The latest Black Rebel Motorcyle Club album, Howl, really took me by surprise. I’d heard their earlier stuff and wasn’t that into it, but this album is pretty nice. It sounds like U2 playing in the style of Led Zepplin by way of The Black Crowes.

But I can’t listen to it on my computer at work. Or my iPod. It’s not recommended that I use my DVD player, which replaced my old school 5-disc CD changer because of its superior laser technology. Printed on the CD itself:

This CD is protected against unathorized copying. It is designed to play in standard audio CD players. It is not designed to play in computers. Playback problems may also be experienced with car systems, DVD players, and game consoles.

I did some digging, and was directed to this site that details DRM work-arounds for albums such as this one, but still could not get this album to rip into iTunes.

It’s such a pain in the ass. I am definitely going to listen to this album less often (as in never) because of this, since I rely almost exclusively on the prohibited technologies listed above. It’s a shame, really … I was all set for BRMC to be my Coldplay.

Anyone else have any luck with this? Other CDs to watch out for?

Comments (42)
  1. Muzak Nerd  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    The LCD Soundsystem album’s the same way, which of course means it can’t be played on Ipods. Which of course means I don’t listen to that album. I hate this newfangled paranoia…

  2. george  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    that’s weird. i had no problem ripping this album in itunes.

  3. at least LCD Soundsystem doesn’t compound it by having the word “rebel” in their name.

  4. you could always get it off torrent

  5. Try EAC

    A pain to install but can usually deal with those annoying DRM dealies.

    or failing that, CDEX

    Quality not as good as EAC but does an OK job.

  6. potato  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    The Foo Fighters’ latest has some of that DRM bullshit, but it’s easily worked around via holding down the control key when sticking the CD in the computer. It deactivates auto-run. It has the MediaMax thing… tells you to install some program to get some thing and blah blah blah.

  7. Alex  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    Woah! This explains why it wouldn’t work in my computer either.. it just kept trying to read and I just thought my cd drive was finicky. Glad to hear it’s not on my side.

    I just don’t understand the logic behind these cd rip schemes. If anything it just hurts the artist b/c the cd collects dust at home, since it’s not likely the 9-5ers have cd players at work. And then, of course, the eventual hack comes out to stump the cd anyway, so what’s the point? Pain in the assedness, apparently.

  8. two.  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    i got mine off itunes, so i’m good.

    and i LOVE the album.

  9. Do you have a PC? If so, dolding down the shift key when putting the CD into your computer should disable that function.

  10. Do you have a PC? If so, holding down the shift key when putting the CD into your computer should disable that function.

  11. These artists are going to do themselves in. Not embracing technology and refusing to let their users hae versatility in usage ultimately makes their music unmarketable.

  12. potato  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    it’s too early and stormy for me… it’s the shift key, not control. excuse me.

  13. Yale Bloor  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    I posted mp3 links for BRMC previously here for gummer, if you check back in the p.m. I will post mp3 links for BRMC Howl and the new Franz for you.

  14. My copy of Coldplay’s “X&Y” was copy-protected and I was able to work around it by playing the album on my computer (the CD provides a stand-alone player to listen to the album) and recording the Audio In using Audio Hijack Pro. This is probably a Mac-only thing you can do and it is a bit tedious, but if you’re at your wit’s end, give it a try.

  15. First CD I hit that with was Velvet Revolver, and it was enough for me to never listen to it ever.

    Also, the new Kings of Leon–which comes with its own program to play the songs on the computer, but won’t load into iTunes.

    Thing is, my bitterness toward the technology carries over when I listen to the music. It’s such a fuck you to people who actually still buy CDs.

  16. I tried the shift key, but it still didn’t want to show up in iTunes. I deleted the player it installed, too, but to no avail.

  17. chef.napalm  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    Massive Attack’s “100th Window” was the first place I came across “Copy Protection”. That CD wouldn’t play in anything. I took it back and downloaded the whole works.

  18. I was able to successfully copy the files onto both my iRiver iHP-120 (20 gig hard drive player) as well as my computer’s hard drive. I didn’t use a ripping utility, I just used the content interface on the CD which allows you to save the mp3s onto wherever. I didn’t think it would let me save them to both my hard drive and mp3 player, but it did and the both work.

    Moral of the story is that iTunes sucks :)

  19. More encouragement to download. . .

  20. ryan  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    Yeah, the Kings of Leon disc really frustrated me. I still haven’t listened to it since I bought it for that reason.

    I had no problem with the LCD Soundsystem cd. It plays on my computer and was imported in iTunes just fine.

  21. sostjerne  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    Lots of CDs have this stupid new technology. Being a non-stereo owner, I listen my music exclusively through a CD-Rom drive or on my iPod. If you are lucky enough to own a Mac, its iTunes version usually has no problems ripping the CD (even if you can’t normally listen to it due to proprietary audio players and warnings).

  22. buddha  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    I had no problem burning or importing the new Kings of Leon into iTunes

  23. bunny  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    how strange, i d/led it off soulseek, no prob (and it IS a good album!)

  24. DRM’s on the newest stuff from Elkland and Sahara Hotnights. Download, don’t buy the CDs.

  25. Josh  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    This shit works via autoplay. Go into your CD drive and turn off autoplay and you should be able to rip no problem.

    Nobody should buy these CDs, if you bought one you should take it back to where you bought it and tell them it is defective and you want your money back.

  26. jenny  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    I just downloaded the album off the Internet. I bought a copy for the car and such and feel no guilt for downloading a copy off the Web for iTunes and my DVD player since I paid good money for it already.

  27. The most egregious example of this that I remember is the Beastie Boys’ “To the 5 Boroughs.” I mean, a band whose greatest album (Paul’s Boutique) was a collage of other artists’ work. This is the work of the evil RIAA–that’s why you won’t see indie discs with this stupid attempt at safeguarding “copyright” (read: increasing bottom-line profit for corporations).

    Don’t they understand the how the “hydra” metaphor applies? If you cut off one avenue of acquiring something (even after having paid for it!), it just leads, by human nature, to people finding others. I bet someone creates (if someone hasn’t already) a RIAA copy-protection plug-in for iTunes soon.

  28. As long as you poor fools are stuck listening to recorded music, you’ll have to deal with this.

    Luckily for me, I’m a wealthy European baron and am so stinking rich that whenever I want to hear a band, I have them flown to my Bavarian castle, where they are ordered to perform to my whims.

    You’ve never really heard Out Hud until you’ve heard them in the acoustics of my grand salon.

  29. It looks like tomorrow’s Stellastarr might be protected too (according to

  30. Decklin Foster  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    Well, I was thinking of maybe buying a BRMC disc at some point, but now I am definitely never going to. Fuck ‘em.

  31. I wonder if the band even has a say in this shit.

  32. Dave  |   Posted on Sep 12th, 2005 0

    I have this problem with the new gorillaz album. I can get it onto my ipod with a work-around but it has studders and crackles in it. As a result – I don’t listen to it. Most of my music listening is on the road. Friends of mine don’t have this problem – they have a mac. I’ve noticed that mac users don’t have the same kind of problems with this. I’m either going to have to copy it from their computer or find a link to download the songs.

  33. Jeff  |   Posted on Sep 13th, 2005 0

    The new Idlewild has this program. I can work around the Foos and the BRMC without as much as a hitch, but the Idelwild will. not. work. in Windows Media player, even with the autorun turned off and the driver gone.

    So frustrating.

  34. you can write to RCA Records about it and they should send you a free unprotected copy.
    that’s what i did with Hail to the Thief.

  35. dj henry  |   Posted on Sep 13th, 2005 0

    This is so frustrating and yet another shoot-yourself-in-the-foot solution by the labels, that actually drives paying customers away. I purchase cd’s (lot’s of them) but now boycott any band that goes along with this ridiculous scheme. In addition to my stereo, I have a Mac, I have an iPod, and I want to listen to my PURCHASED cd’s on all of them. I really wanted to buy the new StellaStar* today, but absolutley will not if it has this copyguard on it. Recent copy-protected cd’s I’ve boycotted are Massive Attack, Velvet Revolver, Foo Fighters, and Kings of Leon. Someone should start a page that lists all the new cd’s that have this copy protection on them.

  36. Return the CD to the store as defective, which it is. Enough people do that, and this silly shit stops.

  37. Makes me glad that I didn’t like (and therefore didn’t purchase) the new BRMC cd when I gave it a listen in the used cd store.

  38. Cat Stevens  |   Posted on Sep 13th, 2005 0

    the coral’s invisible invasion is “protected” as well…

  39. Nate  |   Posted on Sep 13th, 2005 0

    I had no problem ripping Howl into MP3s using MusicMatch … have you tried ripping it with something other than iTunes and converting the files? Is that even possible?

  40. bam, done.  |   Posted on Sep 13th, 2005 0

    that’s funny, the kings of leon cd worked just fine for me. thank god, because i’d ordered it early from england and, being my favorite band, if it hadn’t worked i probably would’ve burned my computer.

  41. marsh  |   Posted on Sep 14th, 2005 0

    I used to be in the music industry(as a band member). Bands definitely do not get a say about whether their label gets to stick copy-protection or whatever on their cds- it’s totally down to corporate policy. And once you’re locked into a contract (if you’re lucky enough to get signed in the first place) you’re stuck. By the way, Kasabian also had one of these stupid proprietary players, but was luckily able to hack it. What we should do is pressure the record company to allow you to have a rip-able file that you can export to your i-libray of choice, maybe with a ‘key’ that you get when you buy the cd(this works for lots of other programs, like SPSS)
    By the way, I still think Dave Grohl would be only too happy to know how many people he’s fucked off with this copyguard stuff. It nearly wrecked my friend’s new superMac. He’s just that kind of a sod…

  42. spo.  |   Posted on Sep 14th, 2005 0

    okay… i could get howl onto my itunes, no problem. loaded onto my ipod, no problem. i updated the ipod again; no brmc. it won’t load onto my ipod. is that normal?

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