Yet another reason not to buy CDs except direct from the artist. Yes, unfortunately, the artist may be selling "DRM corrupted" :-) disks using bogus corruption schemes like MediaMax but at least you know where the money is going.

From At The Mercy Of The Music Industry: Microsoft Secure WMA Files Make Music CDs Unusable - Robin Good's Latest News.:

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The CDs, which use a protection system called MediaMax break away quite a bit in what you would expect from your previously bought music CDs.

The scariest issue, is that there is no way for you to find out about any of this until AFTER the CD has been bought.

Here are some of the sacrifices you will have to make to enjoy the music on such copy-protected CDs:

1) If you are running Windows Media Player 7.0 or earlier you will need an open Internet connection to listen to the tracks on the CD.

2) If you don't use Windows Media Player as your default media player YOU MUST be connected to the Internet to download the appropriate media license files.

3) You can't download these music files to your portable media player unless it supports playback of .WMA secure files.

4) Users on Mac should just give up. These tracks will not play back on the their beloved Macs if they are using Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 (the required tool).

5) According to user feedback to Sunncomm download of music tracks to Sony MiniDiscs is unreliable or altogether unavailable.

6) You cannot convert music tracks into other "unsecure" audio file formats like .MP3.

7) In sharp contradiction with what stated on the Sunncomm FAQ it is impossible to detect a music CD protected by this system before buying it as the warning is placed on the actual CD which is not normally inspectable by consumers inside record stores.

8) If you have a pop-up blocker installed on your PC expect to see a message inviting you to agree to the terms of the license followed by a black window that says "E:/index.hta"

9) There is NO WAY to remove the MediaMax software from your computer once installed.

10) There is NO WAY to remove the DRM digital keys, designed by Microsoft, from your computer. These keys are hidden in a secret database on the system that only Microsoft knows how to get to. According to Sunncomm "Microsoft never envisioned that anyone would have a desire to remove them."

A message stating: ""this program will only work with the original CD" provides your last stare at the screen before your final scream.

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