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Audio content delivery

Cosmik

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#1
I've got a general question regarding the direction of audio 'content delivery'.

The current situation is that we have files, and we also have streaming. Streaming fits the modern pattern: information in the cloud, available anywhere there is an internet connection. It is inherently controlled by DRM.

But files have a feeling of 'legacy' about them. The idea of the user even being aware of the nature of files and formats is very 1990s. That I have access to the raw digital stream and can implement my own DSP-based crossover can only be a temporary blip.

Whether it's MQA or some other invisible format, does anyone here think that there is any future for visibly file-based music at all? I don't. And therefore I don't think there's a future for non-DRM music. All we will have is pointers to content in the cloud that may, or may not, have restrictions placed on who has access to it and how much our bank accounts will be debited by.

Isn't Apple's iTune Match an example of the way this will happen? If I understand it, in order to access your music across all your devices, anywhere, Apple merely points to its own repository of music - and will even substitute one common version of a track for the different versions the subscribers may have uploaded. And over time, the original files will get lost as hardware devices die.
When iTunes Match creates a 256 Kbps AAC version of a song, it only uploads that version to your iCloud Music Library. It doesn't delete the original song, so those songs stay in their original format on your hard drive. If you download one of these songs from iTunes Match onto another device, it will be the 256 Kbps AAC version.
If, because of consumer demand, the special light on the front panel, and unhackable secure hardware advantages for content providers (because it's a chip or equivalent), MQA gets into the position of being the default format instead of '256 Kbps AAC', it could be in a good position to take over the world...

Amir, what do you think?
 

Krunok

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#2
Whether it's MQA or some other invisible format, does anyone here think that there is any future for visibly file-based music at all? I don't. And therefore I don't think there's a future for non-DRM music. All we will have is pointers to content in the cloud that may, or may not, have restrictions placed on who has access to it and how much our bank accounts will be debited by.
I don't think files will give up that easilly nor they will give up any time soon. Anything you receieve as a stream can be recorded to a file, and files can easilly be shared via peer-to-peer networks (torrent and such).

But I don't think that has anything to do with MQA. MQA will be forgotten in a few years as yet another format elegedly suitable for streaming, when in fact it's just another attempt to control the market via proprietary technology.
 
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Cosmik

Cosmik

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Thread Starter #3
I don't think files will give up that easilly nor they will give up any time soon. Anything you receieve as a stream can be recorded to a file, and files can easilly be shared via peer-to-peer networks (torrent and such).
But supposing all music playing devices (in the future) refuse to play non-authenticated files - and it's un-hackable? That particular loss of control by the music industry would be eliminated.
 
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Cosmik

Cosmik

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Thread Starter #5
That will never happen - there will always be a black market with software that will play anything.
I think you make the case for me. If all new music playing hardware contains an unhackable 'chip' (and that's what MQA is offering), the black market would have to be in old, or home made hardware, therefore a very minor problem to the music industry.
 

Wombat

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#6
So you support illegal copying of IP and the piracy industry that 'makes money' from it?
 

Krunok

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#7
I think you make the case for me. If all new music playing hardware contains an unhackable 'chip' (and that's what MQA is offering), the black market would have to be in old, or home made hardware, therefore a very minor problem to the music industry.
Can you think of a single example of "unhackable" chip?

Besides, you can always play anything you like over computer based players (now it's even simpler than ever before as they are small, strong and cheap). And there will always be DA converteres that will do only conversion without any DRM check.

I'm coming from software industry and trust me, anything that involves any kind of check can, and always will, be bypassed by some folks. And if you dig a little you can easilly find such tools on the Net. I cannot imagine that will not be the case in any foreseeable future.
 

Wombat

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#8
I wonder how many of those who say they have a library of 20,000 albums, upwards, have actually legally paid for them.
 

Wombat

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#9
Can you think of a single example of "unhackable" chip?

Besides, you can always play anything you like over computer based players (now it's even simpler than ever before as they are small, strong and cheap). And there will always be DA converteres that will do only conversion without any DRM check.

I'm coming from software industry and trust me, anything that involves any kind of check can, and always will, be bypassed by some folks. And if you dig a little you can easilly find such tools on the Net. I cannot imagine that will not be the case in any foreseeable future.
SACD and HDMI have made it impossible for all but a few fanatical fanatics.
 

Krunok

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#10
SACD and HDMI have made it impossible for all but a few fanatical fanatics.

And those few fanatics will do it and put it on torrent network in the name of philosophy that "all content should be free".

Name any SACD you can think of and you can bet that it has already been done. Same with movies.
 
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Cosmik

Cosmik

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Thread Starter #11
Can you think of a single example of "unhackable" chip?

Besides, you can always play anything you like over computer based players (now it's even simpler than ever before as they are small, strong and cheap). And there will always be DA converteres that will do only conversion without any DRM check.

I'm coming from software industry and trust me, anything that involves any kind of check can, and always will, be bypassed by some folks. And if you dig a little you can easilly find such tools on the Net. I cannot imagine that will not be the case in any foreseeable future.
This is where I surprise myself by, possibly, not being behind the times. I'm pretty sure I could design an unhackable chip, and even if not, operating systems can refuse to play with insecure hardware - even disabling them permanently.

Of course, an enthusiast in an anorak might be able to build his own music player out of old Nokia phones, recording the latest music off his mum's Alexa using crocodile clips connected to the speaker, and swapping floppy disks with his mates at school, but the music industry need hardly worry about that.
 

Wombat

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#13
And those few fanatics will do it and put it on torrent network in the name of philosophy that "all content should be free".

Name any SACD you can think of and you can bet that it has already been done. Same with movies.

It is criminal.
 

Krunok

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#14
This is where I surprise myself by, possibly, not being behind the times. I'm pretty sure I could design an unhackable chip, and even if not, operating systems can refuse to play with insecure hardware - even disabling them permanently.

Of course, an enthusiast in an anorak might be able to build his own music player out of old Nokia phones, recording the latest music off his mum's Alexa using crocodile clips connected to the speaker, and swapping floppy disks with his mates at school, but the music industry need hardly worry about that.
Nobody can design a chip (or a system) that is doing any kind of authorisation that cannot be bypassed in one way or another. There are no unpenetrable armors, no locks that cannot be picked, no software protection systems that cannot be hacked.

It takes only one guy to crack the content and make it available on torrent networks and it will spread.
 

Krunok

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#15
Iv no issue with musicians and distributors protecting their property and trying their best to stop folks stealing music.
Me neither. I'm only stating it cannot be done. Any authorisation system can be hacked, as it has a door that will open if you authorise yourself. And that feature (ability to open) is by definition it's major vulnerability that can, and given enough time will be exploited.
 

Wombat

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#16
And those few fanatics will do it and put it on torrent network in the name of philosophy that "all content should be free".

Name any SACD you can think of and you can bet that it has already been done. Same with movies.

And participating in the fraud keeps it going. Having said that the downloaders probably wouldn't buy the product if they couldn't get it for free.

The industry puts a lot of huff and puff into individual downloading rather than addressing this:

Wholesale obvious fraud.
 
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Cosmik

Cosmik

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Thread Starter #17
A patent:
https://patents.google.com/patent/US20060235800/en
Digital rights management for media streaming systems
...The license manager may for example be a Windows Media Rights Manager™, which “locks” the digital content files with a license key for content protection, even if these files are widely distributed. Each license is uniquely assigned to each terminal; with individualization, any compromised player can be identified and disabled during the licensing process, so that the compromised player cannot be widely distributed over the Internet. License manager also ensures content protection in the operating system on the user's terminal for reducing the likelihood that any unauthorized program will capture a digital media stream within a terminal, enables revocation of compromised players and ensures broad compatibility with a very large number and type of subscriber terminals.
For sure, any software can be hacked, but not if it's owned by 99% of the population who need it to be connected to the internet so the OS can keep itself up to date with security updates etc. Of course, I could be running an old 32-bit PC with a hacked copy of Windows XP that hasn't been updated since 2005. It'll play anything! - as long as there's mains power 'cos the battery died years ago and they don't make them anymore. Kind of thing.

Everyone with a 1990s mindset seems so confident that there will always be raw files, and always software media players that will play them. Just as they think there will always be net neutrality and the ability to download any kind of content anonymously without restriction. I think we are in a brief blip in the information age, where we haven't completely transitioned from the initial hacker-based origins of the internet and are imagining that it will always be that way.
 
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Cosmik

Cosmik

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Thread Starter #18
The motivation for secure hardware-based DRM is well established
"
Unleashing Premium Entertainment with Hardware-Based Content Protection Technology
Alongside the widespread deployment of the entertainment feature on all forms of computers is the problem of copyright protection from diverse types of piracy, such as sharing, downloading, and counterfeiting. In the case of content protection, the device user is untrusted, and the content provider wants assurance from the device manufacturer that a user cannot bypass protections. This increases the scope of threats and attacks that have to be defended against, primarily physical and side-channel attacks.

It is commonly accepted that general-purpose computers with an open operating system and using software to handle content are not as robust as closed systems (for example, a dedicated Blu-ray player) because of inexpensive approaches that have been developed by researchers and hackers to defeat software protection schemes without involving advanced expertise or special equipment.

Obviously, profit loss because of piracy on computers is one of the biggest concerns of content providers (such as writers and film studios). Therefore, the content owners have to decide whether to demand rights protection for their content, and if so, what assets of the content shall be protected and at which level.

For example, most 4K ultra and 1080p high-definition movies sold at online stores today require the purchaser’s device to feature appropriate hardware-based protection for rights management and playback of the content. measures may be deemed insufficient for such content. In other words, if the hardware of the user’s computer does not meet minimum requirements, then the content owner and the service provider that distributes the content will not sell the title to the platform. On the other hand, the content of standard-definition formats usually requires only software-based protection or does not require protection at all. There also exists content that is free of any rights management, allowing consumers to make unlimited copies and share with others.

In any case, the choice and decision is solely the content owner’s. Before buying or renting content, the customer should be well aware of all restrictions posed by the content.
"
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4302-6572-6_8
 

Wombat

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#19
Blah, blah, blah, blah.

IP rights are IP rights. If one has to get the content illegally through devious means then only an idiot could think that was OK.
 
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Krunok

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#20
First time anybody records the stream and uploads it the player won't ask for any authorisation, it will simply play it. We have discussed that, no need to repeat ourselves.

For sure, any software can be hacked, but not if it's owned by 99% of the population who need it to be connected to the internet so the OS can keep itself up to date with security updates etc. Of course, I could be running an old 32-bit PC with a hacked copy of Windows XP that hasn't been updated since 2005. It'll play anything! - as long as there's mains power 'cos the battery died years ago and they don't make them anymore. Kind of thing.
[/QUOTE]

Name ANY software that cannot be hacked. In fact, the more folks own it the more easilly it can be hacked. ;)
I'll take you're not familiar with SW industry otherwise you would be very aware of that fact.
Not to mention that you could be running Linux or some other licence free software that simply doesn't care about any kind of DRm and let's you play whatever you want.

Everything that runs on battery runs on electricity too., so I'm not really sure what kind of argument was that..


Everyone with a 1990s mindset seems so confident that there will always be raw files, and always software media players that will play them. Just as they think there will always be net neutrality and the ability to download any kind of content anonymously without restriction. I think we are in a brief blip in the information age, where we haven't completely transitioned from the initial hacker-based origins of the internet and are imagining that it will always be that way.
And they were right. Now they are more raw files than any time before. Net neutrality is a joke, using VPN technology you can download whatever you want and providers simply don't care. And why would they - it would only cost them a lot without any benefit for them. I worked for a telco operator for 8 years, trust me I know how things stand there.

Anyway, you have your opinion, but facts are really pointing in other direction. And we haven't even touched the subject of dark web where folks are offering and buying much much worse things than stolen audio.
 
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