Copy-Protected CDs

Have finally obtained non-copy protected CDs of Annie Lennox’s Bare and Bonnie Tyler’s Heart Strings (aka Heart & Soul).

I originally ordered these two items from New Zealand’s Real Groovy’s online store and was most disappointed when I read the ‘copy enhancement’ notices on the cases.

I have no interest in pirating music. My major gripe with copy-protected CDs is the format has been butchered to accommodate the copy-protection—officially they don’t even qualify as a ‘CD’. This hacked format destroys most of the built-in error correction on a CD, and hence makes the disc extremely susceptible to any dust or scratches. Questions have also been raised about the music quality. Other gripes include not being able to load the disc into my computer to extract a track listing, and inability to play on other equipment (portable players, computer, car players, etc.)

Real Groovy was friendly and helpful in returning the CDs, but I was left without copies of the music.

So I downloaded the albums from all the usual p2p networks. Now I had poor quality copies of the songs (I don’t like MP3s), but had made my stance against copy protection.

Interestingly a number of the Bare tracks I downloaded were rubbish—some kind of short mix repeated over and over. Makes me think somebody from the record company had seeded them.

End of story until last month, when I read about some successes from Amazon.

I couldn’t find Amazon’s copy-protection policy on their site so I e-mailed my question and was answered:
At this time, we list only a small number of copy-protected CDs on our web site, and they are clearly marked as such.

My unprotected copies of Bare and Heart Strings arrived last week (the latter with a ‘Made in England’ sticker). There’s no warning labels and the two tracks I tried ripping worked flawlessly.

Happy camper.

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