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DRM sucks, your power

While it’s great to have several gigabytes of music and hundreds of hours of songs at your disposal, but there really is no point if your MP3 player can’t keep the music going for more than a few hours at a time. We’ve seen gadgets that make use of solar panels, and even mobile recharging units for glossy white DAPs, just to give you a little more juice for your playback. And now it has been determined who the power sucking culprit was all along: DRM, not only does it eat away at your battery life, it drains it.

CNET recently conducted tests on a Creative Zen Vision M, which could play your standard-issue MP3 files for an above average 16 hours. But when the player was asked to bust out the tunes from PlaysForSure-protected WMA files, the battery life took a dive down to 12 hours. That’s a full 25% less. Other DAPs running on PlaysForSure had similar results.

Apple lovers are exempt from this either, because FairPlay DRM-protected tracks purchased from the iTunes Music Store also resulted in lost battery life, though not quite as substantial: 8%. Is this enough to make you turn away from DRM altogether? Maybe you should just move to France or buy a Zettabyte CD ripper.

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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