Bob Dylan, David Bowie, and Justin Timberlake are just a few of the artists over the past year to offer full-length, high quality streams of their newest albums on iTunes in the days before release. The latest to follow in the trend is award winning electronic music duo Daft Punk with a full length stream of the group’s 74-minute “Random Access Memories” album hitting iTunes earlier this week. While it’s often suggested the streams help to fight piracy of the albums before their release, we’ve discovered Apple is ironically making it easier than ever to grab a high quality version of the stream right from its website.
By using a tool to monitor HTTP requests (like HTTP Scoop), users can easily find the URL where the stream is hosted and save the full, high quality MP4 to their computer. By simply navigating to the URL where the stream is hosted, you can download the whole album for free. The same hole exists for an album from The National that is currently being streamed.
The whole album is available as an easy download and while it does come with Apple’s FairPlay DRM to prevent it being played on other devices, we imagine (hope!) this gets pulled fairly quickly.
Many have called artist’s decision to stream their album in entirety on iTunes a play at combatting piracy in the days up to album’s launch. The idea being, since it’s going to leak anyway, offering a high-quality stream of the album will tempt most into going to iTunes and possibly preorder while they are there. It’s of course possible to rip a slightly lower quality version of the stream using software, but Apple shouldn’t be making it this easy to download the full quality file.
Apple’s streaming security is especially important in light of the upcoming iRadio streaming app that’s coming to iOS 7. We imagine that the labels will want to make sure holes like this are closed.