It's almost a given that battery life claims from manufacturers tend to be inflated. Whether you're using a digital camera or digital audio player, chances are your batteries aren't going to last quite as long as the manufacturer would like you to think. But it turns out that there may be a hidden culprit lurking inside your MP3 player, sucking the juice out of your batteries at a faster pace than you even realized: PlaysForSure DRM. According to tests conducted by CNET, strong DRM "not only slows down an MP3 player but also sucks the very life out of them." CNET found that the extra processing power required to check licenses and decode protected tracks could cut battery life by as much as 25%. In tests conducted on a Creative Zen Vision M, CNET was able to get 16 hours out of the player when listening to generic MP3s. When they switched to protected WMA tracks, battery life plummeted to 12 hours. Other PlaysForSure players had similar results. And iPod users aren't off the hook either: when playing tracks protected by Apple's FairPlay DRM, CNET found that iPod battery life declined by 8%. So, what can you do to maximize battery life? Short of moving to France, you can just rip your music from CDs, avoiding the DRM issue in the first place (or if you just love DRM, be prepared to carry extra batteries).

[Via CDFreaks]

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Is DRM sucking the life out of your MP3 player?