April 4th 2004
By Mike Flaminio
The playfair project, which is listed as a subdomain of SourceFource, has released "playfair", a rough-hewn utility that strips music files downloaded from Apple's iTunes Music Store of the embedded FairPlay DRM (digital rights management) encoding. Although earlier utilities could strip out iTMS DRM, they did so with significant loss of audio quality. The folks behind playfair claim it does the job without any loss of fidelity.
Here's their spin:
"So what will playfair do for you? The playfair program is quite simple. It takes one of the iTMS Protected AAC Audio Files, decodes it using a key obtained from your iPod or Microsoft Windows system and then writes the new, decoded version to disk as a regular AAC Audio File. It then optionally copies the metadata tags that describe the song, including the cover art, to the new file."
This application, which is available for download, isn't for the faint of heart as it runs from the command line only. Needless to say with the basics worked out it's just a matter days before someone clever person fashions a workable GUI for "the rest of us."
Editor's note: Mouse traps improve and mice evolve. Could it be any other way?
It took nearly a year for the hackers to break FairPlay, surprised?
What's your take?