Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Teen Builds Linux Workaround For iTunes

Filed under
Linux

Cody Brocious is a 17-year old 11th grader from Chamberburg, Pa., and like many other teens he loves his iPod and uses the iTunes music store to buy music.

Brocious likes using the Linux operating system more than he does Microsoft's Windows or Apple Computer's Mac OS. But Apple doesn't make software that would let Linux users like Brocious buy songs from the iTunes store, so he did what any 21st-century teen raised in the digital age would do--he and his friends wrote a program to do so themselves.

One of those friends is Jon Johansen, a Norwegian who in 1999 drew the ire of the Motion Pictures Association of America for creating a software program designed to circumvent the copy-protection technology on DVDs.

What they came up with is a program called PyMusique, which hit the Web about two weeks ago. It lets Linux desktop users buy--not steal--music files from iTunes. One unintended consequence of their program is that it saves the songs without the built-in copy-protection code, meaning that songs can be copied to other devices at will.

Brocious says that stripping the Digital Rights Management technology from iTunes songs happened more or less by accident. He first assumed that the copy protection was attached directly by the iTunes server itself. Had that been the case, he says, PyMusique would have left it intact, meaning the program would be subject to the same copy restrictions to which all iTunes users are subject.

"This is not about circumventing Apple's DRM," he says. "It's about creating a good Linux client for iTunes."

That may be true, but one might question why Brocious developed a version of PyMusique for Windows, which already works with iTunes. The only obvious reason to create a version for Windows would be to circumvent Apple's copy-protection technology.

But as it happens, iTunes users willing to go to the effort can already circumvent Apple copy protection, called Fairplay, on their own. After burning a song purchased from iTunes to a CD, users can transfer the contents of that CD as freely as they wish.

Leaving Fairplay intact on PyMusique as it is, Brocious says, is certainly an option. But it's pointless. Any user with a little programming knowledge would be able to disable the copy-protection scheme because of the way it's applied. And die-hard Linux users won't bother with any software that isn't open source. They tend to like examining the source code of software before installing it on their machines, he says.

Apple had no comment on the matter, but in the past it has blocked certain customers (including those using PyMusique) from buying music on older versions of iTunes. When that happened, Brocious and his buddies released an updated version of PyMusique that again circumvented Apple's locks.

Brocious says he and his cadre of coders would like to show Apple how to change the way iTunes works so they can continue developing PyMusique and give potentially millions of Linux users who run software from companies like Red Hat (nasdaq: RHAT - news - people ) and Novell (nasdaq: NOVL - news - people ) the same access to iTunes that millions of Windows and Mac users have.

He concedes that it may not make much business sense for Apple to devote its own resources to develop an open source Linux-friendly version of iTunes. It's not clear how many people would even use it. Brocious estimates fewer than a thousand people have downloaded it so far.

It's certain to be a small drop in Apple's bucket. The company has never revealed how many iTunes customers it has--only how many songs they've downloaded, which as of March 2 stood at 300 million.

This is why Brocious is offering up PyMusique and his coding services to Apple. He says he wants to work with Apple's blessing to create a Linux-friendly iTunes program, built in such a way that open-source devotees would embrace it. "The solution is to work with us, not against us," Brocious says.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

KDE and Akademy

  • Plasma 5: Keeping an Eye on the Disk Quota
    At this year’s KDE conference Akademy, I was working on a small plasmoid to continuously track the disk quota. The disk quota is usually used in enterprise installations where network shares are mounted locally. Typically, sysadmins want to avoid that users copy lots of data into their folders, and therefor set quotas (the quota limit has nothing to do with the physical size of a partition). Typically, once a user gets over the hard limit of the quota, the account is blocked and the user cannot login anymore. This happens from time to time, since the users are not really aware of the current quota limit and the already used disk space.
  • KDEPIM 5.0
    KDEPIM 5.0 is the port of kdepim to kf5/qt5.
  • rsibreak port to KF5 started!
    I just started the port of rsibreak to KF5.
  • Akademy 2015
  • Akademy 2015 and Akademy-es 2015 recap
    Finally thanks to the both Akademy and Akademy-es sponsors. Specially Qindel, that sponsored us for the first time, hope we can continue the relationship in the future.
  • Plasma 5 (KDE) In Testing
    A few days ago, fellow Qt/KDE team member Lisandro gave an update on the situation with migration to Plasma 5 in Debian Testing (AKA Stretch). It’s changed again. All of Plasma 5 is now in Testing. The upgrade probably won’t be entirely smooth, which we’ll work on that after the gcc5 transition is done, but it will be much better than the half KDE4 SC half Kf5/Plasma 5 situation we’ve had for the last several days.

Red Hat and Fedora

Red Hat:
  • Red Hat support evolves with new Access Insights services
    Open source users flock to Red Hat for enterprise support, but not all subscribers like the way the company handles IT issues. The company recently launched an updated support service. User experience is important to Red Hat Inc., and it dedicated its day-three keynote at the Red Hat Summit last month to its support.
  • Citrix, Red Hat Helping Startup Companies Launch in Raleigh, N.C.
    Raleigh has seen a 23% increase in IT jobs
  • Red Hat Receives Average Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts (NYSE:RHT)
    Several research firms have weighed in on RHT. Northland Securities reissued a “buy” rating and set a $92.00 target price (up from $85.00) on shares of Red Hat in a report on Thursday, June 25th. Northland Capital Partners upped their price objective on Red Hat from $85.00 to $92.00 in a report on Thursday, June 25th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Red Hat in a research report on Friday, June 26th. Deutsche Bank restated a “hold” rating and set a $75.00 price objective (up from $70.00) on shares of Red Hat in a research report on Thursday, July 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $85.00 target price (up previously from $82.00) on shares of Red Hat in a report on Thursday, July 2nd.
Fedora:
  • Helps Improve Quality Kernel in Fedora
  • Flock Update
    So the schedule for Flock is finally fixed and I have to update some things according to my last post. First the practical part of the Wallpaper Hunt is scheduled now for Friday now instead of Satruday. Addionally I will help Máirín Duffy on Saturday morning with the Inkscape and GIMP Bootcamp, guess which part I will do.
  • Fedora 22 on Cubietruck
    In previous post (How-to set up network audio server based on PulseAudio and auto-discovered via Avahi) I’ve wrote details how I set up network audio-server. Actually I’m using cubietruck there.
  • Testing systemd-networkd based Fedora 22 AMI(s)
    Few days back I wrote about a locally built Fedora 22 image which has systemd-networkd handling the network configuration. You can test that image locally on your system, or on an Openstack Cloud. In case you want to test the same on AWS, we now have two AMI(s) for the same, one in the us-west-1, and the other in ap-southeast-1. Details about the AMI(s) are below:

Leftovers: Debian

  • He who forgets history...
    Hi all, I just looked back on the Halloween Documents, specifically http://www.catb.org/esr/halloween/halloween1.html . Here are two quotes I find both interesting and timely: * Linux can win as long as services / protocols are commodities. * OSS projects have been able to gain a foothold in many server applications because of the wide utility of highly commoditized, simple protocols. By extending these protocols and developing new protocols, we can deny OSS projects entry into the market. So next time one of the new breed calls you a neckbeard for helping build a distro with simple protocols and services, show him http://www.catb.org/esr/halloween/halloween1.html . And try not to laugh when the whole thing goes right over his head.
  • My Free Software Activities in July 2015
    This month I have been paid to work 15 hours on Debian LTS.
  • Linaro VLANd v0.3
    VLANd is a python program intended to make it easy to manage port-based VLAN setups across multiple switches in a network. It is designed to be vendor-agnostic, with a clean pluggable driver API to allow for a wide range of different switches to be controlled together.