Using a PlaysForSure DRM Video with Android Devices

Though it’s not listed yet on various lists of compatible devices, you can watch any PlaysForSure DRM video, including Disney Digital Copies and Amazon VOD portable copies, on some recent Android devices, such as Droid X. (Not every Android device supports PlaysForSure, so check your documentation or try googling around.)

However, if you look around for instructions, Disney and Amazon point you to Microsoft, and Microsoft doesn’t really give very much info on how to do this with non-Windows portable devices. So, I’m adding the instructions to the internet for anyone who needs them. Please note that these instructions are written for Win7 using Windows Media Player 11 and a Droid X and that I can’t promise they’ll work on your particular device or configuration…but they probably will.

Edited to add: Verified from various forums that this works on the Droid 2 and Droid Pro. Does not seem to work on Atrix. Please comment if you’ve verified that this works or doesn’t work on any other devices. Thanks!

  1. Download the video. (If it’s a Disney Digital Copy, you need to insert your digital copy disc in your computer’s DVD reader, enter your activation code, and choose “Windows Media Player” as the medium (vs. iTunes). You only get one choice here. If you choose WM, you can’t go back and choose iTunes or vice versa, so consider carefully before you make the choice.)
  2. Use your microUSB data cable to plug your DROID X into the computer. (The Media Share app might pop up. Hit the back key to back out of it if it does.) Pull down the bar at the top and tap the USB connection symbol/notification. Choose “Windows Media Sync” as your USB connection type. (If you’ve never done this before, Windows might take a few minutes to install drivers.) You should see/get a screen like this:
  3. Click to Manage Media On Your Device. WMP 11 will launch and show you a directory of your media. Navigate to your videos library and select the portable copy (the smaller file size of the two files, generally). You can also transfer the full HD copy, if you want to use HDMI-out to play it on a larger screen, but the HD copies are usually 1-2GB vs. less than a gig for portable resolution.
  4. Drag the video(s) to the SYNC tab on the right and click Sync. Wait for sync to complete and then disconnect your device.
  5. On your device, navigate to the video and tap to play it. (On Droid X, click Files, then choose the Videos folder.)
  6. A notification will pop up that your license has expired and offer you the option to BUY or CANCEL. Tap BUY. (This is the most confusing part of this process. You’re not buying anything. It just needs to renew the license on the server. You already bought the license, and it just needs to verify that using the key that Windows transferred along with the file.)
  7. In a few seconds, your video should begin to play.

If the above doesn’t work for you, I probably can’t help you. There’s too many variables. But, it worked for me. πŸ™‚ Happy watching!

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12 thoughts on “Using a PlaysForSure DRM Video with Android Devices”

  1. Hey there, I am trying to do this on a Samsung Fascinate, which is similar to the X, but obviously there are key differences. When I click to set up usb connection, it only gives me the choice of “mount” or “don’t mount.” Is there any way to reset that or become able to sync to windows? I don’t know if you know much about the GalaxyS series phones but just asking. Thanks

  2. The main feature to look for in a phone for this is PlaysForSure or Janus DRM support. But, it can be hard to get this information. Cellphone salespeople are often misinformed or misconstrue support for the Windows OS as support for Microsoft DRM.

  3. I have a Samsung Captivate which is the AT&T version of your (Joey Smiley’s) Fascinate. In order to use the USB connection to your computer you must first download Samsung’s “Kies” software. I was able to sync my copy of “Inception” to my phone from my PC using Windows media player as TsuKata describes above, but when I tried to play it I got the message “This item expired. Connect to PC and download license”. I’m currently waiting for WB tech support to respond to a support request but I suspect that our phones may not be able to play the file…they’re not listed on the WB list of compatible players.

  4. I think the capability to sync DRM content may have been part of the Froyo update. I have a Samsung Vibrant and I was able to follow TsuKata’s directions to sync and play Inception and The Town on my phone. (Didn’t ask me to buy after syncing tho…) Thanks for the instructions!

  5. Works on the Milestone X, too! (Milestone X is a non-Verizon exact clone of the Droid X) My 2 year old son is in heaven watching Toy Story 3 while shopping!

  6. Worked perfectly on my Samsung Galaxy 10.1 Tab 2 with Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. Finally, someone explained the steps, you would think that the studios that sell digital copies would have been this thoughtful! My tablet is high definition so I ended up syncing the HD large file as the portable one must be for phones, it was bad. It took over an hour but works perfectly with Act One my choice for video playing software. My thanks for your post I can finally sync my other digital copies now!!! I am very grateful. πŸ™‚

  7. Fantastic step by step walk through TsuKata. I am using a Samsung Gaxaly Note 10.1.

    For me, it put the file in /Root/sdcard/Video/[Title of File].wmv

    Was struggling with Disney support for a week and finally found this article. Why is it that they don’t know this?

    Thanks again.

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