DVD Jon launches doubleTwist -- move music without DRM hassles

Jon "DVD Jon" Johansen and friends launched "doubleTwist" today -- a project that removes DRM from music and allows it to be synched to a variety of devices (Jon's the guy who was prosecuted for helping to break the DRM on DVDs). Jon sez, "Although some of the news articles out today about doubleTwist focus on the fact that we help consumers convert their iTunes Store purchases to MP3, that's only a small part of what doubleTwist does. doubleTwist helps consumers sync to a variety of devices and share media with their social networks without having to think about codecs and bitrates." Link


  1. I’m wondering how much overlap there is between:

    1. The group that has money to buy songs from iTunes Store,
    2. The group who uses MP3 and cares enough about DRM to avoid iTunes AAC at all costs,
    3. The group that wants to share music or freeload from other, and
    4. The group who uses iTunes store yet doesn’t use an iPod or iPhone and prefer to use a Sony Ericson instead.

    It seems that it is a very small group to me.

  2. @KID: A good point.

    Whilst a fairy vocal minority of tech aware (myself included in that group) view DRM as evidence of the greed of the music / film industry, the reality is that the silent majority just kinda shrug their shoulders and get on with it.

    I’m guessing that the only people who will have a) heard of doubleTwist and b) be able to use it will probably be the very ones with absolutely no need to use it because their entire entertainment collection is already DRM free and organised in every possible format for every one of their media devices.

  3. Well PaulyLaw, you are wrong, because I’m the kind of person who a) has heard of DoubleTwist and b) is able to use it.

    I don’t have time nor the inclination to burn my music out to CD then rip back in, but i like to get music from iTunes since it’s quick easy and convienent. The only drawback is when i boot into linux i can’t play the music in Amarok. I have an iPod touch(and a sweet MP3 player it is too)

    I disagree with the way DRM is being abused like everyone else, but i am not a zealot with a holy war against it. If it’s unobtrusive and doesn’t cause issues then i don’t mind that much, and apart from being able to play it under Linux iTunes DRM has been mostly unobtrusive to me(plus i try to buy the DRM free stuff if possible).

  4. @3:

    Shows the extent to which the entertainment industry has brainwashed you. You think that wanting to actually own the things you pay for makes you a zealot. lol.

  5. I buy music from iTunes every now and then. Not a lot, but maybe a few albums per year. Most of my digital music downloads I get from eMusic (and friends), but what I cannot find there, I get from iTunes. I have always been fairly certain that there will be a way to convert it to non-DRM format sooner or later, because, as we all know, DRM is defective by design. I’m not very proud of giving money to the DRM industry through iTunes, but at least I alleviate it a tiny bit by giving more money to the non-DRM people like eMusic.

    DoubleTwist, unfortunately, seems to be Windows-only, and therefore not what I’m looking for. According to the FAQ they’ll make a Mac version soon.

  6. DRM is not annoying… until the day you step out of its ecosystem (or in MS case, the day it suddenly decides not to support the technology).

    I guess I see the point of Doubletwist: It’s a sort of a rehab for those who were drugged up by iTunes DRM. Or a sort of an ‘add-on’ for iTunes that gives it the liberation and sharing features.

    By observing how this software acts, it implies to me that DVD Jon agrees with the iTunes delivery mechanism and doesn’t mind its users to stay there, but disagrees with its DRM.

    I’m still an old-school CD buyer, by the way.

  7. I bought a pair of cds via iTunes, and I’m not doing it anymore, because I like to share my music.

    I’ve bought about 200 old-school cds, and I’ve all of them (well, all of the discs that fit in my laptop hard disk) ripped to a good quality MP3, being able to send them to my friends if I like and all that.

  8. I find it curious that more than a year and a half after claiming he developed some uber-code that bypassed all DRM without removing it while applying his own universal DRM, Jon seems to be merely exploiting the analog hole. Jon should have stuck to hacking rather than trying to run a business. This won’t go very far.

  9. How much longer until someone unchains the DRM from iTunes HD rentals so they can be watched on any iTunes video compatible device and not limited to just the Apple TV?

  10. Okay, so I download this thing and it wants my email and cell phone number? Are they fucking kidding me?

    And so I give them some fake stuff, complete the download and run it and Zone Alarm keeps saying while doubleTwist is active it’s trying to phone home to every few minutes.

    Just WTF kind of spyware is this thing? At least DVDShrink didn’t phone home…


  11. @Spikeles

    < >

    Then you are outside of the group I mentioned who *probably* dont have a need to use it because they prefer to avoid DRM in the first place :-)

  12. “doubleTwist helps consumers”

    I am not a consumer, who merely blindly eats what is given to him. I am a customer whose choices in the free market help determine what sort of DRM will be used in the future. I buy primarily from Amazon and other DRM-free sites, but on occasion I do buy from iTunes, where many songs still have DRM because the music cartels are trying to punish Apple for being successful. I buy from iTunes because I think Mr. Jobs is committed to a DRM-free world, but if there were credible signs that he is not, I’d switch my loyalties again. This is one of the virtues of a free market, and DVD Jon does us a disservice to call us mere consumers.

Comments are closed.