Tests find DRM shortens player battery life by up to ~25%



I just posted the article Tests find DRM shortens player battery life by up to ~25%.

      When  users take the specifications of an MP3 player into consideration, one very  important factor most take into account is the rated battery life.   However, as many are aware,...
Read the full article here:  [http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/11620-Tests-find-DRM-shortens-player-battery-life-by-up-to-25.html](http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/11620-Tests-find-DRM-shortens-player-battery-life-by-up-to-25.html)

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Another reason to buy an iAudio device over the rest… It doesn’t support DRM. :slight_smile:


Does this mean I can be somewhat facetious and make the argument that DRM is bad for the environment (shorter battery life -> more fossil fuels burned -> more pollution)? While I wouldn’t be surprised to find that handling the DRM reduces battery life, it’s pretty stupid to make that argument by comparing the decoding of two different codecs. I believe that OGG is harder to decode than MP3, so it would reduce the battery life. If you’re going to blame it on DRM, you have to compare a WMA with DRM to a WMA of the same song without DRM and make sure both files are at the same bitrate.


Sorry to double post, but is the link you posted correct because I see no mention of battery life?


down with DRM! portability is not piracy! :X


Not siding with DRM by any means, but these tests are rubbish. If you want to look at the effect of DRM you should compare battery life on WMA10 w/o DRM to the same set of tracks in WMA10 with DRM - same goes for the apple tracks. As AAC and WMA10 have higher compression of the music, it’s likely they need more decoding power compared to MP3, which is why the battery time is reduced. I’m sure the DRM will reduce battery life a little, but not by nearly as much as is claimed here! :+


Sorry, the source link pointed to the wrong article. This should be corrected now. :wink:
[edited by Seán on 16.03.2006 12:47]


Totally agreed - i have a cheap stick player and MP3 VS WMA-8 i can see a 10%+ difference in battery life!!! and more noise cos of the CPU working harder on WMA. This article is fluff to me.


It’s a pity CNET did not compare the battery life of WMA unprotected against WMA-DRM music. However, I think what CNET is trying to get at is that as most consumers use MP3 as their preferred format and most music stores force consumers to use a DRM compatible codec due to MP3 lacking native DRM support, this is likely the reason why they compare MP3 directly against WMA DRM, rather than test WMA DRM against unprotected WMA. Even though AAC is more sophisticated than MP3 and WMA (from what I recall), it is interesting to see that the iPod battery life is reduced by only 8% with AAC DRM compared with MP3 tracks. However, going by a review I came across where they compare MP3 playback time against WMA (where they don’t mention is protected), it appears that just using WMA seriously shortens the battery life as you mentioned.


Quote: "While 2 to 4 hours may not seem a lot to some people, this can be the difference between listening to music to the end of a lengthy journey or getting left in silence a couple of hours before the journey is complete. " OK, realistically, how many people actually listen to 10 hours of music all at once on a trip? I mean noone makes rest stops, if they’re driving? Noone gives their ears a break after a couple of hours? I used to be a heavy walkman user in my youth and I could not go more than three hours without resting my ears, although I rarely had to wait that long because my parents’ bladders could not wait that long, most times. :slight_smile: I can’t see listening to music that long even on a long plane ride. Plus, especially driving or riding in a car, you’d have the ability to re-charge the battery if not use a car lighter adapter (don’t MP3 players have adapters to allow them to recharge and play through the lighter?)


…and on and on and on…
[edited by Roj on 16.03.2006 14:58]


I just tried to mesure cpu usage in windows task manager when playing Flac vs Mp3 formats of the same song. It was very hard to tell, as cpu usage stayed below 5% and even dropped to 0% several times, therefore making the test very inacurate. But I would bet i saw 0% more times while playing Flac, which is logical, cos Flac is lossless and the decoder if i understand correctly only have to reconstruct quiet spots leaving the original sound intact. To be more precise somebody has to try it on a slower machine or use some wares. Sorry to be off the topic slightly, but i couldnt care less for wma/drm rubbish. P.S. Still waiting for the first Flac player to hit the market, whatever brand it is. Cheers.
[edited by FidelC on 16.03.2006 18:06]


Do those devices by Sony that don’t do MP3/WMA count?


I call bullshit here. Like others that have posted before me, DRM should not even be mentioned in the title here. I find the cdfreaks title to be bad, “Tests find DRM shortens player battery life by up to …”. This is not true at all. What it found was that WMA used more battery life than MP3. Now if they had compared WMA with no DRM to WMA with DRM then you’d have a valid title. I’m not saying I’m for DRM (who is?) but let’s make sure to use common sense when we fight it.