What's Muzak's CD Protection!?

First of all, let me start by saying that I am new to the forum, but have been making CD backups since CD-R were the newest thing on the block.

I’m sure that most of you have, at some point, been employed by a store or resturant that feels the need to play background music endlessly. As some of you may know, a good number of those places have chosen to employ the services of the Muzak company (no really, check it out: www.muzak.com ). These same people also know that most (if not all) the CDs the company sends you, well, stink!

In an attempt to save my own sanity, I have been trying to cut some of my own CD to stick in the player when Muzak’s annoying selection gets to me. Here’s the kicker: The player (supplied by Muzak) will NOT accept any CDs not supplied my them. It simply forbids you to que up anything other than a Muzak CD; there’s got to be some kind of protection or check.

I managed to get one of their CDs home so I could try to examine it. Here’s where it gets even better: The CD is, for lack of a better word, transparant (That’s right, I can read this text THROUGH the CD when I hold it up in front of the screen). This made it impossibe to read the CD with ANYTHING at my disposal and, therefore, could not probe the CD for protections/checks.

The only other thing I could notice was that there was a watermark, blotch, or imperfection (and a fairly big one at that) near the beginning of the CD. But make note that I have only been able to get my hands on one and this feature may be unique to this CD only.

If anyone has experience or suggestions to help me save my sanity, I’m open to them.

I just thought they broadcasted that godawful stuff via satellite.

“Music architects”… LOL!

I have a 24k gold limited edition CD that is easily seen through, but probably not nearly as transparent as Muzak’s offerings. I think they don’t want anyone to to be able to copy their discs at all… but why would anyone want to in the first place? :wink:

They probably wanted a way to keep the equipment they supply from being used for anything but their purposes… but from what I can tell, playing “normal” music over the PA systems in stores and businesses and such constitutes ‘public exhibition’ and could spell RIAA trouble if there are any customers within earshot. :cop:

The only thing that I can think of would bring a regular CD player/changer, and switch over when you’re about to go bananas.

Just a thought:
It seems very doubtfull that they developed their own “CD-standard”, so my explanation why you can’t play those cd’s in regular players would be: that those cd’s are fake. The only “usefull” part would be the watermark. So MAYBE, the music is stored on a Harddrive somewhere in the player and the cd’s are just “keys” to unlock a certain number of songs. The updates (new songs) could be “transferred” by muzak’s employees.

But like I said, it’s just a thought :slight_smile:

If they do developed their own standard, I think it would be based on a laser with more power. The “transparent” cd doesn’t reflect the laser enough like normal cd’s, so standard players won’t be able to read. The watermark would then be to make it impossible to insert home-made cd’s, like you tryed.

But hey, I’m just giving possibilities here, so don’t shoot me if I’m wrong :slight_smile:

Well, one thing remains certain: Muzak does NOT want anyone messing with their players or their CDs. There is only one link I can see between the CDs and the player: If the laser in player is tilted at such and angle, it might cause the light to reflect off the CD surface instead of refract. This might explain why only their CDs play in thier players and no other combination works. Stupid Physics.

On some of the CD Players they have jumper settings…I once knew what those settings were that allowed for normal play of regular cd’s was, but I can’t find out the information anymore. However, if you work at Sunglass Hut International which has the cd players…if you still have a manual, actual manual it will tell you what settings are used to do that…if anyone finds out please email me.

I have seen a few discs at a friends workplace and they seem normal. (No see-thru properties) A few of the CD’s actualy contain quite a few good songs. I am wondering if there are any software players for the pc that could play the files. If I could get a few tools gathered up, I would like to borrow one of the cds for experimentation.

Muzak will play any music requested by the client, so if you don’t like the music then talk to your manager, boss, owner, or whoever makes those decisions.

Our “Music architects” will design a program for whatever the company wants played in there business.

FYI…Good luck finding out the format

@dan18088, are you here to criticize or do you want to share your knowledge about the protection with us??

10 2 1 that dan18088 is working in a company related or near to that company that develops/sells muzak systems./gs

Originally posted by gene_simmons
10 2 1 that dan18088 is working in a company related or near to that company that develops/sells muzak systems./gs

Yeah to bad he won’t share his knowledge with us. :frowning:

Yeah to bad he won’t share his knowledge with us.
Some knowledge you can do without can´t ya?/gs.

I was once told, and I don’t know much about stuff like this that instead of their CD’s being on CD-R it was on CD-I or J or something like that and it won’t play on a regular CD player…

hey guys, i found this forum trying to copy the damn cds and i ended up here by the grace of god it seems. i have access to a shit ton of these fuckin discs and would be willing to send a few out to people if they think they can crack the shit and post the details for copying. i happen to work far a certain corporation that plays these damn things and i listen to it 12 hours a day. no i dont want to,…but have to. anyway the reason i want to copy them is because my employees dont take care of them and they get all fucked up. it only takes a very small scratch to send them skipping all over the fucking place and then i REALLY go nuts. so i want to have backup discs for me, and then my employess can fuck off and listen to bullshit skipping, then they can go nuts. i really would not give two shits about it but during open hours the only thing that can be played is musak. i can and do however play cds from home in the player before and after opening. a guy that used to work there was a computer science major and he figured out the shit to make it play anything,…even burned mp3s. i can retrieve this info and post it for you all. then we can figure out how to make the cds play anywhere, and how to copy them. oh yeah,…dan10088 see if your “music arcitects” can cue up some hatebreed and slipknot for me you rusty trombone serviceman. yeah, i didnt think so!!!

well after an hour of searching ive come here, anyways i too want to know the encode for their CD shit i just recieved their player last week and its annoying…so now im on the hunt for it…ive read already that they use a blubook audio format…i dont know if that helps, but if i get any more info i will post.

Hey everyone!

I work at Quizno’s and we have to listen to that awful music all the freakin’ time, and they’ve charged me, the computer guy, to see if there’s a way around it. (Of course, corporate would kill us if they found out, but hey, at least we could use it after we close). I can get more information to you guys, but so far I know that the official name for the Muzak player is a CD-I player. I tried bringing one of the CDs home but neither my CD-ROM or DVD-ROM would read it. Would a normal CD-ROM be able to read a CD-I? I don’t know much about CD formats, just that they can get kinda wonky, but perhaps with a little help from you guys, we can figure it out.



A computer drive will most likely not read a CD-I disc without some special CD-I software. If you are certain that this format is CD-I, you should try to make your own CD-I and see if it plays in the player. What is it that you all are wanting to do? Do you want to rip the audio off of these discs or do you want to be able to play your own music on their players?

You should try ISO Buster to see what is on the discs. Maybe you can then figure out what type of check the player is doing to verify the disc is from their company. If someone wants to send me a couple of these discs, I can probably tell you what is going on. I have all the CD/DVD specifications at my office and I write code to read CD/DVD discs.

in order to play regular music in the machine, you have to adjust the swithces on the back of the player. there should be a row of 8 switches. it is either 2and 3 up and the rest down, or 3 and 4 up and the rest down.this will allow all cds to be played, but no cds will repeat any longer. so, when you get to the end of a muzak cd during opening hours, you will need to go push play again. no worries. I still would like to know how to copy the discs to have spares for the store that i work in. also i can take all the best shitty songs and compile them to one disc. only time will tell.

I found this information on CD-I


I brought one of the CDs home and it says right on the label “For use in Muzak CD-i players only.” ISO Buster (Thanks RichMan) further declared it a CD-i as well. So now the question remains, how can I make a CD that will play on the Muzak player as a CD-i?

You can view a screenshot of ISO Busters findings by going to http://www.seaniscool.com/img/isoss.jpg

as i have mentioned above, you do not need to make your disc a cd-i. all you need to do is flip the switches on the back of the cd-i player and then the player will play any cd that you decide to feed it. well, any audio cd anyway. i have not tried to feed it any video discs but now i have something else to try out. anyway, i will find out exactly which switches and which way they go and post it. do not try to flip them without taking notes on where they are currently positioned because it may end up not playing shit if you dont keep it where it is at or where I will show you in my next post. this would not be a good thing if it is at your place of business and you fuck everything up and the player can’t play music. you dont want to raise any eyebrows in a corporation because you WILL get the shaft. at least in mine you will. try explaining to them that you want to rock and fucking roll while you slack at work and you fucked up the muzak player in the process, :cool: …yeah, not so much. be careful!

the playing of any cds in the muzak player is not the real problem anymore, it is getting the muzak cd-i discs to play on the pc or home theatre system. i would like to be able to download the files and move songs around and add/delete to make my own disc of what i would rather hear of the selected songs that are allowed in the workplace. can we get an amen???