[MPlayer-users] mplayer and Windows Media DRM

Andrew Pimlott andrew at pimlott.net
Mon May 23 23:11:38 CEST 2005

On Fri, May 20, 2005 at 05:54:44PM -0700, RC wrote:
> On Wed, 18 May 2005 15:41:36 -0700
> Andrew Pimlott <andrew at pimlott.net> wrote:
> > Could mplayer tell me instead of making me struggle to figure it out
> > myself?
> Probably not.  What's the difference between a broken file, and a
> DRMed file?  How is mplayer supposed to detect that, and not mistake a
> one problem for the other?  

I don't know, I'm not the developer. :-)  I would think it's a matter of
some flag in the header saying "I am DRMed/encrypted/whatever".  Since
mplayer understands the file format, I would think it would be easy to
check this field.  But maybe it's more complicated than I realize.

> A developer would  have to look through the
> specs of every different DRM implimentation, and include a check for
> each one.  Lots of work for no real gain, IMHO. 

I don't agree that there is no real gain.  Detecting DRM would allow
mplayer to educate the user about why it cannot play the file.
Currently, the user just thinks that mplayer is broken, and that's not
good for mplayer.

> > Could this fact be added to the documentation or the FAQ?
> That is a more likely possibility.  Would you like to submit a patch?

I'll try, but I don't know much about mplayer or video formats, so
somebody will proabably have to edit it.

    Q:  Can mplayer play files with DRM?

    A:  DRM (Digital Restrictions Management or Digital Rights
        Management) systems are intended to restrict what software can
        view protected content.  Since mplayer is not approved by these
        systems, mplayer cannot view these files, and you will get
        unpredictable results if you try.  The exception is DRM systems
        that have been defeated, such as CSS (any others?).

    Q:  How do I find out if my file has DRM?

    A:  ???


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