see mp3 already does what this claims to do??

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FAIL

When it comes to solutions...

...simple usually wins out. MP3 managed to deliver quality and do it simply--one file, one song, and at good enough standards. The only way you're gonna beat MP3 is to either deliver something as simple as MP3 but better...or deliver something SIMPLER than MP3 (which I frankly think will be hard to do, considering how simple MP3 is already).

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Enhanced CD for the net?

Get extra cool (ie crap) stuff, you just have to use our player.

The player will be an ad filled, spyware app that makes windows media player look good.

FOAD indeed.

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Blue pill or red pill?

DRM? Woah, deja vu.

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