"..IF YOU LIKE LISTENING to music CDs while working on your computer, New Scientist has some bad news: a company has found a way of preventing CDs being played on a computer's CD-ROM drive. The idea is not to increase productivity in the office, but to stop pirates copying CDs or sending CD-sourced music across the Internet. It is not yet clear, however, whether record companies will risk consumers' wrath by releasing discs they can't play on their PCs.
His Audio-Lok system takes advantage of the fact that the standard for the music CD format was set before the CD-ROM standard. CD-ROM drives have a more powerful error-correction system than music CD players, which is activated by extra code on the CD-ROM discs. Newman's system adds false error codes to a music disc. An ordinary CD player doesn't notice the false codes, but a CD-ROM drive picks them up and ejects the disc as unplayable. This makes it impossible to copy the music onto a blank disc or "rip" it onto a computer so it can be compressed and sent over the Net.
A prototype AudioLok disc lent to New Scientist duly played on a CD music player but refused to play or copy on a PC. Newman says he is confident that his system will also stop consumer music CD recorders making a copy, because these devices are already designed not to copy CD-ROMs. He expects AudioLok to be ready for launch in a year.."