04. December 2005 · Comments Off on Yet Another Reason…. · Categories: General, Technology, That's Entertainment!, Working In A Salt Mine...

….For Sony to reconsider the whole imbedded spyware thing on CD releases; I work a Saturday afternoon shift at the classical music station side of Texas Public Radio. Nearly everything we play… no strike that… it’s everything we play… is on CD. We have a couple of shelves of vinyl recordings, mostly rare opera performances, but the record player in the studio is so far off the schedule of playback machines in use that it’s a special chore to route it through the board, so something on vinyl can even be aired. And the other key thing to know is that everything that used to be played back on cart decks, or on reel to reel tape recorders, is now on computer. Everything in the production studio is edited by computer, programs are downloaded from satellite feeds, stored on computer, and played back for airing… on computer. Even the music library itself is indexed with computer software…. No more cabinets full of little 3 by 5 file cards.

The prospect of taking a recent Sony release into the production studio, and using a selection from it for a pre-recorded program, or one of the staff popping it into the CD drive of their desk computer to review… and corrupting the production and library index on which the whole station depends… well, it is enough to give us all the cold shivers. I’ve been told that the station librarian is not ordering any new Sony classical releases until this whole thing is resolved. Now, there are probably series techies out there who can explain that the chances of this happening are pretty low, that Sony’s anti-piracy spyware couldn’t possibly damage our library and production set-up, and would they even bother doing this with classical releases anyway? But however small that chance would be, we still can’t take it. CD’s with potentially damaging programs hidden in them, versus the security of systems upon which the whole station’s programming depends?

Ummm… not going to happen. And other radio stations are just as— or even more– dependent on library and production software, so I suspect other stations may be considering the same kind of embargo. I wonder if Sony even considered this aspect… it’s not that radio stations buy a lot… but they have a great many listeners, still. I suspect that Sony did not think this one out very thoroughly, or consider secondary ramifications like this one.

Comments closed.