All you can eat service becomes all you can keep service.
Nokia rather took the world by surprise when it announced Comes With Music almost exactly one year ago, after all a phone manufacturer wasn’t meant to be first out the gate with an all you can eat audio download service. Naturally there was a big hairy ‘but’ in all this and that was: but there’s extensive CMW Digital Rights Management which safeguards the content, or did…
You see today sees something of a wild, rabid tiger thrown into the mix as a new version of little known software Tunebite has been released with the ability to strip DRM from all Comes With Music tracks rendering them yours, forever, to do whatever you want with.
Interestingly, Tunebite’s approach is to play CMW tracks at speed and redub them into a non-encrypted file – something which a) is very fast, operating at up to 54x meaning seconds per song and b) essentially it circumvents rather than cracks the encryption meaning it may prove hard for Nokia to do anything about. I can hear the screams from Finland and hair pulling inside the lavish boardrooms of the Big Four record labels as we speak.
What restrictions were there to begin with? Well, key is that the WMA tracks are locked exclusively to your Nokia phone (currently only a 5310 XpressMusic or N95) and your library can only be accessed from a single PC. Re-ripping however won’t change the fact the majority of tracks are restricted to 128Kbps (192Kbps with some newer content).
So what now? Well, Nokia can’t exactly pull its CMW service from under the feet of its customers and it will likely rely on limited exposure of this situation (sorry Finns) but more importantly it may just deter other companies from launching similar business models…
Tunebite is out now for just 20 euros (£17.48).