Another Way 2 Defeat Audio Protection

Found this on a website…
dont know if it will work


As I´ve seen this, I was impressed, but in the end it is logical.
The most recent versions of Cactus Data Shield and Key2Audio try
to confuse the CDRom drive with a additional data track at the
end of the audio CD.
Now we try to “cut” off this track, with using a normal glue strip:

This should work, but it is a bit dangerous, since the CDROM drives
spins the CD with real high speed, and so the strip may loose.

Better is to do it this way, but if you reach the audio track
misstakenly, the CD is defect !

With the permanent marker pen you need to cover the dividing line and
parts of the outside track without affecting the last audio track

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

Here’s one more picture…

This is a layout of Cactus DATA Shield 200
(Daten means Data In German… :))

Well, have some great tricks on breaking audio protections so give it a visit…

If you can’t read German, use to translate German into English :smiley:

Also here’s another link 2 translate the website…

This one is bannerless and it’s just like Babelfish, some words there are weird…

If you need one that is good but w/ banner…
go here:

I have heard about this ‘trick’ before but never saw screenshots. Seems like a nice trick to try someday when I can get some CDS protected discs.
I’ll move this thread to the Audio forum since it has nothing to do with CloneCD.

Here you can also find a screenshot.

Thanx for posting this information and these screenshots!

To everybody: you can use this ‘trick’ to copy audio-protected cds if you don’t have a reader which can handle the protection.


[li]Preferably use a non waterproof marker instead of using tape. Tape could fly off when reading the cd!
[/li][li]With some hardware you might still not be able to copy the protected disc… my LiteOn ltd-163 and LiteOn ltr-40125s still won’t read the audio tracks after the use of the adhesive-tape-trick/hide-illegal-session-trick.
[/li][li]As you can see in the pics, the second session is clearly recognizable, this makes it easy to use this trick. Unfortunately this will be a lot harder for Key2audio… Apparently Key2audio available on recently released cds uses version 3 of Key2audio. With this version you can’t see the gap between the 2 sessions…

Does anyone have a layout of Key2Audio then?
I would just like 2 take a look of that :slight_smile:

I have 2 key2audio cd’s (both apparently with v3 of key2audio). No matter how I look, no matter how I let the light reflect, I can’t recognize something which indicates the second or third session…

Some people used our newssubmit to have this news posted on the frontpage. I decided to put it up:

Let’s see if we can get some reports on this :smiley:
If it really works then bye, bye CDS…
Key2Audio may be a little harder as Upp3rd0G said.

wouldn’t it be easier and safer to just run a audio cable from a cd player to the line in jack on the back of the computer and record it that way?

Most people prefer a digital copy, you are talking about an analog copy.

i know it is an analog copy, but if you have decent equipment it doesn’t sound that bad.

Originally posted by Upp3rd0G
[ul][li]As you can see in the pics, the second session is clearly recognizable, this makes it easy to use this trick. Unfortunately this will be a lot harder for Key2audio… Apparently Key2audio available on recently released cds uses version 3 of Key2audio. With this version you can’t see the gap between the 2 sessions…
[/li]> [/ul]

If you can’t see the gap between the sessions near the rim of the cd, you could try to mark just the outerpart of the end of the data part on the cd near the outerrim. The extra sessions (with the protection ‘inside’ it) are always situated near the end of the cd.

So just mark the outerside and try if you can play the cd.
Playable? => Try to play the end of the last track to find out if you didn’t cover too much with your marker.
Not playable? => extend the marked part of the cd, and try again.
Playable, but not the last track? => decrease the width of the marker and try again.

I haven’t tried this myself, but I am going to try this this weekend. I will let you know the results.

I don’t think it’s the end for CDS, they will just make a new version (400?) where you can’t see any difference between first and second session…

I don’t think many people will try to defeat that and clutter all over the disc… But I’m sure someone will try… :slight_smile:

I think Midbar just modifies CDS200, they will not give it a new productname when they made just a small modification to the CDS200 protection…

i just got a new idea.

To keep the cd drive from autorunning to temporarily disable it, hold down the shift key when inserting a cd. Then, use a program like Isobuster or something else that will bypass the windows reading and use it to extract the audio files off of the cd

Originally posted by kwkard
To keep the cd drive from autorunning to temporarily disable it, hold down the shift key when inserting a cd.

Always disable ‘auto insert notification’ and ‘autoplay’! If you have these settings enabled there is no way too make sure that Windows did not try to access the protected audio cd. When windows tries to access the protected audio cd, the protection in effect is ‘activated’. Activated means that the illegal entries confuse the standard reading routines of the firmware of your drive or that the illegal entries confuse the windows reading routines. This is something you really want to prevent! Programs like CloneCD/Feurio/EAC/Isobuster use special reading routines which can cope better with the protection!


Originally posted by Upp3rd0G
Most people prefer a digital copy, you are talking about an analog copy.

ahh but if your stereo has a digital out like mine does you can run the fiberoptic cable to your sound card(and if you have a decent card it should have a digital in) and you have a digital copy. or you could take the digital out cable and put it in a rackmount burner and copy the songs that way, it burns in real time but you will have an uncopy protected cd.

… everyone seems to have forgotten that the likes of Cactus (according to their patent and my experience of their ba**ard creation) also uses scrambled and deliberately tampered with data in the audio portion of the disc as well. This is one reason why so many people (and not just audiophiles) have complained that the discs sound bad in some systems - my copy of White Lillies Island sounded like Natalie was singing with her head down the toilet when I found one of my players that didn’t reject the disc but the replacement, unprotected version courtesy of BMG sounds as expected).

Sure, hiding a data session may make the disc more “accessable”, but how good a backup copy would be is still going to depend on how good your hardware / software combination is at sorting out the mess that Cactus introduces.

There is no way that a post it note or a permanent marker is going to put that right, I’m afraid…

@Garry Heather

From what I have heard CDS uses also tricks on C2-errorcorrection level. C2 errors are recoverable errors. Personally I don’t have experience with these tricks, my orginal and backups of Natalie Imbruglia sounds like it should sound (I think… at least I am sure it doesn’t sound like Natalie is sticking her head in the toilet :p), but then again I don’t have high-end audio equipment, (it is just a little bit better than the average stuff (Denon cd-player, $350 6 years ago)). Can you explain why some high-end audio equipment have problems playing this cd? Are you sure that your high-end cd-player is fully compatible with the Redbook audio format? (Maybe high-end audio manufacturers have used tricks, which don’t comply to the standard, but give better results with a non-protected audio cd, but these tricks might not work on a protected audio cd which may result in bad sound…)

It’s not necessarilly high end that’s the problem - in fact I would suggest it’s more likely to be the cheapo decks that have difficulties, or semi-intelligent players that can say be upgraded by software on CD’s, and decks (like DVD players) that can play different formats especially MP3 compatible devices.

From my experience with my original copy of WLI:

Would not play at all on an old Technics CD “walkman”. Disc spun up like hell and the player shut down (with the disc still spinning).

Would not play track one and sounded rubbish through most of the disc on a Clarion in dash car CD player, loathed to eject too, which was worrying. Disc seemed to want to keep spinning. Had to turn the electrics off at the ignition, reapply the power and press the radio button immediately then the eject button in order to get the disc out.

Played OK after several “Disc ERROR” warnings on the same head unit but when the disc was in the boot mounted changer. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. Sounded iffy on occasions.

Played OK on a Sony DVD player but the sound seemed a little muted. Maybe I was getting picky as well as annoyed at this stage.

Old Yamaha AST-C10 - Track one played for an apparently infinite amount of time but in silence, closer examination showed a track time of -1 second going to 2 seconds than back to -1. Track 2 OK, track three up to the point I got well upset and needed beer sounded rough as hell.

Philips PCD-048 CD-ROM drive - seemed to play fine, didn’t try ripping it because I was more keen on getting a red book compliant CD out of BMG since I paid good money for it and didn’t like doing unpaid “guinea pig” research for Midbar Tech.

Unprotected version, sweet as a nut on everything. Funny, that. Thanks, BMG !!

My understanding of how the protection works in part is that rogue error codes are put into the disc content in places where there is a lot of duplication or regular bit patterns (a bit like the weak sector amplification tweak on CloneCD) and the player should be able to skip over these and / or guess at what the data should be. My older decks and a couple of CD players I had access to at the time seemed to be the least tolerant of the munged disc than the newer ones. In fact I happen to know that at least one recent CD player has had a modification made to it because it refused to play a David Grey CD (White Ladder ?) widely reported as being copy protected.

Apart from the fact I don’t appreciate someone deliberately introducing errors into a medium that I chose for it’s quality (if I wanted it to sound to naff I’d have bought it on tape and left it in a hot car for a few weeks and saved myself a few quid in the process), it makes me wonder just how good the CD player’s error correction will hold up to light scratches, finger prints and curry stains if the error mechanism is already shot to hell out of the box.

I hope that clears up a few things - my experience is probably far from the norm but my line of work means I have been able to try the CD on a few decks and may well have found more than my fair share of problems. But then if the established format for the CD hadn’t have been tampered with, I shouldn’t have found ANY…