iTunes music store

  DrScott 20:09 11 Mar 2005

I notice that there has been another 'illegal' uploading/downloading thread, but this is more about Apple's DRM.

Now I recently bought the Philips Stremium media player to have music wirelessly beamed to my sitting room from the study. It's very cool! However, the Philips software only recognises mp3 and not m4p (the DRM AAC of Apple). Now all music bought from Apple iTunes Music Store (ITMS) is in m4p format and cannot be converted to mp3 by conventional means. Yes, and I've tried right clicking and 'convert to mp3'! So I'm a little upset that all my lovely new songs can only be played on my iPod or on my PC :(

To my mind this seems all a bit fierce of Apple. Do they really have any right to prevent legal use of purchased music in this way? I'm not sharing, I'm purely wanting to listen to my music somewhere other than on my computer, and I'm not even transferring it to another machine! Or are the likes of me just casualties in this ongoing war of piracy and legitimacy?

There is a workaround I've recently discovered and doesn't involve using up lots of CDs, but the point is really whether Apple should be so restrictive?

  Forum Editor 23:28 11 Mar 2005

1. select the track you want to convert, and then click 'Edit' on the toolbar.

2. Select 'Preferences' and then click on the import tab.

3. Select 'MP3 encoder' from the drop-down menu in the 'Import using' box.

  DrScott 01:43 12 Mar 2005

That doesn't work...

When you try that with the latest iTunes (4.7) on music bought from ITMS it says the file is protected and cannot be converted to mp3.

It is possible if you copy the songs onto a CD and then import them back as mp3, but that uses up CDs, takes time, and isn't really the point. Why should people have to find workarounds for music they own?

  Forum Editor 09:30 12 Mar 2005

I see what you mean - I just ran a test, and the file is encoded as a protected MPEG-4 file.

I can understand the protection aspect, and of course you don't "own" the music - you simply own a licence to play it as many times as you like, to distribute it to as many as 5 PCs, and to write it to a CD.

Streaming is something else altogether - that implies the ability to stream to pretty well any location, including the internet, and I can understand why the protection is there - your implication that streaming to any "source" (location?) is a legal use isn't strictly true, and of course iTunes don't know that you aren't sharing the music do they? Once you had the ability to convert purchased tracks to MP3 format you would - in theory - be able to offer them via a P2P network, and that certainly wouldn't be a legal use.

On balance I'm with iTunes - they need to be seen to be protecting the copyright holders or they wouldn't have a music library to sell.

  DrScott 22:30 12 Mar 2005

I can understand absolutley iTunes position on the matter, but it is a shame that they are in effect limiting the media on which their music can be played. A cynic might say it's to persuade people to use iPods rather than any other mp3 players...

In an ideal world I suppose every system would be every format compatible, but that doesn't seem to be the way market forces work. The days of buying a CD and playing it on any CD player are rapidly disappearing, and we're heading towards corporate specific media.

It is frustrating though, being limited in this way by Apple. I suppose it is a good thing that I tend to buy CDs rather than download music, but I sure other music users are probably even more frustrated than me!

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