Copy protection is killing your battery

There’s an interesting post on Engadget: copy protection isn’t just annoying, it seems. It’s bad for battery life too.

According to tests conducted by CNET, strong DRM “not only slows down an MP3 player but also sucks the very life out of them.” CNET found that the extra processing power required to check licenses and decode protected tracks could cut battery life by as much as 25%.

… And iPod users aren’t off the hook either: when playing tracks protected by Apple’s FairPlay DRM, CNET found that iPod battery life declined by 8%.

16 thoughts on “Copy protection is killing your battery

  1. Stephen says:

    I wasn’t worried that DRM prevented me from doing what I wanted with music I paid good money to supposedly own, but THIS! Lower battery life! That’s it! No more DRM for me!

  2. Gary says:

    It does make sense, same way the higher the bitrate the more battery drain: your player’s wee processor has to do more work to decode the audio. So if you go for super-high-bitrate-drm-protected music, expect the battery life to be measured in milliseconds :)

  3. Tony Kiernan says:

    This story led to a pretty heated debate in our office on Friday. Someone wondered aloud what the effects of increasing/decreasing compression rates would have on battery performance. You wouldn’t believe the wild variation in our predictions.

    Thank god we don’t have anything to do with that sort of thing.

  4. Gary says:

    It’s from II:

    “Daddy only stares into the distance
    There’s only so much more that he can take
    Many miles away something crawls from the slime at the bottom of a dark Scottish lake…”

    Terrible lyricist, that Mr String.

  5. Squander Two says:

    … which, strangely, it wasn’t to John Cusack’s and Kate Beckinsale’s careers. Go figure.

    Mind you, a career that can survive Pearl Harbour can probably withstand multiple direct meteor strikes and outspoken Republicanism.

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