September 29, 2005

Another Distribution Channel — and a DRM Experiment [5:09 pm]

Stones’ Album to Come on Memory Card [pdf]

Virgin Records said Tuesday it would release the Rolling Stones’ latest album on a new encrypted flash memory card that will allow users to preview and buy locked tracks from four of the veteran rockers’ previous albums.

The memory card, dubbed Gruvi, is manufactured by Sunnyvale, Calif.-based SanDisk Corp., and will be available in November at select U.S. stores for $39.95, SanDisk and the label said in a statement.

[...] SanDisk spokesman Ken Castle said the value for consumers is in being able to use the thumbnail-sized memory card to move music and other media between compatible mobile phones, electronic organizers, computers and other devices.

To keep that content from ending up on Internet file-swapping sites or otherwise distributed without permission, the card comes with copy-protection technology, or firmware, built in.

“You can take the card out and transfer it to other devices and the content stays locked in the card rather than to the device,” Castle said.

I look forward to the hacks.

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