That's right: Avril Lavigneís sassy presentation and her catchy, angst-ridden teen-punk lyrics have pummelled me into submission. Complicated was bad enough, and though Sk8er Boi might not have survived being deconstructed, I felt that there wasn't much I could do than identify with a hip young alternative sixteen year old girl who stops traffic in a major city, then inevitably gets arrested for inciting a riot.
So far, so happy consumer. Until, of course, I tried to do what lots of happy consumers do nowadays, namely rip, mix and burn. Or, in my case, iPod. It turns out that Avril's CD is copy protected; it says this on the case in some sort of three point font where you're informed that the disc employs some sort of mechanism which means that although it should play back properly on CD audio players, you may encounter problems if you wish to play back on a computer. To this end, there's apparently some sort of Windows application that you can use if you wish to listen to the music on a PC.
I don't want to listen to the music on a PC. Well, I do. But I want to rip the CD, I want it in iTunes, I want it on my iPod, I want to be able to copies those MP3s to my Windows desktop and listen to it there, too.
The CD does look different--there's a visible ring where what seems like the data session has been burnt to the disc. Presumably it's supposed to fool a multi-session aware drive into thinking that there's only one data track.
I found the receipt. I was all ready to return Avril's masterpiece until I figured that I might as well try feeding it into the laptop and seeing what iTunes could come up with.
The disc went in all right, but OS X and the laptop drive had to think for about fifteen to twenty seconds before an Audio CD icon popped on to the desktop, then, about a second later, a second icon for a data CD appeared. The conversation probably went a little like this:
Drive: Oooh, yum. A CD. Gobble gobble gobble.
OS X: Very nice, very nice. What's it say?
Drive: Oh, a whole bunch of stuff. Er.
OS X: Er?
Drive: Um. I think this CD's schizo.
OS X: What do you mean, schizo?
Drive: Well, see, there's your normal Audio CD part...
OS X: Thank you kindly, let's mount that and stick an icon to it on the desktop.
Drive: A capital idea!
OS X: Why, thank you. Now, you said there was something else?
Drive: I'm not exactly sure, but there's some sort of data session, too.
OS X: It's probably useless. Oh well. We should mount it anyway.
Drive: Sure! Here you go! OS X: Woohoo! Now let's go start iTunes...
Ha! Copy protection only worked on Windows computers! iTunes had happily popped up and was graciously offering to rip the entire CD to my hard drive whereupon I could transfer it wholesale to my MP3 player.
Avril, thank you!
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