Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Masters of Horror -- The CD, The Nightmare

So I’m in Target this morning picking up some Diet Coke to restock the work fridge with so that when I get sick of drinking coffee I have another caffeine source to turn to. While I’m there I walk by the electronics section of the store and see the Masters of Horror soundtrack on sale for $10. I had totally forgotten it came out this week. As I took a look at it and thought about it, 2 cds that contains 30 unreleased or new tracks from 30 pretty kick ass bands sounded like one hell of a deal, so without a further thought I grabbed a copy and put it in my basket.

Once I got to work I popped the first disc in, very interested to hear the new Norma Jean, Funeral for a Friend, Armor for Sleep, Bloodsimple, and Shadows Fall tracks, as well at It Dies Today’s cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence”. After the cd was put into my computer, QCD tried to play it, but all of the tracks were garbled. Did I get a defective cd? Only then did I notice a little popup that had appeared telling me about the copy protection this disc uses. It turns out you can only listen to the cd using the proprietary player that’s included on the cd. Lame.

So I started listening to it using the media player it provided, which they tried to make cool, but in reality it isn’t. There’s no way to move it around on your screen—it’s stuck right in the middle of screen. I wanted to move it so that the now playing list could be in the lower left hand part of my screen, but that was impossible. Because of the stupid copy protection I also couldn’t rip the cd to my computer to put on my mp3 player. After looking through the options of the media player, I did find an option to copy the songs to your hard drive. Sweet, maybe they realized that people are going to want to play it on their iPods or other mp3 players.

I was wrong. It will only rip the songs to your computer in a copy protected version of Windows Media Audio (WMA) files. No MP3 option or AAC option or OGG option. Nope, just crappy DRM filled WMA. What also kicks you in the nuts is it tells you specifically on the help page for ripping the cd to your hard drive that the WMA files WILL NOT play on iPods. Do they not realize how many people use iPods to listen to music? It also says that standard mp3 players WILL NOT play the ripped files. Only “Windows Media Audio Protected Content Devices” will play the files that are created on your computer.

So in the end, the only way I can listen to this cd is if I use the lame ass media player that’s included on the cd while it’s in my computer (which has no shuffle or repeat options, I might add) or put it in my car stereo. I can’t listen to it anywhere else because those are the only two places I have cd players.

Now I don’t care how awesome of a lineup of bands and unreleased tracks you may have, this type of copy protection is just ridiculous. I feel like I got ripped off and I want my $10 back. Right now I’m seriously considering going back to Target and telling them the cd is defective so I can get my money back because, essentially, this is a defective cd since I can’t use it how I would a normal cd. I don’t want Immortal Records getting my money for a cd that I can’t do what I want to with and can’t listen to in many of the ways/forms that I listen to music, and you shouldn’t have to put up with that crap either.

What makes this really, really shady though, is that there is absolutely no warning on the package that this cd has crazy, crippling copy protection measures installed on it. If I would have known this, I sure as hell wouldn’t have bought it.

In the end, after listening to the two discs through using the crappy ass media player that you have to use, I found that there are some good songs on here, but it sure isn’t worth it to spend your money on a release that regulates how you can listen to it. Don’t buy this cd. Wait for the copy protection to get broke, the cd to get ripped, and then to get uploaded onto the vastness of the internet somewhere. Once that happens, download the hell out of it. If these two cds somehow never get ripped, then just pretend they don’t exist. It’s not worth it to put up with Immortal’s games to get to listen to the new tracks on this release.

[Note: This was also posted at Decoy Music and is causing a little bit of a stir... probably because most of the people responding don't actually buy cds. Check out the conversation here.]

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