Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

XP SP2 and bonus content audio CDs

One new feature I’ve noticed since installing SP2 RC1 for Windows XP is a change in the behaviour of AutoPlay when you insert an Audio CD with a CD-ROM element which contains bonus content (such as music videos).
Normally, you would insert the CD and it would run whichever program was specified in the autoplay configuration file on the CD. Instead, it pops up a dialog, like it would if you had inserted a CD with no autoplay, and then asks you what to do. The first option is to view the bonus content, but you can also view the files on the CD or play it, or copy it.
It’s a welcome feature – often I don’t want to watch some small grainy reproduction of the video and just want to listen to the CD (it is an audio CD, after all). But I have a feeling there’s another reason, explained by this CNet article from last year. A company called SunnComm offers an anti-copying system that, if installed, makes it almost impossible to rip any CD – I believe it installs its own driver and replaces the Windows one. Perhaps Microsoft has done this to prevent people from installing unnecessary extra drivers that can mess up their system, or to stop people complaining when suddenly they can’t rip CDs anymore and don’t know why. You can skip autoplay by holding down the Shift key but not that many people know that. also have a story from today about some kind of system to stop you copying CDs. Great. More ways to annoy customers.


  1. I HATE and DETEST copy protection schemes on music CDs. I am a legitimate customer. I buy my CDs legally from the shop. Is it wrong for me to want to make a back-up copy of the CD as I travel a lot and don’t want the original to get scratched? Legally, probably yes but realistically? Morally? Sensibly? I’m sure it isn’t.

  2. Yeah, things are getting crazier and crazier by the day.

  3. i dont think its so dramatic, or a big deal
    really…. at the point that individuals or groups
    make these things available for sale or duplicate in an attempt to deflate the sales of such things or
    an attempt or activity to harrass the copyright
    holder then thats a new and fairly serious issue.
    here in the states we have in fact individuals who
    specialize in in the harrassment of copyright holders out of a profound jealosy and “net” revenge.
    its obvious that its easier to copy, harrass, or
    destroy than it is to create.
    gradually the U>S>A has degenerated into a culture
    of harrassment as the rest of world catches up at
    almost every level of commerce and invention.
    it appears that universities have now become the
    breeding ground of this activity.
    as dj culture fades into the sunset it appears
    that so many are really pisssed that they misssed
    that train.