DRM-Encoded Songs Lower Battery Life

As if we needed yet another reason to despise Digital Rights Management (DRM), reports are emerging that suggest the songs encoded with DRM technology—used by online music services such as iTunes and Napster—are more harmful to the battery life of portable MP3 players than are non-DRM-encoded songs. CNET did a debatable test of this theory, in which it compared DRM-encoded WMA files with plain-vanilla MP3 files. (A better test would have included all WMA files.) In the CNET test, a Creative Zen MP3 player achieved 16 hours of playback time using MP3 files, but could hit only 12 hours with DRM-backed WMA files, a 25 percent (and 4-hour) hit. Tests of Apple's FairPlay DRM scheme, which iTunes uses, resulted in 8 percent less battery life when compared with similar MP3 files, both played back on an iPod. Because I always copy music from online music stores into a restriction-free MP3 format before using them, I don't really see this problem, and I recommend you all do the same, as well

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