FairPlayFairPlay is Apple Computer's name for its digital rights management (DRM) built in to the iTunes Music Store. It was originally invented and programmed by the company Veridisc. It digitally encrypts audio files in the AAC format, as used by the iPod.
FairPlay is considered to be one of the most reasonable DRM implementations available at present, since it is relatively user friendly, and not as restrictive as some systems. However there will always be critics of any form of DRM; many feel that any restrictions at all are too many.
A software package named "PlayFair" has appeared that can remove the DRM encryption from files using the FairPlay mechanism.
FairPlay, attached to all for-pay iTMS tracks, makes the following requirements:
FairPlay requires Apple's QuickTime to decode and use; thus, while the iTunes jukebox remains the most popular method of playing these files, the Realplayer jukebox also has the capability as well by making use of QuickTime.
- The track may be copied to any number of iPod portable music players.
- The track may be played on up to five (originally three) authorized computers.
- The track may be copied to a standard CD audio track any number of times. (The resulting CD has no DRM and may be re-converted to MP3, but this will aggravate the sound artifacts of encoding, since the resulting sound file will have been encoded twice).
- A particular playlist within iTunes containing a FairPlay track can only be copied to a CD up to seven times (originally ten times) before the playlist must be changed.
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