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March 04, 2006

I knew where to stick it where no-one would nick it - right back in the bin!

Consumer warning to continental European Deep Purple fans: Do not buy the Tour Edition of Rapture of the Deep

Even though I already own a copy on vinyl, I'd been eagerly awaiting the Tour Edition of Deep Purple's Rapture of the Deep, because there's a whole CD full of bonus material including several live tracks. (BTW, I've warmed a lot to the record since my initial review.) Today, I finally saw it in the shops, but as I was waiting in line at the checkout, I noticed a "Copy Protected - Not Playable On PC" on the back, with a logo that I hadn't seen before, so I put it back.

80% of all my music listening is done on either the iBook or the home PC, which means that the "Copy Protection" (assuming it works at all) reduces the value of that bonus CD from € 19.90 (the price at which I was willing to buy it before noticing the logo) to € 4. And that assumes that the "Copy Protection" doesn't affect playback on my DVD player or Diskman (which "Copy Protection" CDs invariably does in my experience), and that it isn't some sort of rootkit-based crap that would try to compromise my computers (they're likely to be immune but who knows), which would give the disc a negative value. So back into the bins it goes, and I'm warning Deep Purple fans in continental Europe to be very cautious with this disk, and when in doubt, not to buy it. Does anyone know if the UK edition is clean?

A Modest Proposal

If music magazines want to be useful to the listeners, they should incorporate the playability of the sound containers into their reviews, and cap the final star rating of CDs that have software compromising playback on them. I suggest that CDs claiming to have "Copy Protection" on them should never get more than three stars out of five; that CDs which are proven to have playback problems should never get more than two out of five; that CDs that are actually unplayable on a computer should never get more than one out of five, and that rootkit CDs and similarly dangerous items should get a big red zero and a warning under the review. That is about the degree by which the listener's enjoyment of the product is capped as well.

Posted by rocr at March 4, 2006 12:27 PM