DRM decreases battery life up to 25%

This is another reason not to use DRM (digital rights management). In an information age, the information tends to want to be free. You have proprietary information and open-source being on the opposite sides of the spectrum but co-existing in the same plane. Yet, most portable media consists of some DRM for the corporation that released it to tie others into a licensing scenario.
Logic has it that more processing to make sure that medium is being “encrypted” would chew up more of the battery life in your portable device, but looks like CNET has done some tests to qualify the hypotheses.

Take, for instance, the critically acclaimed Creative Zen Vision:M, with a rated battery life of up to 14 hours for audio and 4 hours for video. CNET tested it at nearly 16 hours, with MP3s–impressive indeed. Upon playing back only WMA subscription tracks, the Vision:M scored at just more than 12 hours. That’s a loss of almost 4 hours, and you haven’t even turned the backlight on yet.

While most people have tied themselves to the ever-exclusive but well marketed iPod, this is something to be said about extending the battery life of a device. Perhaps it’s time to convert all of your tracks to MP3.
CDFreaks < CNET

  • The study used WMA and AAC, both at high bitrates, compared to mp3. DRM doesn’t lower battery life 25%. DRM-ed higher bitrate WMAs lower battery life 25% over (obviously unprotected) mp3s. WMA is a more complicated (and more processor-intensive) format, which allows for smaller file size and better sound.
    Not to say that DRM doesn’t affect battery life. It obviously does. Just not 25%.

  • The study used WMA and AAC, both at high bitrates, compared to mp3. DRM doesn’t lower battery life 25%. DRM-ed higher bitrate WMAs lower battery life 25% over (obviously unprotected) mp3s. WMA is a more complicated (and more processor-intensive) format, which allows for smaller file size and better sound.
    Not to say that DRM doesn’t affect battery life. It obviously does. Just not 25%.

  • Didn’t say DRM lowers battery life by 25%. The test actually showed an approximate which was why it said “up to 25%”.
    “However, when they tried playing WMA 10 DRM crippled subscription tracks on it, they only got just over 12 hours; a loss of almost 4 hours (~25%) of playback time due to the battery-hungry DRM. ”
    I disagree with WMA being better sounding. The more you cut out of the sound file, the worse it gets as any hi-fi audiophile would know. Running a WMA based file versus mp3 has a distinct quality difference in favor of the mp3 format. Still, the winner will always be the raw file since it’s unadulterated.

  • darkmoon

    Didn’t say DRM lowers battery life by 25%. The test actually showed an approximate which was why it said “up to 25%”.
    “However, when they tried playing WMA 10 DRM crippled subscription tracks on it, they only got just over 12 hours; a loss of almost 4 hours (~25%) of playback time due to the battery-hungry DRM. ”
    I disagree with WMA being better sounding. The more you cut out of the sound file, the worse it gets as any hi-fi audiophile would know. Running a WMA based file versus mp3 has a distinct quality difference in favor of the mp3 format. Still, the winner will always be the raw file since it’s unadulterated.