Those rat bastards at Sony have been taking a ton of flack this week for their malware-infected CD copy protection scheme. Seems as if that installer program that prohibits copying their CDs to iPods or ripping to a PC at anything more than 128 Kbps also installs a spyware-type program on your PC. You know, the type of program that hides its existence, is impossible to remove, and can potentially be hijacked by malicious hackers. Gotta love Sony for this likely criminal infringement of their customer's rights. Not only do they not want their customers to actually use their products, they want to invade their customers' privacy and possibly damage their computers, as well. Way to go, Sony rat bastards!
Sony, of course, remains clueless. Their sole response to this controversy was to announce a patch to the malware program to reduce the hacker hijack threat. Boy oh boy, am I happy now. What a bunch of insensitive fucks.
That said, I did stumble upon a way to successfully rip the audio files from Sony's copy protected CDs. What you have to do is insert the CD into your PC without letting the autorun program run, so that you don't install the malware program. (Difficult, but doable.) Then you access the CD as you would any data CD, and use a program called CDex to extract the audio files. CDex can rip files in either MP3 or WAV format (WAV for me, thank you), and it works just fine on the Burt Bacharach CD I recently purchased (and subsequently returned -- post CDex-ing, of course). It's too much work to get the full value out of these CDs, of course, but it's good to know there's a technological solution to this particular issue.
The rat bastards at Sony who thought up this scheme should be fired. And the consuming public should boycott Sony's CDs until this problem is resolved. This situation demands nothing less than a full recall of the suspect products, replacing them in the marketplace with non-copy protected, non-malware infected versions, and fully refunding customers' money or replacing the bad CDs with good ones. An acknowledgment of their stupidity would also be nice, as would an apology.
Oh, and how did Burt's new CD sound? Okay, but definitely not his best work. I was particularly disappointed in the pedestrian arrangements, relying too heavily on drum loops and cheap synthesizers instead of the full orchestra that Burt should be working with. And, of course, Burt is not a great singer, nor is he as talented a lyricist as his former partner, Hal David. Worth a listen, but not worth dealing with Sony's copy protection to hear.
But that's just my opinion; reasonable minds may disagree.