OK, I admit it, I know I’m supposed to be legal, but I just hate the way these DRM schemes work. Two cases in point:
# Apple. If you lose a hard disk which I just did, then the only way to get back your keys if you are on five machines (or like me, you rebuild or machines regularly) is to do an annual reset. Then, you have to keep track of activation and deactivation. What a pain. So if you use itunes, then just be aware that you need to keep track of your keys and for heavens sake, don’t use a hotmail account for password recovery. Microsoft right now eats most password recovery email as spam. This happened to me for itunes, pricegrabber, newegg.com and a bunch of other sites. You need to have an identity/email someplace that really is free of spam filters otherwise you’ll end up in a state where if you forget your password, you’ll have lost your music forever. As a backup strategy, you might want to have MP3s around. For sure, if you buy music with Apple, you want to blow a CD and put it somewhere so that if you lose your authorization keys, you don’t lose *all* your music.
# Audible. They have a monthly plan and you have to be careful about what it means to own your music. They will only authorize three computers for audible content. As with Apple, don’t lose your password and make sure that you have a long term email account that you really control. They say that you own your music, but truth is that if you lose your hard disk, you have to negotiate. It also means that for your entire life that you own an audible book, you have to have a login account with these guys. Makes me want to convert all these .aa files to .mp3 to make sure I really have them for a long time.