Meet the 1 TB network-connected hard drive that is prohibited from sharing media files due to “unverifiable media license authentication.” [BoingBoing]


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  1. emona says:

    You can still share the files between the hard drive and your network, right? Just not with anyone else? Makes sense to me, even though there’s no way I’d pay $380 to get told what I can and can not do by my hardware.

  2. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    DRM is evil.

  3. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    The answer to your question is no. You can’t access a shared folder full of media with this device. Western Digital just dropped off of my list of companies I’ll buy from.

  4. darkened says:

    Just buy the hard drives and make your own NAS running off Ubuntu with MythTV for HD-DVR capabilities.

  5. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Why even do that? Why should I support a company that is kowtowing to the RIAA/MPAA? WD doesn’t even offer a 3 year warranty on their hardware anymore. What do they know that we don’t?

    Looks like I’ll be buying Seagate (3-5 year warranties) from here on out.

  6. FLConsumer says:

    I love it, they say “Offer your clients an easy way to access business documents, designs, and artwork. Eliminates the need for a separate FTP server.”

    WTF do they think we do? I work for various companies, some are television & radio stations. The AAC & MPEG2 files I create are what we FTP back & forth! How the hell are we supposed to do this with their product?

    Safe to say, you won’t find me buying any Western-Digital products of any type until they let *ME* have control over my own files.

    For those curious, here are the “verboten” file extensions, straight from the horse’s ass:

    Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the following file types cannot be shared by different users using WD Anywhere Access.

    If these file types are on a share on the WD My Book World Edition system and another user accesses the share, these file will not be displayed for sharing. Any other file types can be shared using WD Anywhere Access.

    File Extension File Description
    AAC Advanced Audio Coding
    AIF Audio Interchange File
    AIFC Audio Interchange File
    AIFF Audio Interchange File Format
    AMF DSMIA/Asylum Module File
    ASF Advanced Streaming Format
    ASX Advanced Stream Redirector
    AVI Audio Video Interleave
    CDA CD Audio
    DVI DivX AVI
    FAR Farandoyle Tracker Music Module
    IT Impulse Tracker
    ITZ Impulse Tracker
    KAR Karaoke MIDI
    MDZ Cubic Player/Cross-View Music Module Description
    MOV QuickTime Video
    MP1 MPEG Layer 1 (Audio)
    MP2 MPEG Layer 2 (Audio)
    MP3 MPEG Layer 3 (Audio)
    MP4 MPEG Layer 4 (Video)
    MPA MPEG Audio Stream, Layer I, II or III
    MPE MPEG Video
    MPEG MPEG Video
    MPG MPEG Video
    MPGA MPEG Layer 3 (Audio Stream)
    MPV2 MPEG Audio Stream, Layer II
    OOG OOG Bitstream
    OKT Oktalyzer Tracker Module
    PTM PTM – Poly Tracker Module (Audio)
    QT QuickTime Video
    QT1 QuickTime Video
    VOB Video Object (DVD Video)
    VOC Creative Labs Sound
    WM Windows Media Audio or Video
    WMA Windows Media Audio
    WMV Windows Media Video

  7. FLConsumer says:

    Just thinking, can someone put this up over on Slashdot? I don’t have an account over there and am heading out the door. The Slashdot crowd will certainly let Western Digital have it.

  8. Jozef says:

    @FLConsumer: Two people submitted it about 10 and 12 minutes ago, respectively; currently the stories are waiting for approval.

  9. dasunst3r says:

    Indeed, that is another reason why I would rather build my own NAS. While I’m at it, I’ll run the LAMP software stack and run Gallery, Ampache, or whatever I need it to run!

  10. dotyoureyes says:

    Typical BoingBoing… posting a screaming headline that’s totally inaccurate. They’re the NY Post of the blogosphere.

    The restriction only applies to WD’s add-on service that facilitates file sharing over the internet for people who aren’t comfortable setting up their own FTP/HTTP server. You can still use the NAS to share anything you want on your own network, and even over the internet if you open it up yourself.

    I’m sure WD’s lawyers told them they’d be open to Grokster-style litigation if WD’s servers were involved in the sharing of copyrighted stuff. Solution: Don’t use WD’s add-on service!

  11. Mr. Chip says:

    @dotyoureyes: Solution: Don’t buy WD at all!

  12. louisb3 says:

    @Mr. Chip: Solution: lash out irrationally against crappy “added value”!

  13. Buran says:

    In other words, it doesn’t share the file types that people actually want to share!

    How did this BS pass QA?

  14. Buran says:

    @dotyoureyes: Solution: buy something that actually WILL do it, send WD a copy of the receipt with the price circled showing how much they lost, and a polite nastygram explaining why you went to the competition.

    Who the hell are they to tell me I can’t share files that I created? (and I work somewhere where we do create a lot of Quicktimes).

  15. bricklayer says:

    It sounds like WD wrote some free software that allows users to access their drive over the net. That software doesn’t handle certain file types. If you really want that capability, why don’t you get software that does it?

  16. Xkeeper says:

    @bricklayer: Haha, it isn’t free. At least, not from what I read.

    It’s explicitly forbidding these filetypes, not “it can’t handle them”. All files are the same, the extension just tells your system what it is.

  17. Valhawk says:

    Well Western Digital I hope your happy, you’ve lost all of my buisness forever.

    Hope your DRM will appease the MPAA and RIAA even though a bored hacker will have probably broken it within 30 minutes of release.

    Enjoy not getting my money.

  18. Blackneto says:

    boycotting a whole company because a service doesn’t do what you want?

    Unless the service is the full focus of the company, the notion is pure idiocy.

    How many of you knuckleheads threw out your Apple PC’s because the iphone was AT&T only?

    People are overreacting to this.
    If you set this up and use their service you will have access to those files. however if someone else accesses it through the service they will not.

    WD has their reasons for that. It doesn’t make me hate them.
    I probably purchase 50 Hard drives per year in the course of my business for customers. Will still buy WD drives.
    Won’t purchase this product though. For a 1Tb NAS drive i prefer hot swappable raided drives. not one drive that can fail.

    People who are griping about WD not letting them access “their” files are nuts. This service by WD is putting limitations on the files accessed. If you have such a need for something like this there are other options and defiantly cheaper.

  19. revmatty says:

    This ignores the more important point that WD drives are (in my experience) crap. Seagate, Samsung, and Fujitsu are all better. You can roll a DIY NAS without much effort just using something like the Linksys NSLU2 with an external USB hard drive or for an all in one something like the D-Link DNS 323.

  20. Blackneto says:

    @revmatty: Whats funny Rev is that i’ve had equal amounts of failure with seagate samsung and fujistu drives in 20 years of Computer repair and support.

    A colleague just last month swore he’s never buy another seagate drive after getting 4 bat sata drives in a row.

    all manufacturers have had bad production runs.
    Anyone remember the IBM DeathStars?
    the 60 and 75 gig models were notoriously flaky, but I ran 2 40 gigs for 5 years 24/7 till i finally retired them when one started acting up.

    there was a production run of 2 gig slim line drives in compaq deskpro’s about 9~10 years ago that had a 75% failure rate.
    These were Quantum fireballs.