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  • See How iTunes Embeds Email in DRM Free Tracks


    So the iTunes store is almost completely DRM free and will be entirely DRM free by spring…great we can now use our DRM free music on any device we want without any stupid hang-ups.

    This is all good and dandy as long as everything is legit…which of course it is, right?

    iTunes Plus Files now make up the entire music store and every file stores your account info and email. Even though there is no copy protection, the downloads still contain the email you have when you registered with iTunes.

    So while you can physically share files with friends, family, etc. it can still all be traced back to you.

    If you want to see for yourself how iTunes is keeping tabs on you, CNet says it's easy:

    "If you're interested in an easy way to check your own files, find an iTunes Plus file on your computer. Then choose to open it with a text editor (Windows Notepad works fine). It'll take a while to open and will appear to be full of nonsense text, but if you choose the 'Find' option and type in the email address you have registered with the iTunes Store, you'll find that your DRM-free music is not personal information-free."

    Still it's VERY unlikely that someone would actually get in "trouble" from this and have the RIAA come knocking at their front door. After all this is not new as iTunes has been doing this since they started using the Plus Files.

    Just remember that just because the music is now DRM free, piracy and using P2P networks will not be any easier (or harder!). Apple is watching you…

    Source: iTunes Plus: Everything you need to know - Crave at CNET UK
    This article was originally published in forum thread: See How iTunes Embeds Email in DRM Free Tracks started by AppleChic View original post
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      With the DRM free music what are the terms? Is my daughter allowed to share it with her brother? Her friends?
      I would share my music with my kids but for some reason they say they would rather have hot needles pushed under their fingernails than listen to 'proper' music (eg - Deep Purple)

      PS - Just realised this is under 'Mac stuff' - why? I have a mac (but don't use it) and my kids only have PCs
    1. pyromuffin's Avatar
      pyromuffin -
      Has anyone tried like... going into the files with a hex editor and just blanking the information? I know in notepad, it probably won't work if you just delete the email out of there and save it again, you'd end up with a binary file saved as ascii.
    1. Cody Overcash's Avatar
      Cody Overcash -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      PS - Just realised this is under 'Mac stuff' - why? I have a mac (but don't use it) and my kids only have PCs
      anything that isnt iphone or ipod goes in the mac news forums -- because uh we want to
    1. designgears's Avatar
      designgears -
      pretty easy to remove that, i have done just that, but I guess it would be a bad idea to post it on here
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by cash7c3 View Post
      anything that isnt iphone or ipod goes in the mac news forums -- because uh we want to
      Fairy Nuff - but the iPhone has got us non-mac users (otherwise known as the enemy) using things like iTunes.

      Strange, but true
    1. Cody Overcash's Avatar
      Cody Overcash -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Fairy Nuff - but the iPhone has got us non-mac users (otherwise known as the enemy) using things like iTunes.

      Strange, but true
      why cant we all be friends?

      anyways back to topic on hand. Hahahaha @ email embedded into the iTunes Plus file. Very easy to find and remove.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by cash7c3 View Post
      why cant we all be friends?

      anyways back to topic on hand. Hahahaha @ email embedded into the iTunes Plus file. Very easy to find and remove.
      I'm sure we can be - just I wouldn't have found this if it hadn't been for a link - maybe there should be an iTunes section as that is MAC and Windows - as a mainly windows user I tend not to look in MAC forums as I know bugger all about them.
    1. f3nd3rmus1c's Avatar
      f3nd3rmus1c -


      :]
    1. rel1215's Avatar
      rel1215 -
      i personally say big deal. at least we're free to move music around to whatever device we want etc etc......stealing is still stealing, so the only people that will care about this are the conspiracy paranoids(oh no, apple is monitoring me and sending their info to "the man") or people actually stealing music. i say invest in the music....esp with itunes so we can keep seeing new gamechanging products like the iphone coming out of apple......don't go to zune though...they just use the money to flood the market with more crap
    1. iphoneroeth's Avatar
      iphoneroeth -
      what happens if you export the AAC to another AAC? is the info still there?
    1. GTghost's Avatar
      GTghost -
      does this mean we can sync iphone with more than one computer.
    1. fungrified's Avatar
      fungrified -
      Quote Originally Posted by iphoneroeth View Post
      what happens if you export the AAC to another AAC? is the info still there?
      yeh i was thinking that too... im gonna give it a crack
    1. alias_neo's Avatar
      alias_neo -
      Yeh, as has been said, this personal information is really pretty easy to remove anyway, just imagine the bytes of storage you could save by erasing this pointlessly stored personal information in all of your music collection.

      I'm not suggesting anyone do it, nor am I condoning it by the way, the existence of the information is probably now part of the agreement made between you and the vendor(?) when you purchase said music.
    1. Sherm23's Avatar
      Sherm23 -
      If one were to want said information 'scrubbed' from their files, I think a batch 'scrubber' would be nice. Anyone...Bueller...Bueller. I'm not condeming nor am I suggesting Mr. Man, just making statements
    1. alias_neo's Avatar
      alias_neo -
      Oh, I'm curious, is it embedded in the ID3 tag or similar? I came across some of my tracks that had copyright information embedded by the program that ripped them from the CD, but unlike the rest of the ID3 tag, it wouldn't let me erase it (in windows right click-properties) I didn't think to take a look at them in a hex editor before hand but simply did a batch convert with direct stream copy straight to clean untagged files. (It was causing no problems, but as a perfectionist I prefer not to have someone embed their details in my tracks just because I used their software to rip them. Maybe next time I'll get a pen and paper and write out the binary so I can make the file myself in notepad.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by rel1215 View Post
      don't go to zune though...they just use the money to flood the market with more crap
      LOL... another uninformed idiot.
    1. mtwiford's Avatar
      mtwiford -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Fairy Nuff - but the iPhone has got us non-mac users (otherwise known as the enemy) using things like iTunes.

      Strange, but true
      I beg to differ being that iTunes is the # 1 selling online music store. The mac population did not put them there....
    1. fungrified's Avatar
      fungrified -
      just converting it to like an mp3 gets rid of the data im pretty sure.. i did it and searched for my name and no results..

      but still why would you? the cops arent gonna book you for having your email in a song.. right?
    1. agentfubu's Avatar
      agentfubu -
      Once I found someone's iPod and copied a purchased song off of the device on linux and used strings to get their email. This can be a potentially good or bad thing. It goes both ways.
    1. OneRing2Rule's Avatar
      OneRing2Rule -
      Quote Originally Posted by GTghost View Post
      does this mean we can sync iphone with more than one computer.
      Don't know about that, but if you're jailbroke, try SwapTunes on Cydia. Been around a looooong time.

      Cheers.