doubletwist.jpgCompanies still releasing music and movies locked with digital rights management technology may have one more software application to worry about.

DoubleTwist, Norwegian programmer Jon Lech Johansen’s (aka DVD Jon, pictured here) latest startup, yesterday launched a beta application that lets users “liberate” their media, be it music or video.

dvdjohn.jpg DoubleTwist’ free desktop application lets users transfer and sync their media, regardless of device, file format, or social network. For now it’s available for Windows XP and Vista, but the company plans to release a Mac OSX version by the end of the second quarter.

DoubleTwist also released a Facebook application, Twist Me, (see below) that allows users to share media directly from their profile pages.

Through DoubleTwist and Twist Me, users can share media with Facebook friends, as well as sync with a variety of portable devices including Sony’s PSP, Nokia’s N Series, Sony Ericsson phones, Windows Mobile phones, Amazon’s Kindle, and it also plans to release a version for iPhone users. DoubleTwist integrates with iTunes and lets its users sync to the above listed devices.

When users connect a device, such as a digital camera, mobile phone, or PSP, the media files are automatically displayed on the DoubleTwist desktop, from which point users select the media and transfer the media to the desired format.
Although DoubleTwist’s applications are free for now, it plans on adding premium features to monetize its product.

CEO Monique Farantzos compares DoubleTwist’s goal to email, which can be opened and viewed across the board by any device, regardless of platform. She compares the current media landscape to “The tower of Babel,” and says that DoubleTwist will bring the media world back to one language, so to speak.

DVD Jon is famous for his reverse engineering exploits, including one which decoded the content-scrambling system used to restrict DVDs. He was prosecuted in Norway, but was acquitted from charges of computer hacking.

According to Wikipedia, he’s created several programs to bypass both iTunes DRM music files, as well as Windows Media Player DRM technology, and in July of last year created a program that allowed users to activate their iPhone without AT&T service.

DoubleTwist, incubated in Oslo, Norway, was co-founded by Farantzos along with Johansen and is based in San Fransisco and funded for an undisclosed amount by Index Ventures.


David Adewumi, a contributing writer with VentureBeat, is the founder & CEO of a social storytelling platform billed “The Wikipedia of Stories.”