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jmall
2008-11-03, 08:52
Hi Folks,

I REALLY like the idea of being able to sit in front of my stereo and choose music through the GUI on a remote without having to setup a playlist or sit at the computer to play music through my main system. But from this forum it seems that this device will not play m4p files which completely sucks for me... I know there are a number of other software players out there but you know what, I like iTunes no matter all of the negativity in this forum. I tend to download music from here that is mainstream because I feel that the CD quality won't be much better.

Given that, what can I do? There doesn't seem to be any other device out there like this and I also have almost all of my CD music ripped losslessly to my computer. But I must have 1000s of songs that have DRM. I have heard of software that "converts" the m4p files to m4a. Is that what folks recommend here or is there a better alternative? And if they do recommend a converter, which one? Does the Duet even play m4a files?

Thanks!

Jeff

Siduhe
2008-11-03, 09:17
You have two choices - burn all of your iTunes DRM'd music to CD and reimport it (which may be fine if you only have a few tracks but not loads).

Use a program to strip out the DRM. Depending on the program you use and the country that you are located in, this may or may not be a breach of the tterms of the iTunes licence and/or be considered as music piracy. For example, in the UK we currently have no concept of "fair use" and it is technically illegal even to back up your electronic music collection (albeit that the BPP has said they will not prosecute individuals for this unless they are file sharing.

Many of the "converters" actually do the equivilent of burning to CD and re-ripping in a speeded up process. Apple has taken steps to prevent several such programs working (by changing the place where the iTunes keys are stored) but try googling for Soundtaxi (not free, but works with the latest iTunes as far as I know). You will need to form your own view as to whether this is permitted under your local law.

As for the "it sucks" bit, IMHO one of the reasons that people here feel a bit negative towards Apple and iTunes in general is because Apple does things like decline to licence the DRM hooks to enable things like the Squeezebox to play iTunes/DRM music. Their approach is proprietory and restricts fair consumer choice (again, just IMHO). Some companies are trying to get round this by decoding server-side and then pushing out to a connected device, but I don't know how Apple is likely to respond to this.

exile
2008-11-03, 12:21
siduhe's advice seems like your best options. i would simply add that if you primarily download tracks from the web then you can switch to amazon which is DRM-free and which has an equally large library of music to choose from.

BlueWombat
2008-11-03, 13:30
Yeah, I have to agree with Exile. I still love my iPod and like iTunes as a desktop player, but I've moved away from buying much of anything from the iTunes store, and now buy stuff almost exclusively from Amazon.

One problem with Amazon is they make it hard to by single songes because they never implemented a "shopping cart" for MP3 pruchases, so buying a bunch of singles takes too many clicks, but for buying albums, it's the ony way to go - higher bitrate, too, which DOES sound better.

By the way, for many of my existing DRM'd iTunes purchases I've gone one of two routes: rebuying the music from Amazon, or (you didn't hear me say this!) acquiring a DRM-free "backup" copy of the song I already purchased via BitTorrent. The second option isn't exactly my ideal way of doing things, but I don't feel much guilt as I already bought the damn thing, it's just locked! I'm sure some people will frown upon this, but as I said, I only do it for copies of existing purchases.

Finally, I must say I've found my online music purchases have doubled since Amazon started their store, the DRM-free and higher bitrate makes me more likely to buy something, as does their daily special, which includes a whole, well known or popular album for between $2.99 and $.99!

MeSue
2008-11-03, 15:28
acquiring a DRM-free "backup" copy of the song I already purchased via BitTorrent.

Or Usenet. ;-) I don't see a problem if you've already bought it.

DeVerm
2008-11-04, 14:50
Or, if you're really in love with iTunes, just use iTunes and get the remote software for iPhone or iPod touch to control it remotely (free from iTunes App Store). I tested this and it works great... but I'm not in love with iTunes so I do the DRM->Audio-CD->MP3 thing.

Also, about Amazon MP3: I read many complaints about only US residents able to use it etc. I checked their requirements and it says you need a creditcard that's issued by a US bank. I can confirm that this isn't needed. When you add a US address (any valid US address) to your list of delivery-addresses and configure your 1-click buying to use that address, it works just fine with my Dutch-issued AmEx card. I actually have a US address that I use for Amazon stuff that needs physical shipping but I really think any address will work because it's just a simple computer check. (I emigrated from Holland 6 years ago but still use Dutch banks... beats me why I do that...) Maybe they can't check who issued the AmEx card while they can for Visa etc.?

cheers,
Nick.