Some of you are probably already laughing at this post. You’re probably thinking: “Hahaha, Jacon, please. I’ve been listening to Pandora for ages.” Well, I too am a Pandora addict (for you virgins: www.pandora.com – all is explained), but recently Pandora’s #1 failing, the inability to bring it along, has begun to bother me more than usual.
Wesleyan, in its infinite wisdom, offers the solution. You may or may not have heard, but last fall Wesleyan subscribed to the Ruckus music service, an online
library which licenses its content to universities and the like. Check it out here: http://www.wesleyan.edu/its/ruckus/
Now you’re probably thinking: “Jacon, this is stupid. It only works for PCs, I can’t burn CDs and it won’t go on my iPod.” Well, unfortunately you are right about it only working for PCs. (If you’re a Mac person, consider running Windows through Boot Camp or Parallels Workstation – I honestly think it would be worth it just for the access to this music.) The bright side, however is that you’re WRONG about being unable to do what you like with the music. All you need is a little tool called FairUse4WM. It will strip the Digital Rights Management crap that’s attached to all the Ruckus music downloads. Get it here.
Now, this all probably seems really complicated, but actually it’s not at all. A one-time installation of FairUse4WM will allow you to strip all the music you download from Ruckus, and with a fairly simple user interface to boot. Afterwards, iTunes will automatically convert the WMA files when you add them to your library.
“What’s the catch?” you ask? It’s LEGAL. That’s right – as long as you are stripping the DRM so that you can listen to it by yourself, on your iPod, with your earbuds – it’s legal. If you do it so you can share the music, or play it loud enough for your roommate/RA/local squirrels to hear, well that’s when you may want to watch out for the RIAA. Think of it this way: Wesleyan is paying for this service, which means you are paying for this service. Make use of it!