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#315231 - 18/10/2008 18:10 Karma, WMAs, and DRMs
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5284
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
My local library has a program whereby I can download audiobooks. These are in WMA format and supposedly can be transferred to a portable audio player. When I attempt to copy the file into my Karma, I immediately get a message about the upload stopping because "...the player is no longer connected" or something like that. I am assuming that this is the DRM raising its ugly head. Is this correct?

The software that manages the downloaded library files (called "Overdrive Media Console") has a facility built in that is supposed to transfer the files to supported players, but Carbon is the only Rio player listed, and OMC doesn't see the Karma, even though Rio Music Manager says it's there.

The two trial books I downloaded are explicitly listed as being allowed to be burned to CD. I haven't tried that yet, but fail to see what advantage that would be to me in any case, as the only CD player I have is built into my computer where it would be easier to just listen to the WMA file on the hard drive.

Oh, wait -- the advantage might be that I could listen to the CD after the 14-day DRM license expired. Could that be it?

Do I have any options here? Right now I'm looking at this. Does anyone know anything about it or have experience with it? I'm going to download their free trial and see if it works, that is if the free version isn't so crippled as to make it impossible to decide.

tanstaafl.

Edit: Their free trial was extremely crippled (would only write the first 60 seconds of each file) but was enough to convince me that the product works. $26.90 later TuneBite not only removed the DRMs from both audiobooks, but converted them to MP3 files that the Karma is quite happy with. The software is slow, however -- it took about two hours to remove DRMs from 15 files totaling about 17 hours of audio. I think that may be because I had all the quality settings maxed out, using their "Perfect Audio" setting which records the output in multiple streams and compares them to find the ones that are error free. Pretty silly when the original inputs were 64 KBPS WMA Spoken Word files. Audio quality is not great, but is completely acceptable, especially considering the second lossy conversion to MP3 as part of the process. I can't hear any difference between the original WMAs and the re-converted MP3s.


Edited by tanstaafl. (19/10/2008 01:01)
Edit Reason: Followup on TuneBite software
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#315235 - 18/10/2008 19:09 Re: Karma, WMAs, and DRMs [Re: tanstaafl.]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4140
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
I am assuming that this is the DRM raising its ugly head. Is this correct?

Probably, as Karma supports DRMv9 ("low security DRM") but not DRMv10 ("high security DRM" or "Janus"). Or it's possible that your audiobooks are some sort of "WMA speech", not the same as the normal WMA that Karma can play.

Quote:
Oh, wait -- the advantage might be that I could listen to the CD after the 14-day DRM license expired. Could that be it?

Another advantage is that you can then re-rip the CD in whatever format you like, such as one that Karma can play.

Peter

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#315250 - 19/10/2008 03:12 Re: Karma, WMAs, and DRMs [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30578
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
When I attempt to copy the file into my Karma, I immediately get a message about the upload stopping because "...the player is no longer connected" or something like that. I am assuming that this is the DRM raising its ugly head. Is this correct?


I would hope that if DRM were the problem, then RMM would simply say so very clearly. I've got to assume that the "no longer connected" message is unrelated to DRM. (As Peter said, more likely an incompatible file format rather than refusing to play because of DRM.)

Quote:
The two trial books I downloaded are explicitly listed as being allowed to be burned to CD. I haven't tried that yet, but fail to see what advantage that would be to me in any case


As Peter said: It's one way to get around copy protection (if there is even any protection at all). You burn them to audio CD, then rip the audio CD. A lot of people convert their iTunes files into MP3s using the same method.

Of course, you seem to have already found a better solution to the issue. Any method that can skip the step of burning a physical CD is going to be much easier.
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