Who could forget DVD Jon, the Linux guru who was co-author of DeCSS? This Linux application 'unlocked' DVDs with content otherwise protected by Content Scrambling System (CSS) encryption and landed DVD Jon in front of a judge. Which did not stop him from continuing his quest to free audiovisual content from the chains of whatever encryption is being used to tie it to the original format. Perhaps most notoriously with his uncanny ability to quickly break new DRM systems such as the Fairplay wrapper for iTunes music for example.

DVD Jon has now moved on from his Linux PC and has established a new company called DoubleTwist which has just released a desktop application that makes the movement and management of these DRM-protected AAC format files literally child's play. Sure, it is not the first to find a workaround to iTunes device sharing, and those with enough time on their hands will burn tracks to CD and then re-rip them off again in a different format. DoubleTwist takes iTunes purchased AAC files and turns them into MP3s that will play on any device, not just the 'authorised' PC, all at the press of a button.

Interestingly, a Facebook app called Twist me has also been released today, adopting a different approach: that of sharing audio and video content on their profile pages with other users. In fact, it provides a sync ability between a number of devices such as the Nokia N Series, Sony Ericsson Walkman & Cybershot phones plus Sony PSP, LG Viewty and Windows Mobile smart phones. Notably missing from the list at the moment is the Apple iPhone, but DVD Jon is already working on that.

It is DoubleTwist that is likely to get most music industry knickers in just that predicament, although the company reckons it is simply giving consumers the choice to enjoy the music that they have after all purchased on any device they like, something it insists is 'fair use.' Monique Farantzos, doubleTwist's co-founder and CEO argues that "Users can only play back the music they have already purchased and they are authorised to play." Given that DVD Jon was acquitted in December 2003, albeit in Norway, over the DCeCSS affair and has not faced any further serious legal challenges despite developing numerous DRM evading technologies, it looks like she has a point.

The real issue is just how relevant such workarounds to DRM remain to the music buying public though. Legal arguments could put paid to it all, of course, but I have a funny feeling that the nature of commerce in the online music industry will solve the problem first. We are already seeing a backlash from within the digital music industry against draconian DRM measures, in response to popular public pressure, and Apple itself reports that half of its iTunes music is available in a better quality format without the DRM restrictions. Others, such as Amazon and EMusic, have scrapped the DRM altogether and sell their audio wares in unrestricted MP3 format.

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Member Avatar newsguy The News Guy

I live and breathe technology news, it is what turns me on. Sad, but hey I am a news nerd, what can I say? I live and work in England, where I have been reporting IT news for far more years than I care to remember.

Tipard DVD Ripper Pack is actually the combination of Tipard DVD Ripper and Tipard Video Converter. With the DVD rip software and video converter, you can convert DVD and any video to all the video and audio formats for all the portable players.


Input Formats: DVD, IFO folder and MPG, MPEG, MPEG2, VOB, MP4, M4V, RM, RMVB, WMV, ASF, TS, MKV, AVI, 3GP, FLV, MPV, MOD, TOD, MP3, MP2, AAC, AC3, WAV, MID, MIDI, WMA, M4A, RA, RAM ..
Output Formats: MP4, H.264, AVI, MP3, WMV, WMA, FLV, MKV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, 3GP, 3GPP, VOB, DivX, Mov, RM, RMVB, M4A, AAC, WAV, OGG, RA.

Key Functions:
1. Set the video effects, audio track and subtitle
This pack allows you to adjust the brightness, contrast and saturation of video and volume of the audio by drag and click the adjustment bar. It also allows you to choose the audio track and subtitle to fit for your needs.

2. Cut any episodes from your DVD or video
Click “Trim” to capture any time-length video clips. You can set the “Start Time” and “End Time” to set the time of the clip or you can directly drag the slide bar to the accurate position.

3. Crop the video play region
By using the “Crop” function to crop off the black edges around video and adjust the video play region. It allows you to set the Crop Mode and Zoom Mode to exactly fit for your player.

4. Capture your favorite pictures and merge your wanted contents into one file
This Ripper Pack provides you to capture your favorite pictures when you preview DVD or video. You can join your DVD chapters or video pieces into one file for you to enjoy successively.

For Mac users, Tipard Studio also has the all-in-one tool: DVD Ripper Pack for Mac. It has the same functions with the Windows version.