IPod Nerd Hopes To Become Nerdiest Nerd Of All Nerd Time

Oct 25th, 2006 // 10 Comments

nerd%21.jpgJon Johansen (pictured) may not look too threatening, but he’s the kind of guy who keeps entertainment-industry execs up at night with the heebie-jeebies. A few years ago, he cracked a DVD-copying code that got him lots of press attention (and even more legal attention); now he’s come up with a program called DoubleTwist, which will allow iTunes-purchased songs to be used on any device, with no DRM restrictions:

As [Johansen and his partner] explain DoubleTwist in a conference room they share with several other companies, he points to a sheet of printer paper tacked on the wall that has a typed quote [Steve] Jobs gave the Wall Street Journal in 2002: “If you legally acquire music, you need to have the right to manage it on all other devices that you own.” As Johansen sees it, Jobs didn’t follow through on this promise, so it’s up to him to fix the system…

“Today’s reality is that there’s this iTunes-iPod ecosystem that excludes everyone else from the market,” says Johansen. “I don’t like closed systems.”

Awwww snap! He did not just pull out the old “too-exclusive ecosystem” smack-down line! We can’t wait to see how Jobs responds to Jonhansen’s ploy (we’re guessing a noogie, followed by 2,000 pages of legal paperwork), but we’re excited by the prospect of a DRM-free world. Do you have any idea how much of a pain in the ass it is to share that New Pornographers iTunes live session?

Unlocking The Hero [Fortune]

  1. King of Pants

    Why’d we have to go and bring Hum into this. I mean, really.

    That picture makes me want to pound his big smarty-smart face into the dirt and then break his Casio calculator watch.

  2. PengIn

    Ned – Yes, yes they are. Does anybody know how m4p bitrates compare in quality to mp3s? I think Apple is selling people 128 or 192kbps crap, but I’m too lazy to check.

    sjc – I love Hum (I went to school in Champaign for 5 years). I even shelled out for an eBay copy of Fillet Show a while back, but Matt Talbot looks like King Dork of the land of Dorkopia.

  3. PengIn

    I wonder if Jon Johansen can help me out with this problem I have with my comments getting stuck in the cache*.

    * I have no idea if that’s the case, I just wanted to sound smart.

  4. Rob O.

    Yup, those iTunes gems are a paltry 128kbps. So doing the old download-burn-rip (wash-rinse-repeat?) dance nets you MP3 files that are of notably poor quality.

    You’re better off downloading AAC music from iTunes (so you can feel all legit about it) then deleting those files and re-downloading the higher quality MP3 rips from TorrentSpy or PirateBay.

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