Western Digital’s new 1TB external hard drive won’t share your media files.

A lot of folks buy external hard drives so they can share their collection of music and video files with other PCs on their home network and the bigger the hard drive, the better. But if you’re hoping to make use of Western Digital’s new 1Terrabyte MyBooks you may be in for a rude awakening:

“Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the most common audio and video file types cannot be shared with different users using WD Anywhere Access.”

It doesn’t matter what the files are: If you try to share these formats over a network, Western Digital assumes not just that you’re a criminal, but that it is its job to police users. You see, MP3, DivX, AVI, WMV and Quicktime files are copy-protected formats.

The manual says the DRM client software included with the drive is “required”, but it turns out you don’t have to use it and can avoid having Western Digital policing your file transfers. There’s instructions in the manual for setting it up as a SAMBA device and there’s a mod community out there making Linux based firmware replacements. That said I still wouldn’t recommend buying the drive if for no other reason than to show the assholes at Western Digital that we aren’t going to put up with that kind of crap. There’s other HD makers putting out 1TB drives if you simply must have one and you can buy one of those and toss it into your own external HD case if you want to.