Apple,  Commentary

Copy Protected CDs not Supported by Apple

Write Note Pads: High-quality affordable notebooks, memo pads, and planners.

Remember the Celine Dion CD that not only wouldn’t play on a Mac, but wouldn’t eject and could even damage your Mac? Well there are others, and Apple has published a Knowledge Base article about the problem.

The gist is that these CDs are known not to work:

  • Shakira: “Laundry Service”


  • Jennifer Lopez: “J To Tha L-O!”


  • Celine Dion: “A New Day Has Come”


Apple adds “The audio discs are technically and legally not Compact Discs (CD format), and the CD logo has been removed from the disc. In the logo’s former place is the printed message:

‘Will not play on PC/Mac'”.

The article offers a few suggestions about methods of ejecting the disc, but you may have to send the Mac in for repair. Apple makes it very clear that this repair is not covered by warrantees or AppleCare.

Obviously, some people do violate copyright. However, they are in the minority, and copy protection schemes don’t work, and some damage hardware. Sony’s scheme has already been cracked—via a magic marker, or a post it note. The method is explained here as well. They have deliberately violated the CD Audio specifications by not starting the data at the specified location, and storing data where it isn’t supposed to be stored. Because such CDs do not follow the specifications co-created by Sony and Philips, Philips, like Apple, says such copy protected CDs are not Audio CDs, and will not allow their cases to display the Compact Disc logo.