Originally Posted by TimOBrienFlorida
If you can play it you can copy it.
If there were any real way to stop copying the record industry would have locked everything down by now...
Alright, time to drop the big one on all of you:
First some history:
I'm relatively new to this digital music collecting thing, been at at it since 2007. Since then, I've owned two portable musid players - 2008 - 2011: Sansa View, and 2011 to present, iPod Touch. I have a collection of several thousand songs, mostly in mp3 format. My sources for mp3s: Amazon, iTunes, LimeWire(until 2010), and some free sites - until this summer(see below).
From mid-2011 until about July of this year, I was experiencing a phenomenon with my mp3 files which NO - BAH - DEEEE! has been able to fathom - I'm talking Apple support forums, and a countless number of IT specialists and newsgroups devoted to digital audio. None of them have an answer.
Now, the BOMB DROP!...
Basically, my mp3s started behaving in the manner as described in my original post(review talking points 1. and 2.)
Those behaviors started occuring after having played certain songs a number of times, after they'd been on my computer and iPod for several weeks or a month.
I'd be out for a walk, listening on my earbuds, and all of a sudden a song that used to play for it's original, I.E. 4min:37sec, just "cut out" at, say, 35 seconds into the song! Then the next song would just start playing.
My music files are stored in multiple folders and on multiple drives, for backup. So I went to my "iPod Image" folder(the one that I copy songs to iTunes from), sure enough, the song I wanted to replace was :35 there. Went to my external backup hard-drive, sure enough, was :35sec there too!
W T F?!
This phenomenon reached a crescendo by spring of this year, with songs truncating or vanishing - SIMULTANEOUSLY FROM THE IPOD AND ALL OTHER LOCATIONS - on a daily basis. I was at my wits end, spending hundreds of dollars on Amazon replacing songs that had either truncated or disappeared as I described in my o.p.
One of the respondents at the Apple Forums suggested a program called "MP3Val", a freeware that analyzes and fixes the metadata sections of mp3 files.
The results I got back were that a lot of my files, acc to MP3Val, were "truncated or had garbage at the end", even if those mp3s played fully to the end of the songs. After clicking the button to fix them, most of my collection played quite normally. About a dozen more needed to be replaced - as they did cut off about 5-10sec before the ends of the songs.
From July until August, I experienced only two more truncations, no more disappearing songs, and since September - NONE have disappeared or shortened. My music collection could not be more stable, and myself more satisfied with it.
I no longer go to beemp3 or other free sites for music, and as stated above haven't used LimeWire since mid-2010. All of my mp3 acquisitions are from Amazon and from CD rips.
Now, getting back to Digital Rights Management:
Since mp3 is not capable of being programmed with any kind of script(DRM or otherwise), is it possible to - listen carefully! - save a DRM-capable digital audio file as a MP3 simply by affixing ".mp3" onto the end to fool computers and players it is downloaded to?
And if such DRM behavior as I described in my original post can be programmed into said DRM-friendly audio files, could that explain what happened to many of my music files?
Thanks for your patience in reading this long-winded explanation, and I'm sure most of you will be as stymied as everyone else I've asked about this. Sorry to have been misleading, but I really had to get to the bottom of this.
And I would really feel selfish if I did not share this problem and how I solved it because others out there have had their songs "suddenly shortened" and are equally in the dark about it.