So, where are all the iTunes video DRM hacks? - Macenstein

So, where are all the iTunes video DRM hacks?

Posted by Lab Rat

When the iTunes music store first opened its “doors� back in April ’03, within a week there were no fewer than 3 separate programs available on the web designed to strip purchased songs of their DRM (digital rights management). Nearly three years later there are now well over 20 such utilities on both Mac and PC (and even Linux) floating across the web for “dishonest� consumers who wish to have full access to the media they purchased. This was a huge story covered by most media outlets at the time, but has since become a non-story for some reason despite the problem actually having grown.

Last October Apple announced it would begin selling music videos and television shows via the iTunes music store. Like the music tracks, these videos would also contain a version of DRM to protect them from redistribution.

So, four months later, my question now is, where are all the hacks designed to free the iTunes video tracks of DRM? Not that I am endorsing removing the DRM from ANY file, but it seems odd to me that I have not read a report of a single program which claims to be able to remove the iTMS’s DRM from purchased videos.

The music tracks sold via the iTunes store are often compared (although a bit generously, in my humble opinion) to CD quality. On the other hand, videos purchased through the iTunes store are only half of “standard� TV resolution, more comparable to VHS quality than a DVD. This could perhaps be the reason there is such an effort being put forth to unlock the music file’s DRM, but not the video’s. Or perhaps the video files contain a more advanced and harder to crack DRM scheme than the one used in the audio tracks. More likely, since better quality video can be found for free on Bit Torrent-esque sites, there is less demand for a workaround. Still, I would have thought SOME hacker would have done it by now, if for nothing more than just to be able to say they did it. Even Jon Lech Johansen seems to be ignoring the iTMS’s videos.

Whatever the reason, whether lack of ability or (more likely) lack of interest in the hacker community, so far the only workarounds are screen capture apps like Snapz Pro X. Doing a screen capture of an already compressed iTunes video would seem a less than ideal solution (although admittedly Snapz Pro X does do a pretty nice job).

Still, it would be nice to see a little more interest by the more intelligent criminals out there into the video DRM issue. I suppose we will have to wait until DVD-quality movies become available on iTunes before we see any avalanche of video DRM-stripping hacks.

3 Responses to “So, where are all the iTunes video DRM hacks?”
  1. Al says:

    WOW, no kidding I’ve been looking all over and can’t find a thing.
    Tons of PC stuff but noyhing for Mac

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’d use the iTunes video store, despite irregular pricing and quality, except I can’t burn tracks to DVD for backup or to watch on a TV.
    I recently had to get a new iTunes account because after 2 years Apple was still trying to use my old e-mail and I’m glad I made CDs and reripped them.

  3. Gee5 says:

    first, why are the mfg so –so– about iTune tv shows anyway, we pay to have a copy to use, why shouldnt we be able to use that file by changing its format to match a tv or dvd?

    thought one, iTunes downloads the file THEN adds the DRM, rather than trying to take it back out, could there be a patch to tell iTunes to skip the implant?
    thought two, Apple site verifies the iTunes is real before download, maybe a “down-load Grabber” that hijacks the download as it starts and sends a copy to a separate folder, iTunes completes its thing and there we are.
    thought three, use the video card. For normal tv viewing, a card with a video out TO a recording device ( =normaly found at the tv) and a monitor / or even plug the recorder in between the computer and monitor.
    anyway, MIRROR monitors, play, and record.

    seems to work here, just need to balance out the card/ connections/ settings/ …

    as a last resort, could buy windows and run iTunes in that, using one of the many windoz programs that take out the DRM.

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