Use Sony DRM, Format Your Hard Drive

DRM, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. One, two, three, four… no wait, I’m only allowed up to three.

I recently obtained the new Foo Fighters CD, “In Your Honor.” It’s a two disc set, with the image of a buffalo’s head on one CD and a buffalo’s arse on the other. As I’m about to explain, this second image would make a quite fitting logo for the DRM software found on the album.

“In Your Honor”, released by RCA Records (a unit of Sony BMG), contains DRM software that severely limits your ability to enjoy the product that you paid for. The CDs work fine in a regular CD player, but they are a hassle to use on a computer running Windows. Most recently, Sony’s DRM software has received negative publicity because it prevents users from transferring their music onto iPods.

Foo Fighters

How does Sony accomplish this? Their CDs contain autorun files that start up the DRM software as soon as you enter them into your CD tray. Knowing this, when I loaded the Foo Fighters CD, I held in the shift key on my keyboard to prevent the software from executing. I then opened Windows Media Player to play the CD, and celebrated a premature victory when I began to hear music coming through my speakers.

After listening to a few seconds of the first track, I thought to myself, “This song sucks!” What I heard sounded more like noise than music. Then I realized that what I was listening to was the encoded track that was specifically designed to garble the sound. Bypassing the DRM software wouldn’t be enough. As it turned out, I actually needed the DRM software to hear the songs correctly.

Giving in, I re-inserted the CD and allowed autorun to load. I was quickly presented with a program named “MediaMax” and its end user license agreement. The end user license agreement explained all the rights I don’t have as their customer, and all the rights Sony has for being my wonderful music provider. After reading the EULA, I was left with a distinct feeling of privilege to be their paying customer. (Pardon that deafening shriek in the background, but that’s my sarcasm detector about to explode.)

Clicking “I do not accept the terms of this agreement” shuts down the program and ejects the CD from the computer. Either you agree to their restrictions or you don’t hear the music on your computer. Giving in again, I re-inserted the CD and agreed to their terms.

Suddenly my monitor turned black and a full-screen window appeared. The window notified me that the program was connecting to the Internet to download a license that would allow me to play the album. Thirty seconds later the download was complete, and I was left with a feeling that I hadn’t felt since I was five years old. “Mommy, can I put on the radio?” In this case mommy was Sony and the answer was, apparently, yes.

Let’s review

Let’s review the story so far. If you’re using Windows and want to listen to the Foo Fighters album on your computer, you must 1. agree to a legal contract, 2. allow Sony to install software on your computer and 3. have an Internet connection. What if you don’t have an Internet connection? What happens if Sony’s site is experiencing a heavy load? What if thirty years from now you want to listen to the music you enjoyed in your youth but you can’t because Sony.com now points to a porn site? I hate the idea of being forever dependent on Sony to enjoy music that I’ve already paid for.

After enduring this hassle, I was ready to enjoy the music. I shutdown the license downloader and opened Winamp to play the CD. When the first track began playing I was surprised to hear the same garbled noise as before. Silly, silly me. As it turns out you need the DRM software to play the music for you. The DRM software appears to wrap itself around Windows Media Player, although I read that you can customize the application to use Winamp instead. Either way, you need to start and stop the songs from within Sony’s DRM program itself.

Using the “My Computer” link on my desktop, I double clicked on the CD icon to load the DRM software yet again. After checking my credentials (again), the program presented me with its music player. Although you can minimize this player, you can’t resize the window which takes up the entire screen. If you’re going to force me to use your software, please, at least make it user friendly!

After listening to the first three tracks, which by the way weren’t much better ungarbled, I decided that I had had enough. I wasn’t going to pay Sony $13.00 and give up my rights for mediocre music. It was time to return the CD and uninstall their software. Unfortunately, uninstalling the DRM software would prove to be rather difficult, and by rather difficult I mean impossible.

Removing the DRM

I poked around my computer to locate MediaMax but couldn’t find it in any of the usual places. Not wanting to dig around the Windows registry, I decided to contact Sunncomm International. Sunncomm is the company who developed and supports the MediaMax software for Sony.

I sent Sunncomm this brief message,

“I’ve returned my [Foo Fighters] CD to the store and would like to uninstall your software from my computer. How do I go about uninstalling the DRM software?”

Less than an hour later, I received this response,

“Thank you for contacting us, Michael. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Please note that MediaMax was designed to manage and safeguard the copyrights of specified artists’ CDs while giving you an enhanced visual and listening experience. It does not interfere with or impact any of the normal operations and/or functions of your computer.

Please let us know if we can assist you further.

Thank you,
Kara
SunnComm Tech Support”

Hmm. Maybe they misread my email? I followed up with this,

“Kara,

Thanks for your prompt reply. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that you answered my question. I wasn’t asking what MediaMax is, but was instead looking for instructions on how to remove it from my computer.

When I inserted the Foo Fighter’s CD, it connected to the Internet and downloaded a key. I’d like to know where the key is so that I may delete it from the machine. I suspect other files were also copied to my hard drive and I would like to remove those as well.

If I purchase a software program for my computer and decide to return it, I need to uninstall it from my computer before doing so. Otherwise I’d be stealing the software. Since I’ve already returned the Foo Fighters CD, I feel like I’m stealing your software since it’s still on my computer. On top of that, I just don’t want it on there.

Basically, my question is, how do I restore my computer to its original state before I made the mistake of running your software?

Thank you,
Michael”

Later in the day, I received this more helpful response,

“To our Valued Customer…

You have received this email because you requested a means to remove
SunnComm’s MediaMax software from your computer. Please be aware that
removal of the MediaMax software will result in a loss of special features
provided on this CD.

Click the link, below, for one-time access to a web page which will enable
the removal of our software:

http://www.sunncomm.com/support/remove.asp?onetime=E1E4D8E8-4A46-43CD-9E30-9B21E0FB90A3

Thank you,
Michal
SunnComm Tech Support”

Clicking on the link, I was taken to a web page that required ActiveX. As a FireFox user, I am protected from the security threat that is ActiveX, and was therefore unable to run their uninstall utility. Remember the days of DOS when uninstalling a program was as simple as deleting the directory it lived in? Conversely, removing Sony’s DRM software requires an Internet connection, Internet Explorer and an ActiveX control.

How was I to know that I needed all of this to enjoy and then later return the album? Well, according to Sunncomm’s web site I should have read the minimum system requirements on the back of the audio CD. Call me old fashioned, but I think the only minimum system requirements that you should ever find on the back of a CD should read like this: “Minimum System Requirements: A CD player.”

Sure enough, on the back of the CD, in very tiny print, were a few lines that indicate you must have Windows 98/2000/XP with Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher. Interestingly, it made no mention of ActiveX. I jumped on this fact in my follow-up response,

“Michal,

Thanks again for the fast response. I tried the link that you provided, but the removal process didn’t work because it relies on the use of ActiveX. I’m using FireFox which doesn’t currently support ActiveX controls. I also have Internet Explorer installed, but have since disabled ActiveX for security reasons.

I read through your Minimum System Requirements, and don’t see that ActiveX is listed. Certainly there must be a way to delete your software that doesn’t require something above and beyond what I was told my computer needed when I purchased the Foo Fighters album.

I don’t mind manually deleting the files from my hard drive if you’d be so kind as to instruct me on where to find them.

Thank you,
Michael”

An hour later I received another email notifying me that my trouble ticket had been closed.

So, it’s either use IE with ActiveX to remove the DRM software or keep it on the machine. But what about the keys it downloads? Does their web-based uninstall utility delete the license keys too? According to their web site, the answer is no.

“Please note that because the keys are very essential in controlling access to protected music, Windows Media doesn’t allow anyone to have access to them directly. They are hidden in a secret database on the system that only Microsoft knows how to get to. Since those keys are very small and literally do nothing other than help the user play content that would otherwise be inaccessible, Microsoft never envisioned that anyone would have a desire to remove them. As a result, we do not have a way to tell the Windows Media Player to remove a particular key.”

Time to reformat?

So, even if you uninstall the DRM software the keys remain on your machine until you reformat your hard drive! Again, call me old fashioned, but I think that you should always have the option to restore your computer to its original state after installing a program. Such is not the case with Sony DRM. If you want to completely restore your computer to its original state, you must reformat your hard drive.

Reformatting my hard drive is much more than I bargained for. All I ever wanted to do was listen to some purchased music. I realize that Sony BMG is trying to fight piracy, but at what expense? Must they treat all of their customers like criminals?

At a time when the recording studios are complaining of poor CD sales, this hardly seems like the thing to bring people back to CDs. It would appear to me that the record industry is shooting itself in the foot. Companies like Sony BMG should continue to lower the cost of music and respect the rights of their customers while doing it.

Unless they reverse their ways, this is one former customer will now be avoiding Sony BMG.

39 Comments on "Use Sony DRM, Format Your Hard Drive"

  1. quasi says:

    God, stunts like that make me tempted never to buy a CD again. As far as I’m concerned, the record companies deserve whatever losses in revenue they sustain when I download music for free.

    DRM: Keeping honest people pissed off.

  2. Jason says:

    Great article! I seriously have to wonder if the approach they are taking with this form of DRM is legal. As far as I know (and I’m by no means a lawyer) it is my federally protected right to make a backup copy of any form of media I own, including the new Foo Fighters CD! Since I choose to make a backup copy of this CD to my computer, how is this DRM not affecting my legal rights as a consumer?

    I really like how you mention 50 years from now. I pull out CD’s often from 15 years ago that I haven’t listened too in a long time. When this DRM has been hacked and Sony/BMG has moved on shutting down the site that activates and distributes these DRM “keys”, what am I to do when I want to listen to my CD?

    Fortunately we can all rest a little easier knowing that no piece of software is immune to hackers. I’m sure it’s only a matter of a few weeks until this software is cracked and ways to get around it made easy.

    As I said in my short write up on my blog you can always get a Mac and bypass the whole process! :)

  3. abeer says:

    just happened to run across this.

    what a fucking annoying situation. i can see how you would just want to listen to some music after you bought a cd and just happen to instantly get bombarded with crap. and they all wonder why people download music…

  4. Alan says:

    Thanks for the comment and pointer in Copyfight. I enjoyed reading your story, though I’m sorry you had to live through it. As I’ve said before, we have a right not to remain silent. I cancelled my BMG membership as soon as they started DRM-ing their discs. I urge others to be vocal about their experiences, to retail outlets, to the music clubs, and to the companies involved.

  5. andrew says:

    command prompt this:
    net stop sbcphid
    del %systemroot%\system32\drivers\sbcphid.sys
    its not a “secret” database, what you hear is a driver that they install on your computer that takes what your cd drive is playing and garbles it, and if you remove this driver, everything will work fine. now if this uninstalls the sunncomm crap, i dunno, i didnt ever accept that stupid thing, and if you hold down the shift key while inserting cds, it bypasses ANY copy protection on ANY cd, its become a habit of mine just to do that with every cd just in case. hope this helps,
    andrew

  6. Samuel says:

    Wow, that last post is intersting. I have a mac so it does me no good but it’s good to know for my windows using friends.

  7. Chris says:

    The “shift bypasses ANY copy protection” statement may have been true once, but it is NOT now. I’ve got a few CDs that are deliberately corrupted so that they appear to have some impossibly long track durations, both on Windoze (using CDEx) and Linux (which obviously doesn’t care about autorun.inf). It’s still usually possible to extract the first few tracks, but not the whole set. A regular CD player skips over the problem (and an optical out means a digital rip is still possible, if a little inconvenient).

  8. Philippe says:

    On Windows XP, what happens if you do a system restore to a restore point created before MediaMax installation? Will it accomplish anything?

  9. Phillipe says, “…what happens if you do a system restore to a restore point…?”

    This is a good point. I assume that this would work, although I haven’t tried it myself since I never created a restore point before running the software. It would probably work if you had the foresight to do brace your system before trying to listen to the Foo Fighters CD.

    Most people create restore points before doing major things to their system, like apply service packs or install large applications. It’s unfortunate this is something we need to discuss regarding the listening of purchasing music.

  10. Terry Bain says:

    Sounds to me as if Sony DRM software is actually a virus (as is Microsoft Windows and ActiveX, thank you very much), and needs to be treated as such. Damn corporate bobble-heads.

  11. David Shaff says:

    Great writeup. The shift key does seem to work for these, but I also used a linux system to extract them. I hate the way they try to spin it. It isn’t about protecting the artist, it is all about controlling the consumer and I won’t be a part of it.

  12. WANG says:

    Excellent article. I was almost enraged when I realized the DRM software was installed onto my computer as well… Damn the recording company and their silly ideas. Either way, this analysis of Suncomm’s Mediamax proved to be most helpful (Andrew also mentioned a command from this article): http://www.cs.princeton.edu/%7Ejhalderm/cd3/ For those of you who have encountered the problem, please, after you’ve followed the directions on this website, take the utmost pleasure in knowing you’ve fooled the music industry once again :)

  13. Christine Brazill says:

    Just saw this in the Washington Post today and it reminded me of your article. The same Foo Fighters cd was mentioned as one of the recording industry’s attempts to limit the copying of their cds. The writer points out “this kind of action seems a tad on the late side.” Perhaps it’s not quite on topic, but I thought I’d pass it along anyway.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/15/AR2005081500415.html

  14. Daniel Hull says:

    I just bought the new Switchfoot album and it seems that Sunncomm has been “polite” enough to quickly update their software. I had no problem breezing by their last implementation with the Foo Fighters: In your Honor CD (which was great by the way) however I cannot seem to get past their software this time. Shift made sure their software did not load however iTunes did not open the CD. My current hatred for Sony can only be expressed with the ASCII special character set. So I am being punished for attempting to perform a perfectly legal procedure with iTunes. Excuse me Sony but please fist yourself. If anyone find the crack for the software on new Switchfoot CD before I can, then please post for the benefit of all.

  15. Ox says:

    I also applaud your article, and share your frustration. I bought David Gray’s new CD, “Life in Slow Motion” three days ago. Unfortunately, SunComm’s software installed itself on my computer, which runs on Win98SE. Also believe SunComm has updated their software — neither the command shown in the Harvard article (link above) nor the SHIFT key allowed me to recover from this violation of my PC’s integrity. The software also appears to have interfered with my ability to copy other CDs — the CD burner functions on my computer have significantly slowed down since I inserted this new disk.

    My suggestion is to not fight fire with fire — rather; put your money where your mouth is:
    - Do not purchase any CDs on the RCA, BMG, ATO or IHG labels;
    - Report your frustration to the Better Business Bureau, along with the name of the store where you purchased this corrupt software.
    - You have every right to make a backup copy of software. To date, I have never pirated software — the creators and proliferators of SunComm software make me consider software piracy to have moved from a criminal issue to a freedom-of-speech and privacy issue.

  16. Craig says:

    I bought a Faithless CD and was not aware of DRM up until this point. So, i inserted the CD into my home PC, and MediaMax installed, and i can’t now get it off. I have deleted anything to do with SunComm and MediaMax from the registry, and disabled the driver mentioned above, but when i try and play the CD in anything other than approved players such as iTunes, the music is garbled.
    However, i brought the CD to another PC, and i actually see the audio version of the CD rather than the PC version. the mediamax software attempted to install, but for some reason wasn’t able to. I can now copy my music to iTunes and onto my ipod without worry.
    So, i’m thinking it would be nice to do this more reliably – any ideas why i can’t uninstall media max, and will this just be a problem with this CD, or will it now mean my home PC behaves in this way for all Sony CD’s?

  17. Craig says:

    Sorry – just to clarify – iTunes isn’t an approved player for Sony DRM. that doesn’t read awfully clearly, but i was intending it to read such that iTunes wasn’t a approved player.

  18. Todd says:

    I just purchased a new Toshiba laptop as my expensive Fujitsu blue-screened a week and a day ago. Wanting to hear ne new Foo Fighters song, DOA, I bought the “In Your Honor” 2-disc set. Not being one to pirate songs to begin with (I bought the CD at Best Buy) I wasn’t necessarily worried about encryption. What immediately happend, however, did worry me. All sound on my system stopped working. I downloaded the latest version of Media Player, tried every device trick I could find online and still – nothing. I just sent two different email messages to Sunncomm asking for info on removing their software from my system. Having just replaced a PC, I am quite sensitive to things working properly and data being secure. and while it takes a bit of time to reformat the drive and load all the other software from scratch, I’d rather do that than lose all my data later due to some crap software interfering with my system – which it has. Take Note, Foo Fighters, you’re pissing off your fans.

  19. Todd says:

    Letter to Dave Grohl at FooFighters.com

    Dave – Please do domething…

    I am a long-time fan who purchased the 2-disc CD set, “In Your Honor” yesterday afternoon at Best Buy. I brought it home where my new laptop (just one week old), awaited. Having listened to music on my PC just prior to going to the store, I opened the CD slot, inserted your CD and was greeted by the message about encryption. Not being one to steal music to begin with, I accepted the prompt to install the software. Immediately I say the system LOOK like a song should be playing, however no sound was coming out. In fact, I was soon to learn that ALL sound had stopped functioning on my machine. I am currently in email discussions with Sunncomm trying to get their software off my machine, but the messages they are sending are trite, canned responses.

    I am a fan. And a paying fan at that. I am part of the wheel that actually makes you and the label money – and it’s the PAYING FANS who are getting hurt by this process! Worse – I am not alone – but part of a drove of people who are experiencing this [I]and WORSE [/I] as a result of buying your CD and (in a very real way) trusting you and the Foo Fighters. Are you aware this is happening? A quick google search will reveal how many people have had challenges as a result of buying and attempting to listen to a FOO FIGHTERS CD. That has to matter to you – as it’s not just a $18 CD being affected , but $1000-$2000 laptops, desktops – and worse – sometimes priceless unsaved data is lost when the CD brings the system down. Not cool at all. Please do something. It’s your paying fans who are getting hurt here. Namaste. – T

  20. The Sunncomm DRM that Sony/BMG is using? No effect on a Mac. Rip it to iTunes, load it on your iPod, without any problem at all. Vaio owner? You’re SOL. Did anyone at Sony think about their own hardware margins? Obviously not.

    (No, I don’t buy these fake CDs either, but I wound up with one included with a DVD I bought.)

  21. BGS says:

    This is really a shame – I hope this leads to a huge lawsuit.

    I have disabled the autostart on my Windows XP computer, and was able to “rip” the Foo Fighters, Silvertide and Velvet Revolver using a Lite-On DVD combo drive with Audiograbber and Exact Audio Copy. I ripped all the files to Wav files and then burned an “unprotected” CD with Nero. Boycott major label bands who support DRM and support Indie artists who dont copy-protect thier CD’s.

  22. Duh says:

    Attention dummies: the record labels don’t care the slightest bit about whatever perceived infringement on your convenience might be. They already have your money, stupid! Quit whining and learn how to protect yourself from software you don’t want.

    Do you click everything you receive in an email without thinking about it? In that case, you’re screwed and you may as well bend over and take it. Otherwise, disable autorun.

    Ever ‘dub’ a tape back in the day? It still works – stick a plug in your sound card’s line-in and click ‘record’ in your favorite sound recorder. As long as standalone CD players still make sound, that is.

  23. Masz says:

    Rather than formatting and reinstalling Windows, has anyone actually tried stopping the service then using the Microsoft Service Creation Wizard (available on various Microsoft Windows Resource Kits) to remove the service then reboot?

    You may afterward have to also uninstall then reinstall your CD/DVD reader/writer drivers, but I suspect this would solve the problem and be significantly faster than reformatting.

  24. ajs says:

    Formatting your HDD is good. Re-installing Windows is bad — you’re just asking for more trouble. Try a decent operating system such as Ubuntu Linux instead.

  25. Mr Bucket says:

    I purchased a Kings of Leon CD and quickly found out about the Sunncomm software. I disabled and removed the software, which was bad enough.

    What really ticked me off was that the CD didn’t contain CD audio files. The music files are WMA files encoded at 128 kbps. What a ripoff.

  26. Sandman says:

    Your a fucking idiot. You obviously don’t know too much about a computer. If so you caould have either A) figured out a way to get around the DRM protection like my 10 year old sister has done, or B) be smart enough to know how to enable ActiveX controls for a few minutes to get yourself out of this situation and get your simple minded question out of techsupports already full hands. P.S. Firefox does allow ActiveX controls. RETARD.

  27. n1pz says:

    Dear sandman you are clearly a “fucking idiot” and I suggest you spend more time in the superior intellect of your 10 year old sister. Often you don’t know if a CD has DRM until it has done its damage, also if you will read a little close you will realise that he uses firefox with ActiveX deleberately disabled for security. Open your eyes before you speak or the words will come out your ass.

  28. Dan says:

    Sony needs to be spanked but it will never happen as the fucking politicians are in their pocket. The only option is not to buy this shit. Don\’t buy music period. Go to the library and check out copies and then use your stand alone recordr to copy them. Fuck these crooked demented bastards

  29. Brennan says:

    So after having this useless cd for I guess a little over a year now, I decided I WAS GOING TO PUT THIS CD ON MY MP3 PLAYER. So after seeing all the hassle a must go through to put this cd on my computer, I decided to download limewire and get the songs from there. The way I see it, I already payed $15 for it, so its not stealing. Stealing would be making someone pay $15 for a cd thats unusable. From now on, any Sony/BMG cd I want, I’ll Just steal from limewire. I’d rather steal from them than the other way around.

  30. ninnyninnybooboo says:

    I got bored, so I searched for “internet junkies” and came here. Pure useless entertainment from all of the onsite junkies here. I am curious, do any of you interact in the real world “outside” of that screen in front of your face?

  31. Luke says:

    DRM runs contrary to the rights of “fair use” the Supreme Court has laid down. Anyone with DRM software on a favorite CD/DVD should study the case law in case the MIPAA comes a knockin.

  32. Luke says:

    another alternative is to bag corporate music altogether and listen to the many wonderful underground bands that exist… just saying….. I have never had a punk rock cd/record with DRM on it

  33. Josh says:

    For those of you with Windows XP who already had the software from this album installed on your computer against your will, after 6 long hours, I have figured out how to rip it anyway, and it does not even require deleting the software. It’s not too difficult of a process. It does require you have Windows Media Player, though, but most people do.

    This is what I did:
    1) First of all, obviously, disable AutoRun. If you don’t know how to do this, go to Start, click on Run, then type “regedit” (without the quotation marks, of course) and execute. Then open the following folders: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > Cdrom. In that last one, double click on “AutoRun”, change the “Value data” to 0, and hit OK. Restart your computer before you do anything else involving the CD.
    2) Now, this next step is assuming you’ve already tried in vain to rip the CD and the software has already installed itself on your computer. Insert the CD. Do NOT open iTunes, you will not be able to use that to rip. You will be ripping the CD using Windows Media Player and can then put the files into iTunes if you want them on your iPod. Open Windows Media Player, let it recognize the CD, and open the Rip tab, choose the file format you want to rip to (personally I like MP3s because they’re small), but do NOT start ripping yet.
    3) Open your Control Panel, click on Performance and Maintenance, then click on System. Open the Hardware tab and click on Device Manager. Click View on the taskbar and click “Show Hidden Devices”. Scroll down until you find “SbcpHid”.
    Now before you do any of the following, just remember that WHENEVER DEVICE MANAGER ASKS YOU TO RESTART TO CHANGE YOUR HARDWARE SETTINGS, CLICK NO. You do NOT need to restart your computer to rip the CD.
    Right click “SbcpHid” and click Disable. As I said above, DO NOT RESTART. (Also, do NOT click Uninstall, as uninstalling the driver DOES require restarting the computer, and because of that doing so is futile, for the driver will simply reinstall itself on recognition of the CD after restarting.) Right click it again and open Properties. Click the Driver tab. Where it says Current Status, hit Stop, then hit OK. Once again, DO NOT RESTART.
    4) Go back into Windows Media Player and click Start Rip. This should rip the CD fine, without garbled tracks or anything. For the second disc, just insert the CD, close and reopen Windows Media Player, and rip it. Then, if you want them on your iPod, just put the files into iTunes, obviously.

    Mission accomplished. :D

  34. It is time to go old school on Sony. For anyone unable to resist the temptation to buy any Sony CDs, take a regular CD player, put the disk in and connect the CD player’s output to your sound card. Then with a copy of GoldWave (or any other preferred WAV recorder/editor) record all the tracks right from the player. Edit the complete file down to the individual tracks, convert them to MP3 and SHARE THEM EVERYWHERE!!! While there are some 256 kbps audiophiles out there who might complain about the quality, the rest of us will be very pleased with final music files. Fuck Sony in the ass with a splintery wooden dildo!

    P.S. Sandman, die in a fire, you fucking loser.

  35. Zits101 says:

    Um, one way to get the audio into the PC minus DRM is hook a CD player up to your computer via stereo cord and record it via Audacity! :P

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