If youive legally purchased a copy of a CD, only to find that itis unplayable on your computer, car stereo or portable CD player, chances are youive fallen victim to the RIAAis latest ianti-piracyi measures. These are CDs that are especially designed to screw up if you try to play them on a computer, preventing you from copying a CD for personal use - say, in your car - or ripping it to MP3 format for use on your computer or in a portable MP3 player. As well as computers, this also causes playback problems on gaming consoles, some car stereos, certain kinds of high-end stereo equipment, and several other devices.
Needless to say, this can cramp your style somewhat. Over at MacMerc, this how-to article details the behaviour of these discs:
After popping it in, iTunes hit the CDDB and got the track names. At this point I was feeling suckered that I paid for an awful CD that will play just fine in my Mac. I selected a track and the CD player spun and spun until iTunes started to not respond. So, this miracle of the RIAA actually freezes up iTunes. Nice. ::pats the RIAA on the back::
The article then goes on to describe a way to copy the audio from your protected CD, making it ready to use in your computer, MP3 player or other device. Itis hardly news to those of us who have spent time copying tape or vinyl recordings to MP3, and itis a fairly clumsy way to do it, but this article is a very handy reference nonetheless.