SAFEAUDIO provides audio content owners with an easy-to-implement copy protection solution for CD audio discs that provides effective protection against unauthorized disc copying or ripping of songs. The SAFEAUDIO manufacturing process is software based, involving no additional hardware components. SAFEAUDIO protection is a media-based technology and therefore cannot be easily circumvented by PC ripping programs. TTR jointly developed the SAFEAUDIO CD copy protection solution with Macrovision. The SAFEAUDIO solution meets the combined objectives of playability (where the original audio content can be heard with no discernable reduction in audio quality) and effectiveness (where a satisfactory level of copy protection is provided). TTR and Macrovision are supporting ongoing evaluation and test programs with several major music labels.
The basic idea is to create samples that sound like bursts of static, and scramble the ECC data around to make it look like an uncorrectable error. Audio CD players will interpolate the samples during playback, but CD-ROM drives doing digital audio extraction generally won't. The result is a disc that plays back correctly on a CD player, but won't "rip" or copy correctly on a CD-ROM drive.