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How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

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How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby Baldo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:55 am

I want to produce demo music files that I want to give to a client to try out.

I would like to give them perhaps a usb memory stick that I put the files onto that they can then listen to. However, I want to make the usb so that the client can't copy the files onto a computer or any where else.

I dont need anything like military grade encryption as the client is not too tech savy so a basic kind of protection would be fine. Something like requiring a password to access the USB and then the usb would be read only. I would have an admin password that meant that I could copy and delete files from the USB.

Can anyone advise me on the best way to do this. Remember, i dont want to over engineer this.

Many thanks.
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Re: How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby Wonks » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:27 pm

Don't many USB sticks already come with that sort of program on the stick? I know they used to.
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Re: How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby CS70 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:29 pm

You can't. The moment the information can be accessed for streaming, it can be copied.

With a lot of effort, you may make slightly harder, and still a half-knowledgeable kid with a link to a youtube tutorial will be able to defeat your protection.

That kind of data security is the realm of different hardware and operating systems than the ones we commonly use.
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Re: How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby desmond » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:55 pm

Baldo wrote:I would like to give them perhaps a usb memory stick that I put the files onto that they can then listen to. However, I want to make the usb so that the client can't copy the files onto a computer or any where else.

I'm not sure what the point would be. If they can listen to them, they can dump them into an audio recording, if they want the files badly enough, so whatever complicated means you might be able to employ to stop the files being copied is moot when you can just hijack the computer's audio output and route that to new files - or if that's too complicated, there's always the analog way...

The bottom line is, all protection can lessen casual copying, but the if someone wants the content badly enough to go to some effort, this is relatively trivial to "defeat"...

If you're *really* paranoid, you can always put in a regular audio watermark into the audio, but it's not useful, and just advertises the fact that you're really paranoid, which can be offputting for people you are hoping to work with...
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Re: How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:16 pm

Baldo wrote:...I want to make the usb so that the client can't copy the files onto a computer or any where else.

Not possible.

Probably the best you can do is make it undesirable to copy the files, and the most practical way to do that is to intentionally corrupt the music to make it unusable for anything other than demo approvals. So take the original source audio and mix in a tone pulse every ten seconds or something like that -- the audible equivalent of a 'sample copy' watermark that doesn't significantly prevent auditioning, but that renders the material useless for any other purpose.

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Re: How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby Baldo » Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:43 pm

I agree that anyone with a half way knowledge would be able to get around it. I dont care about those people as they are not my target audience.

I just want to put in a few extra hurdles that have to be overcome in order to copy it. Remember I am not after a prefect solution here, I dont need military grade encryption protocols etc etc....

It just has to be a slightly difficult so that the person will not bother. Sure any one can watch a few youtubes and figure it out. But my clients do not have the time to waste on getting around some kind of protection because they would rather just buy the files.

watermarking is not really practical as the files are for hypnosis purposes so an audible watermark will be distracting.

Ideally a password to lock the USB stick. I had a USB stick like that once when I worked in the defense industry. Our company made us use those for any kind of data transfers and i lost the password we would have to reformat the dive.
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Re: How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby CS70 » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:47 pm

Then an option is to encrypt them and play them thru a dedicated player which you also provide on the stick. If you google “encrypted music player” you find a few players.
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Re: How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby resistorman » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:45 am

If you have Windows Pro, then you can use Bit Locker to encrypt the usb drive. All versions of Windows can unlock it with the password.
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Re: How to passowrd prtect a USB memory stick and make it read only.

Postby wireman » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:48 pm

I wonder if there are any online sharing services which would meet the need instead of distributing a USB stick. I was not able to find any from a quick search (https://www.musicgateway.com/ looked interesting but might not be a good match.)
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