Audio News for November 18, 2005

by | Nov 18, 2005 | Audio News | 0 comments

Sony Recalls Copy-Protected CDs – Following a couple weeks
of strong criticism over its XCP copy protection software, Sony BMG
Music Entertainment is pulling over two million discs from stores
nationwide, although over two million such discs have already been sold
to customers. The software, developed by a British company,
First4Internet, installs itself on a personal computer when it is used
for playing the CD (something like 35% of CDs sold today are played
back on computers). It is designed to prevent copying, but it leaves
the door open for malicious Internet hackers. The copy-protection
software acts like a virus and hides deep in the PC (Macs are
unaffected). It installs itself only on PCs running Microsoft Windows –
not on ordinary CD and DVD players or other computers. Last week the
first virus programs emerged which took advantage of the security holes
left by the XCP software.

Sony BMG used the XCP software on 49 pop titles. Manufacture of the
discs has been stopped and Microsoft announced it is working on a
detection and removal mechanism to rid PCs of the copy-protection
software. Sony BMG will reveal shortly the details of a swap program
for the copy-protected CDs.  They can be identified by a Web
address on the jewelbox containing the letters “XCP.”  A class
action lawsuit has been launched against Sony BMG complaining that it
had failed to disclose the true nature of its new copy-protection

Hi-Def DVD Battle, Cont. – At the recent CEATAC show in Japan
the first hardware for both of the competing high definition DVD
formats was introduced. Toshiba showed a player for about $1000 which
plays the 30GB dual-layer disc format which they endorse but which has
not yet been made part of the official HD-DVD specs. Panasonic was one
of the exhibitors of a prototype laptop with a DVD/Blu-ray disc
recorder/player. They also had a Sony VAIO-R desktop computer with a
Blu-ray recorder. Sony has announced that their new Blu-ray PlayStation
3 may be priced as low as $300 to $400 in the U.S. to get Blu-ray
players out into the market. They hope to sell as many as 20 million
units in 2005.  So the hi-def DVD conflict is getting hotter.

Mercedes-Benz to Make Sirius Satellite a Standard Feature – The
luxury automaker plans to offer Sirius satellite radios as a standard
feature coming on select 2007 models beginning in 2006. The volume of
Sirius-provided models is expected at about 250,000 vehicles over the
next two years. The CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA stated “We believe that
Sirius’ unique programming… enhances the overall driving experience
for our customers and underscores our commitment to quality.”

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