Does Sonos support music purchased through Itunes?

  • 25 October 2005
  • 8 replies
  • 1329 views

Userlevel 2
Does Sonos support music purchased through Itunes?

Regards,

Wyatt

8 replies

Userlevel 2
Not directly. Apple doesn't make money off of selling songs via iTunes. The iTunes store only exists to promote the use of iPod music players. Therefore, Apple won't license other music players to be able to play the music files they sell, which are protected with a DRM scheme (Fairplay, my ***).

You can, of course, burn your songs to a CD and then rip them back onto iTunes in an unprotected format (which Sonos will be able to play), but this is a big hassle and also entails taking an already lossy format and stripping out even more bits (not a great idea, in my view). There are also some, ahem, "extra-legal" solutions that you might find if you poke around a bit on google.
Userlevel 2
*cough*

www.allofmp3.com

*cough*
Userlevel 2
I'm really only comfortable legally buying music. All I meant was that, since Apple refuses to license their DRM to permit music buyers to play tracks on whatever equipment they wish, then I've heard there are ways of disabling the DRM on tracks that you've purchased. I've also read that doing so violates the terms of the contract you have with iTunes, or some such thing.

Apple really needs to figure this out. Although I prefer to buy CDs and rip to FLAC in most instances, I do like their service for downloading the occassional hit song--I just don't think it's right that I have to listen to it via an iPod all the time.
AllofMP3 is supposed to be legal. Do you have any real information that it is not?
Userlevel 2
Didn't mean to imply that it wasn't--never heard of it in fact--just thought my last post might have been confusing. But I checked it out, and it seems to me that there's a pretty good shot that it isn't entirely legit.

Here's a link to an article from the Wall Street Journal that touches on the subject. Sounds to me like the site is buying CDs, ripping them, and offering the music for sale. They say they're paying license fees to a Russian outfit, but it's not clear that outfit has the authority to actually license the rights. I don't really know if it's legal or not, but I have to wonder given that you can buy most CD's for $1.50 or so on the site. I would have to imagine that someone's not getting paid for their work at those prices.

On the other hand, maybe they've found a perfectly legal loophole in the way the big music firms license their products in Russia, and are merely exploiting it. Got me.

Best, BB
The big legal issue around AllofMP3 seems to be almost exclusively around whether the licence they use to support their service is valid or not.

It seems under Russian law, it is not legal to be exclusive about licences. If a licence is available to one party then it is available, by default, to all and it is this that allofmp3 claim to be using.

The record industry don't like this because they would like to closely control how, where, and when you get access to music. It seems this requirement isn't compatible with Russian law.

They claim they pay fair royalties and, to date, there have been no serious claims that they are not paying their way. Unfortunately the ROMS site is in Russian, so it's difficult to judge this.

A lot of people automatically asume the worst because a) they are Russian and b0 they are cheap.

However, they are actually more expensive than some other legal services, such as Yahoo! Unlimited ($5 per month for all you can listen to!).

Bear in mind, also, that the price you pay depends heavily on the quality of the music. $1.50 is very cheap, yes but get it at full CD quality and you'll normally be paying $5-7. Some double-albums are over $20.

In my view the record industry have been spreading FUD about this lot. If any of the innuendos were true they would have been shut down by now.

It seems to me that the thing that riles the record industry most is that people are getting high-quality music, unencumbered with DRM, for reasonable prices.

Historically, this industry has carefully controlled technology advances and the market to offer the same product at less quality (or lower cost of production) but at increased prices. CDs and iTunes Store being prime examples of where we, as consumers, pay more money for less product.
Bear in mind that very little, if any, of this greatly increased profit margin makes it back to the artists and writers.

Allofmp3 breaks this pattern, and the record industry don't like it.

Cheers,

Keith
Userlevel 2
sorry to get so far afield from our original topic.

Thank you for the info, Keith. I, too, think the record industry is guilty of egregiously overcharging for their output, and of underpaying artists (paying $10 for what amount to a seriously restricted, lossy format CD from iTunes takes the cake). And allofmp3.com certainly is tempting (One can download flac files w/no DRM!!) On the other hand, if artists are underpaid at inflated US/UK prices, I have a hard time believing they're getting any money at all from the sales of their work at sites that cahrge as little as allofmp3.com. Again, I don't know for sure, just speculating.

Here's an interesting article on why the Russian gov't decided not to prosecute the site's owners. It provides some additional details on the limitations of Russian copyright law.

Best,
BB
Userlevel 2
Not only is it easy to strip the DRM off iTunes purchased music, but SONOS also supports Rhapsody, which is similar to iTunes. Instead of paying $.99 per song, you can pay like $10 per month and stream unlimited audio from Rhapsody. This gives you the same control as if you were to download the music, but it's streaming audio (you can FF, RW, Pause etc). For such a cheap subscription, it's probably easier to bypass iTunes completely.

Reply