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Can itunes work with non-ipod mp3 players?


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#1 of 41 Jon_Are

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Posted April 24 2006 - 04:52 PM

I'm posting here in computers because this is more a software issue than anything else.

We have two ipods and two other mp3 players in our house, and we use all of them. The ipods are new, so I'm new to itunes (previously used Musicmatch Jukebox). I'm trying to organize and coordinate my music files. I'd like to use itunes exclusively, but I have a feeling it won't play well with the other mp3s.

Is there a way to make this work?

If so, how do I go about loading tunes (mp3 format) onto the non-ipods via itunes?

Thanks,

Jon

#2 of 41 Paul McElligott

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Posted April 25 2006 - 05:48 AM

Right now, iTunes will only sync with iPods. Officially. There are supposedly hacks that can get around this but I haven't heard anything solid about them.
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#3 of 41 Kimmo Jaskari

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Posted April 25 2006 - 07:37 AM

Also beware any converting back and forth. If you convert AAC stuff to MP3, you do another round of lossy conversion - transcoding. This will have an impact on sound quality (and I think most of us realize it won't be for the better.)

Here is a link that discusses Apple and it's C.R.A.P.
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#4 of 41 Scott Merryfield

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Posted April 25 2006 - 08:34 AM

Quote:
Also beware any converting back and forth. If you convert AAC stuff to MP3, you do another round of lossy conversion - transcoding. This will have an impact on sound quality (and I think most of us realize it won't be for the better.)

iTunes does not require that the music files it manages to be in AAC format. It handles MP3 files natively, too. All 9,000+ music files I've encoded and manage within iTunes are MP3 format.

Like Paul, I seem to remember reading of some hacks to iTunes to allow it to see certain non-iPod MP3 players, but I cannot remember all the details. You may want to do a search of the iTunes forum on www.ilounge.com .

#5 of 41 Michael_K_Sr

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Posted April 25 2006 - 03:39 PM

Quote:
Here is a link that discusses Apple and it's C.R.A.P.

Imagine that...a website devoted to peer to peer file sharing whining about DRM. Posted Image

#6 of 41 Kimmo Jaskari

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Posted April 26 2006 - 01:01 AM

C.R.A.P. is bad for everyone. Like now, when Jon would like to be able to use his legally aquired music on all his devices, not just one type at a time. That the site happened to be a P2P-friendly one has nothing to do with anything.
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#7 of 41 Marko Berg

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Posted April 26 2006 - 11:43 PM

Quote:
whining about DRM

...is something everyone should do.

#8 of 41 MarkHastings

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Posted April 28 2006 - 02:37 PM

Quote:
when Jon would like to be able to use his legally aquired music on all his devices, not just one type at a time.
But the only DRM music you have to worry about is the stuff you've purchased from iTunes. Other than that, iTunes and iPods still work with MP3's (from other sites) and will also compress CD's into AAC without DRM.

So it's really only a big issue if you allow it to be.

#9 of 41 Darryl

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Posted May 01 2006 - 04:52 AM

It's an issue if you want to have a non-iTunes based setup. Anything you purchase from the iTunes Music Store will only work in iTunes or on an iPod. Anything else and you're out of luck unless you transcode. So don't buy from ITMS you say? Well, it's kind of rude to tell my brother to un-buy the $25 iTunes credit he gave me for Christmas. I've also gotten free songs from iTunes from buying anything from batteries to cheerios. I've got about 50 songs I consider worthless because they are iTunes based.

Other than freebies and gifts I'll never buy a song from iTunes. I'll never buy an iPod, ever. Apple not only uses DRM (I can't fault them for that), but they make every DRM annoyance worse by closing off their software AND their hardware. They could sell the ability to play their songs in other software, much the way Microsoft does with WMA, but Apple refuses to make this possible. They could enhance their iPods to support DRM-protected music purchased from other sources, but they refuse to. They can afford to be uncooperative because they have a near monopoly. Their approach locks people into their products and services. Or in my case it locks me out.

#10 of 41 Kimmo Jaskari

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Posted May 01 2006 - 07:11 AM

C.R.A.P. only inconveniences honest people. The pirates just wait until someone cracks whatever protections there are and then get the C.R.A.P.-less material off the Net.

With the current climate (where the Bush administration wants to sharpen the laws now to the point where movie copying can land you in jail for 10 years) however I don't think we'll see the end of the insanity in a while yet.

They should just make all forms of copy protection illegal instead. Does anyone think that the content producers would quit selling their stuff? Heck no. They'd still make billions as they do today...
"If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do?"
"Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air and scatter oneself over a wide area." -- "BlackAdder 4"

#11 of 41 MarkHastings

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Posted May 01 2006 - 07:34 AM

Quote:
So don't buy from ITMS you say? Well, it's kind of rude to tell my brother to un-buy the $25 iTunes credit he gave me for Christmas.
Why are you upset with Apple? That's the way the stuff works. It would be like someone buying me a gift card to Victoria Secret. I can't use anything there.

#12 of 41 Thomas Newton

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Posted May 01 2006 - 07:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl
Apple not only uses DRM (I can't fault them for that), but they make every DRM annoyance worse by closing off their software AND their hardware.

Virtually every manufacturer closes off their hardware and their firmware. Or did you think that the makers of (to pick a device at random) the iRiver were going to give you and their competitors the blueprints on how to build clones, for free?

Quote:
They could sell the ability to play their songs in other software, much the way Microsoft does with WMA, but Apple refuses to make this possible.

That's not how Microsoft's stuff works. Microsoft's DRM is as proprietary as Apple's -- the fact that they sell it to a lot of hardware vendors does not imply that Microsoft helps anyone build competing implementations.

Quote:
They could enhance their iPods to support DRM-protected music purchased from other sources, but they refuse to.

DRM is bad for customers and bad for the public. If the music industry and the other vendors were so eager to make sales, the other vendors could sell non-crippled MP3s, AACs, etc. After all, the iPod doesn't search for some magic tag that says "This MP3 was sold by Wal-Mart" and refuse to play the file.

#13 of 41 MarkHastings

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Posted May 01 2006 - 09:13 AM

Apple doesn't licenses a lot of their stuff and that's exactly why I love it. I know that everything works with everything else.

#14 of 41 Darryl

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Posted May 03 2006 - 09:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl
They could sell the ability to play their songs in other software, much the way Microsoft does with WMA, but Apple refuses to make this possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Newton
That's not how Microsoft's stuff works. Microsoft's DRM is as proprietary as Apple's -- the fact that they sell it to a lot of hardware vendors does not imply that Microsoft helps anyone build competing implementations.

Microsoft's DRM is most definitely proprietary, but they license it out to be used in other companies' products, both hardware and software. For hardware there's the Plays For Sure logo which means that the company has licensed WMDRM, has incorporated it into the product, and that it's passed testing. And there are plenty of non-Microsoft software products out there that can play back WM DRM protected content as well. These companies didn't build competing implementations, they used microsoft's libraries (for free, by the way), but from the user's point of view they have an alternative to Media Player. These Media Player alternatives provide whatever features or user interface they want, and can hook up to whatever online store front they choose. So if what you mean by "competing implementation" is software that plays WM DRM protected media just as well as Media Player does, then yes, Microsoft does help companies do that.

Apple has no similar offering. Apple has repeatedly turned down companies seeking the ability to incorporate Fair Play playback capabilities into their hardware or software products. Is there a single hardware or software product NOT made by Apple that can play music purchased from iTunes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Newton
Virtually every manufacturer closes off their hardware and their firmware. Or did you think that the makers of (to pick a device at random) the iRiver were going to give you and their competitors the blueprints on how to build clones, for free?

Licensing technology between companies is extremely commonplace. You've got to know that Thomas. And there is a huge difference between licensing a particular feature and opening up the full set of blueprints. I don't have to have the full blueprints of Sony's latest CD player to build a CD player of my own, I just need the license and spec of the CD format.

And where did I ever imply Apple had to license these things for free (in spite of the fact that Microsoft allows you to use their libraries for free)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl
So don't buy from ITMS you say? Well, it's kind of rude to tell my brother to un-buy the $25 iTunes credit he gave me for Christmas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkHastings
Why are you upset with Apple? That's the way the stuff works. It would be like someone buying me a gift card to Victoria Secret. I can't use anything there.
Obviously I realize that. But if my wife uses that gift certificate to buy some undies she can wear them with jeans from K-Mart if she so chooses. With an iTunes gift certificate I am understandably restricted to buying an Apple product, but that purchase can only be used with other Apple products due to an artificial limitation built into the system. It's as if Victoria's Secret said that my wife could only wear her new undies with a particular pair of pants, and had some way to enforce it.

I'm honestly surprised that this doesn't bother people. People complain about DRM so often, yet refusing to license a DRM solution is more restrictive than DRM itself. If we give DRM the benefit of the doubt (which I do), DRM's primary purpose is to prevent illegal use of media, and unfortunately some legitimate uses get denied in the process. Refusing to license DRM technologies, however, has the single purpose of curtailing legal, legitimate uses of media for the sake of stifling competition. If I compare this to some of the anti-monopoly litigation that's occurred in the software industry in recent years, and consider Apple's online music market share, I can't see Apple's practices as anything other than monopolistic.

#15 of 41 MarkHastings

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Posted May 03 2006 - 09:16 AM

Quote:
It's as if Victoria's Secret said that my wife could only wear her new undies with a particular pair of pants, and had some way to enforce it.
But I don't see it that way. I see it like DVD's - Why can't I play a DVD in a VHS deck?

I know what you're thinking, your thinking that a more fair comparison would be a particular DVD only working in (for example) Toshiba ONLY DVD players, but what I'm saying is, Apples iTunes purchases are AAC files. AAC files are like DVD's - Where you might see MP3's as the same thing (because they're both music files) I see it differently. VHS and DVD's are both movie files, it's just that they live inside different 'vehicles'.

AAC files aren't MP3's. They are Apple files and only work with Apple products. Just like Apple software only works on Macs.

That's why I'm not too upset with it. As a LONG time Mac user, I have come to understand that Apple stuff works with Apple stuff and that's it. That's the way Apple has always operated and that's the beauty of it - and that's why I'm such a huge Mac lover. I love their "Only Mac stuff works with our stuff" philosophy...they don't license their stuff out and I'm SUCH a happy camper with that.

But yes, I am not extremely happy with the DRM (don't get me wrong), but it's just that I am totally fine with iTunes purchases only working on iPods.


p.s. After re-reading my post, I thought I might add something if it was confusing. AAC files are based on MP4 technology and MP3's are based on MP1 technology.

The difference between MP1 and MP4 is like the difference between VCD and HD. That's why I don't see the problem with AAC files only working on iPods.

#16 of 41 Thomas Newton

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Posted May 03 2006 - 01:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl
If we give DRM the benefit of the doubt (which I do)

You shouldn't.

It is not acceptable for the Government to quarter soldiers in your house to treat you as a criminal. Nor should it be acceptable for J. Random Company to quarter electronic soldiers in your possessions to treat you as a criminal.

#17 of 41 Bryan X

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Posted May 03 2006 - 02:07 PM

Quote:
I see it like DVD's - Why can't I play a DVD in a VHS deck?

That's an interesting analogy Mark, comparing MP3/ACC to VHS/DVD. The problem with that analogy is that my iPod can play BOTH MP3 and ACC files. I've never seen a DVD player that you can slip either a DVD or a VHS tape in the tray. Nor have I ever seen a VHS player that will accept a DVD.

A better analogy would be VCD/DVD to MP3/ACC-- but most DVD players play VCDs and DVDs.... hmmmm..... Posted Image

Other than picking on your analogy, Mark, I agree with you, and I too have no problem with ACC files only working on iPods. Sure, it would be nice to have more choice regarding iTunes compatible players, but I love my Nano. Posted Image

Besides, if you really want to play your iTunes music on your non-iPod player, it's very easy to do. Sure, you may lose a little quality, but come on, if you are listening to your tunes while running, biking, riding the subway, or whatever, you're going to have a lot of outside noise making a greater impact on your listening than whatever you may have introduced during conversion.

#18 of 41 MarkHastings

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Posted May 03 2006 - 02:36 PM

Yeah, I realize any analogy is never solid, but it was just to make a point about AAC and MP3 being totally different beasts. The problem lies when you start thinking they are the exact same thing because they're both compressed music files.

People are so used to the 'universal-ness' of MP3, that they expect the same from AAC. AAC is not MP3, it's like a proprietary format in a way.
Quote:
It is not acceptable for the Government to quarter soldiers in your house to treat you as a criminal. Nor should it be acceptable for J. Random Company to quarter electronic soldiers in your possessions to treat you as a criminal.
...not only do DVD's have copy protection, they also blast you with forced warnings and finanical threats...yet we are fine enough with that (by buying tons of them).
Quote:
Besides, if you really want to play your iTunes music on your non-iPod player, it's very easy to do. Sure, you may lose a little quality, but come on, if you are listening to your tunes while running, biking, riding the subway, or whatever, you're going to have a lot of outside noise making a greater impact on your listening than whatever you may have introduced during conversion.
Agreed, but I'd also add, if you're really concerned about the slight loss in conversion from AAC -> MP3, then buy the CD instead of going to iTnues.


Darryl, as far as that iTunes gift cetificate being considered 'worthless'...

When iTunes first came out, I had a Creative MP3 player for my PC, but I still bought AAC files from iTunes and converted them into MP3's. My reasoning was:
A) The AAC quality was superior enough that the conversion to MP3 was not unlike converting to MP3 from a CD.
B) The AAC files work on my computer regardless of the MP3 player I have, in fact, you don't even NEED an MP3 player to listen to iTunes purchases.

Being able to upload to only an iPod is a side note. They still work with your computer regardless, so the gift certificate isn't really that useless.

#19 of 41 Kimmo Jaskari

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Posted May 04 2006 - 03:26 AM

AAC is actually a successor format to MP3, not a completely different beast.

AAC is an ISO standard, and the A's stand for Advanced and Audio... not Apple. Apple have cobbled on their C.R.A.P. onto it, but it's not an Apple only format by any stretch of the imagination. Anyone can use AAC and it was clearly meant as a more advanced format to replace MP3.

AAC is just as universal as MP3, and only in the case where Apple has "frankensteined" it together with their so-called FairPlay C.R.A.P. is it not universal.

As an aside, I like that naming. The US Govt is also good at that... they take a law which is designed to put 19-year old kids with handheld cameras in movie theaters in jail for two years and call it something like "The Family Entertainment and Cuddliness Bill".... Posted Image
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#20 of 41 MarkHastings

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Posted May 04 2006 - 04:53 AM

Quote:
AAC is actually a successor format to MP3, not a completely different beast.
Just as MP4 video is the successor to MP2 video. HD-DVD and SD-DVD are really completely different beasts in that regard.
Quote:
AAC is just as universal as MP3, and only in the case where Apple has "frankensteined" it together with their so-called FairPlay C.R.A.P. is it not universal
You know what, I apologize, I completely forgot about something...

The reason Apple is able to use the AAC with DRM is that the DRM comes into play with QuickTime. Since iTunes AAC's are played through QuickTime, it is the QuickTime software that manages the DRM. That's how Apple is able to use DRM with AAC. QuickTime is Apple's product and that's how they can restrict their AAC files to only work with Apple products.

So in that respect, iTunes AAC's are similar to SONY's memory sticks...The internal workings are probably similar to any other flash drive, it's just that SONY puts their own casing around the components and that way they only work with SONY products. You can't use anyone else's flash drives because they don't fit.


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