DVD Jon Cracks AirPort

More bad news for Apple keeping its grip on iTunes and its related technologies – DVD Jon has cracked the encryption behind AirPort.

Jon Lech Johansen came to fame five years ago when he co-authored DeCSS, an application for decrypting DVD video content. He wrote the software so he could watch his legally acquired DVDs on his Linux PC. I would like to point out that he was just 15 when he managed that. Now the Norwegian programmer has managed to discover the key that AirPort Express uses when sending data between iTunes and Apple’s wireless base station.

Apple is currently in cat fight with Real Networks over Harmony, a technology that allows Real content to be played on the iPod. DVD Jon has just made it possible for third party software and hardware producers to stream music to AirPort express from other music programs. An example picked from random, I suppose, would be Real Player – music lovers will now be able to stream music from Real Player or Windows Media to their AirPort receivers.

Johansen has released the source code to JustePort, a command-line tool that demonstrates how music can be streamed to AirPort.

SoSueMe – Jon Lech Johansen’s blog

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?