Xenoblade Chronicles X Digital Soundtrack USB Has DRM

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

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Xenoblade Chronicles X - Special Edition

Who knew that little guy on the left would be so much trouble…

If you picked up the special edition of Xenoblade Chronicles X, chances are you have popped in the custom USB drive into your computer to listen to or download the soundtrack that they offered on the surprisingly heavy drive. However, as one Redditor has pointed out, the USB drive contains DRM that prevents you from copying the tracks from the drive onto whatever computer you’re using. It does this by mounting the folder on the Y drive (a designation commonly used for company networks along with X and Z), then proceeds to bar users from accessing this drive at all, and lastly changes the registry of the computer by hiding the drive completely in the registry files. Additionally, the soundtrack can only be accessed through a Windows program, Soundtrack.exe, so by normal means, the soundtrack is not able to be copied from the USB at all. Ouch!

So, long story short, users cannot download the soundtrack by accessing the Y drive. Fortunately, there is a way around this, albeit a little complicated. In order to download these tracks, perform the following actions:

  • Use gpedit.msc using the Run function of your computer. From there, set the “Prevent access to drives from My Computer” to “Disabled” and then back to “Not Configured” on the Windows Explorer subfolder, accessed through User Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components. For a better look, see this as well as this.
  • ***NOTE***In my case, I have Windows 10 Home, so I did not have access to the gpedit at first, but I was able to download it from another source. Just as a precaution, though, if you are not familiar with working with registry files, you may not want to mess around with them too much as they could potentially do some damage to your computer.
  • Next, access regedit through the Run function. In “Policies” (through HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Software>Microsoft>Windows>CurrentVersion) access “Explorer” and set the value of NoDrives to 0, or simply delete it. For a better look, see this.

After this, you should be able to access the USB drive “Y” again (or whichever letter drive it creates) and copy the files to your computer. Note that they are .wav files, a proprietary Windows audio file, so they will have to be reformatted for use on any iOS devices. Mac users will probably be out of luck entirely in terms of running the drive at all, too. While it is fairly frustrating that all this is required to get files off the drive, it is good that a workaround exists. Thanks greatly to CSFFlame for posting these findings on Reddit.

Editor’s Note

The reason behind this is probably because the soundtrack, composed by Hiroyuki Sawano who seems contracted with Sony Music Japan, also just so happened to publish the official soundtrack in Japan. Because of the whole legal red tape and licensing issues that are very prevalent when it comes to music for video games outside of Japan, hence one of the big reasons they don’t release soundtracks overseas, this is likely the culprit behind the situation. It’s really unfortunate, but for big fans of Japanese anime, this is something they will all know too well.


About Alexander Jones

Alexander Jones is a 24 year-old with a BA in History and has been gaming as far back as he can remember. Growing up, he was raised strictly on Nintendo consoles, but this fueled a passion for Japanese gaming and design. Though he does still have a soft spot for Nintendo, he has grown to love any developer and console with fun, enjoyable games. Some of his favorite games of all time include Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy XIII, Chrono Trigger, and Katawa Shoujo.

  • Kotaro

    Well, this pretty much renders the whole thing pointless.

  • Vanadise

    Wow, what a piece of junk. I can’t play the soundtrack at all (using Linux on my desktop), and the drive itself is only 800 MB, so I could repartition it, but it’s too small for any practical purpose.

    It looks nice, at least.

    • Moreira

      open 7zip and use it to explore the USB drive. Open the folder “HPsafebox” an the following sub folders. You’ll reach the .wav files and you can copy them anywhere else

    • Vanadise

      The snarky response here is, “Sure, where’s the Linux version of 7zip?”

      … but no, that doesn’t work even if you use something like WINE to run 7zip, because the encrypted chunk on the drive requires running their Windows executable in order to expose it.

  • froyton

    Would probably work fine in Linux.
    Edit: whoops, according to the comment above mine, I guess not. That really sucks.

    • Vanadise

      The drive is mountable, but basically all it has is an executable and an encrypted chunk of data. Running it in WINE doesn’t do anything useful; I assume WINE is lacking whatever calls it’s using to create a virtual device and hide it in Windows.

  • Metayoshi

    Yea, you can’t transfer the files directly from the stick, but there are a lot of tools that allow you to transcode a music file once it’s opened. The tracks are at an audiophile level 24 bit 48khz, but I’m just fine with down sampling to 16 bit 48 khz or even 44.1 khz since I’ll just turn them into mp3/aac files anyway in the end.

  • piathulus

    A way simpler workaround follows:
    Install a music program called Foobar 2000. Add the LAME plug-in that lets you convert any file to 320kbps MP3’s. Add the files to foobar2000 and then convert to 320 kbps MP3.

    Fortunately, I already had this installed from my previous experiences converting .wav files from physical CDs.

  • Infophile

    Not that you’ll likely get in any trouble for this, but be aware that in the US, copying anything which is protected by DRM is illegal (with a few narrow exceptions like educational use). This doesn’t apply to ripping tracks from CDs as they don’t have DRM (it’s still illegal to share the ripped tracks with others, but not to make personal copies), but does apply to DVDs since the latter have DRM. And it technically applies to this as well, thanks to the DRM.

    Yes, it’s a ridiculous and screwed-up law. Lobby your politicians to change the DMCA; this really highlights how ridiculous it is.

  • Ross MacPherson

    Does anyone know the track list names for the songs on the drive? I have 10 files, but track 5 is a garbled mess? Tracks 8 and 9 have some interesting capitalization, but that might be intentional…

    Also, are tracks 1 and 7 identical?

  • TrueWiiMaster

    This kind of thing is why I chose to go with the regular edition. The special edition stuff looked cool, but the only thing I would have really used was the soundtrack, which was not complete, and which I assumed would come in the form of MP3’s on a tiny flash drive. If they had included a CD, especially a full soundtrack on CD, I almost definitely would have gotten the special edition just for that.

  • DariusQ

    Glad I didn’t invest in the LE then.

  • jmmueller

    You can also use a recovery tool (I used DiskDigger) to recover the files from the drive.

  • At least you get the OST in your special edition. European gamers do not have this.