Unlock your iPod: New Program Promises To Remove Restrictions

Dennis Faas's picture

"iTunes is really good, but they don't have everything I want to put on my machine. I'm frustrated because I'm kind of locked in."

Those are the words of a 24-year-old CompUSA worker who has reached the end of his rope with the restrictions Apple has placed on the iPod and its iTunes music store.

As it stands right now, music downloaded from iTunes will only play on the iPod. And if you grab your music from another online source other than iTunes, it won't work on the iPod, either.

It's limiting, frustrating, and just a plain headache.

But an avenging angel may have arrived in the unlikely form of a hacker. 22-year-old Norway native Jon Lech Johansen cracked DVD encryption as a teen and more recently decided to set his sights on unlocking the iPod and iTunes.

Amazingly, he is now promising that he has found a way to make music from iTunes work on competing devices and music from other sources work on the iPod.

The company Johansen developed the technology for, DoubleTwist Ventures, plans to license it to businesses. For example, Microsoft could use Johansen's invention as a selling point for its own Zune player.

Monique Farantzos of DoubleTwist insists that Johansen has done nothing illegal.

"He imitated Apple's system; he didn't remove any copyright protections," she said. "He [just] made a system that behaves in a similar way."

But will Apple's legal team see it the same way?

Farantzos surprisingly doesn't anticipate any resistance from the company behind the iPod and iTunes. "We don't believe it is practical for Apple to block this," she insisted. (Source: pcmag.com)

In another startling statement, Farantzos declared that she hopes Apple one-ups her company by voluntarily unlocking the iPod and iTunes to competitors.

"We [DoubleTwist] want to go out of business." (Source: webtechgeek.com)

The technology to open up the iPod and iTunes could be in consumers' hands as early as the beginning of 2007. (Source: pcmag.com)

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