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An anti-Napster hack, Jobs is raging

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Hard times for Napster. Not only does the company of Chris Gorog seem to have come out with the broken bones from the advertising comparison with Apple during the long-awaited Superbowl "showdown", the announcements of the fiscal quarter were not enough that instead of inducing the investors to buy they pushed them to sell, now we also bring the crafty ones decided to undermine the technology for use on the portable devices of music purchased for rent. And to make matters worse, it infuriates Jobs, who sees risks of creeping unfair competition.

All started with the appearance of a trick able to acquire the songs downloaded from Napster in such a way as to turn them into normal MP3 files that play forever, regardless of the payment of the monthly fee.

The very simple solution involves the use of the very common WinAmp and a plug-in called Output Stacker. Thanks to the combination, you can burn CDs with songs that should only be heard on a player, with lots of regards to the formula for rent.

Napster did not seem particularly distressed by the news, claiming that this is not a violation of the song protection system but a well-known hack that is also applicable to music sold by competitors that is becoming relevant "only – says a company spokeswoman – for the great visibility of our service. The lesson is that despite offering customers a way to have legal music, we will always try to get around the system. " But the story has literally infuriated Jobs who sees in the affair and, above all, in the lightness with which it is taken by Naspster a risk for those who, like iTunes, try to set strict limits to the phenomenon of piracy.

The CEO of Apple, therefore, took pen and paper or rather, keyboard and Internet connection, and sent an e-mail to all the top managers of record companies. In the message a simple sentence: "I think it is useful to know the following" and a little below a link to the page that explains how to "crack" the rented music and invites you to subscribe to a monthly subscription, download all the music you are interested in and then cancel the registration.

Chris Gorog, evidently touched on live, sent a message to the record companies, trying to explain that the time-consuming technique, then linking an Internet page explaining how to crack Fair Play, with which Apple protects iTunes.

The record companies' reaction to the story is not known, but it can easily be argued that Gorog's reply may not have been entirely convincing. The damage produced by any pirate who decides to bypass Naspster's music protection for rent appears potentially heavier than what is produced by loosening up iTunes.

The songs sold by the Apple store, in the first place, have a much higher cost per copy than those sold by Napster which, in fact, does not apply a real mark-up for each song, but asks for a "canon" of rent. Theoretically anyone with a connection fast enough and enough time to lose in a month could download thousands of songs with $ 15 producing an impossible damage with iTunes because every song would cost $ 0.99 cents (or euros).

But even by making more credible assumptions, it must be considered that an Apple song, once bought, can be owned and played forever, as well as mastered, those of Napster can only be heard until you stop paying the fee and not even possible to burn them to disc, this reduces the value per song of Napster and increases the damage caused by piracy.

Put simply, the limits imposed on Napster have certainly reduced the price that Gorog companies pay to record companies, and therefore these limits, once circumvented, consequently produce them greater damage than a possible (and less likely, seen the minor limitations) copy of an iTunes song.