Artists who host pre-release streams of their new albums through Apple’s iTunes are exposing themselves to lax security which allows the entire album to be downloaded to the listeners’ computer free of charge.
The security hole allows users to grab a copy of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and other full-length albums, just by finding the host address for the stream.
All the user has to do, according to 9to5Mac, is to use a tool that monitors HTTP requests (the site mentions HTTP Scoop) in order to save the full, high-quality tracks to their PC or laptop.
The issue, which Apple is yet to comment on, is somewhat ironic as the pre-release streams are aimed primarily at fighting piracy that results from early album leaks.
David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Justin Timberlake are among the artists who have hosted streams on iTunes before their albums officially go on sale, while an album from The National is also currently being streamed.
The albums come with Apple’s FairPlay DRM, which prevents the songs being transferred and played on additional devices.
However, having the entire album in their iTunes locker is likely to dissuade potential customers from splashing out on the real deal upon launch.
As 9to5Mac points out, with an iRadio app reportedly in the pipeline, this is something Apple and the record labels will want to get fixed with a quickness.