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Apple Releases iTunes 4.6 129

Posted by timothy
from the what's-this-itunes-thing dept.
sinclair44 writes "Apple has released iTunes 4.6. The new version 'includes support for playing your music wirelessly using AirPort Express with AirTunes. It also includes a number of other minor enhancements.' The update is also available in Mac OS X's Software Update."
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Apple Releases iTunes 4.6

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  • by bubba451 (779167) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @03:42PM (#9380737)
    These iTunes versions lately seem to be sneaking in unadvertised anti-piracy "features."

    One poster in the macrumors forums claims that songs de-DRMed through Hymn no longer play [macrumors.com].

    Can anyone verify?

    • by platypussrex (594064) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @03:56PM (#9380938)
      Have not used Hymn so can't verify, but another poster on the same thread claims to be playing de-DRMed songs just fine in 4.6
    • by boysimple (188175) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @04:08PM (#9381075) Homepage
      My hymn-ed songs do not play. They say :

      This computer is not authorized to play "I Woke Up Screaming"
      This song was originally purchased using the account "myaccountname@mac.com"

      So they do seem to be checking something. And calling out those who share hymn-ed files. Not sure how the macrumors fellow is getting his to play....
      --
      • by austad (22163) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @04:14PM (#9381121) Homepage
        They are probably checking for the non-standard id3 tag info which lists the account it was purchased under. The old version of Hymn didn't put that in, but the new one does.

        The people still able to play are probably playing files de-drm'd with the older version. If you grab the new version of Hymn, just try ripping out the portion of code that inserts that tag in the new file and I bet it will work just fine.

        I've purchased much more music since Hymn came out because now I can play it on my linux box at work without having to burn cd's or do a lossy->lossy conversion.
        • Um, what exact portion of the code puts it back in? I'm not a hardcore coder, and don't really want to futz around and screw it all up.

          also, since hymn says it can't extract the DRM key, it appears it isn't even accessing the information about the user who purchased the song

        • by Abjifyicious (696433) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @05:54PM (#9382078)
          I can confirm this. I have some songs where I stripped the DRM with an older version of Hymn, and they work fine. Songs that I stripped with the newer version of Hymn however, don't work.

          I'm not quite sure why Apple did this. The reason the new version of Hymn leaves all the tags in is to discourage piracy, but I imagine the next version will probably revert to stripping all tags out. It seems like Apple is not only going to be pissing off a lot of people by doing this, but they're also going to be making piracy easier in the long term.

          • by platypussrex (594064) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @06:01PM (#9382134)
            I'm not quite sure why Apple did this.

            My guess is that in order to keep the RIAA happy, Apple has to "fix" FairPlay anytime a drm-breaking scheme comes up. No matter that what you said makes perfect sense, you have to remember we are talking RIAA here, and making sense doesn't seem to be in their playbook.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Simply run the HYMN de-DRM'd files through a tag remover such as tgutf, and "poof!"... you're good to go. Of course, you'll have to add whatever tags you use back into the file, but at least iTunes will now play them.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        DeDRMS 0.3 [nanocrew.net]

        If you're having trouble playing your legally bought music, you might want to try this command:

        find ~/Music -iname '*.m4p' -exec perl -pi -e 'BEGIN{$b=0}if(!$b){if(s/geID\x00\x00/DIeg\x00\x00 /){$b=1}}' {} ";"

        If iTunes plays your fixed files but won't transfer them to your iPod, delete the entries from your iTunes library and then readd the files.

        MD5(DeDRMS-0.3.tar.gz) = 9a3fe1940771e8b55fdf1f77d019bd8d

    • Verified on Windows XP.
    • Interestingly, if you open the file in Quicktime, you can export and "pass through" the data to an mp4 file which iTunes will play without complaint.

      If anything, this will just discourage Hymn from leaving information in the files which identifies them.

      Blibbler
      • as an addendum, with the changes to the limitations intrudoced with iTunes 4.5, (allowing 5 computers) there really is little legitimate reason to use Hymn to play music on extra iTunes... on the other hand, the arguably legitimate uses for Hymn, to play the aac tracks on devices other than an iPod and iTunes, they will continue to be able to play the Hymned tracks.

        Blibbler
        • There is plenty of reason to still use hymn. The iTMS terms of service give Apple the right to change the rules as to how you can use the music you have purchased, at any time, for any reason, and you have no recourse. How safe would you feel if Apple stopped being just a flack for the record companies and was bought by a record company? That record company could decide that you ought to start paying a subscription fee in order to continue to access your music... and according the terms of service you ag
    • by Otto (17870) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @10:39PM (#9383737) Homepage Journal
      Temporary fix:
      Open the Hymn'ed song in a hex editor.. Look for "geID" or something with "ID" as the last two characters there. I'm not sure if it's always the same or not. Anyway, change this to "xxID" and save it. Then try the file in iTunes again.

      Or wait for a new Hymn to remove the ID entirely.

      Or just don't install 4.6. It doesn't add a whole heck of a lot of functionality except for compatibility with that new wireless access point/stereo output thing they've got coming out.

      Frankly, this was an *extremely* stupid move by Apple. What's the point? Look, people can crack the DRM, okay. But the programs tried to be nice by leaving the ID in there. The point was to enable fair use, not to enable file sharing. By leaving the ID in there, it makes it extremely easy to figure out who illegally shared their purchased music. People using it for fair use purposes wouldn't be sharing the music, and so they have no worries about the ID being there or not.

      This "fix" by Apple just makes it HARDER for them to actually catch anybody sharing music. Because now a new version will be created to remove the ID as well, and thus make files that are indistinguishable from normally ripped and encoded ones. Now somebody shares music, and there's no way to track them down. How STUPID can Apple be? Seriously? This is just freakin' preposterous.
      • by MoneyT (548795) on Thursday June 10, 2004 @02:47PM (#9390532) Journal
        Frankly, this was an *extremely* stupid move by Apple. What's the point?

        Good relations with the RIAA. iTMS dies without the RIAA. Period, end of story. If Apple doesn't at least play by a basic set of rules, the RIAA will roll up and move to another service even more restrictive and iTMS dies.

        So which would you rather? Having to remove a tag, or having no iTMS to begin with?
        • So which would you rather? Having to remove a tag, or having no iTMS to begin with?

          Frankly, I don't give a shit whether the iTMS is there or not. If they don't want to sell music to me online, then I'll simply get it from P2P systems like I did before.

          Here's the deal. The RIAA has no leverage power. Yes, they have the music, but I, the customer, have the cash. If they don't want to sell to me, fuck 'em. I'll obtain my music some other way. If they try to make a more restrictive service, fuck 'em, I'll ei
      • I was quite relieved to see this move on Apple's part. It's not in *their* best interests but it's certainly in the best interests of hymn users because it will force them to remove the ID tag. The notion of leaving the ID in the hymn'ed file was foolish and reckless -- a horrible disservice. If you had a hymn'ed file in your library and had enabled iTunes sharing then somebody could use something like Leechster to copy that file without your consent. If that person then shared the file to Kazaa or what
        • People would only be able to copy your songs on the local subnet though. I can see how this is some kind of problem in a dorm or something, but for most people it's not a huge issue.
          • It's a problem for anybody who uses iTunes sharing on a network where they don't control all of the machines on the local subnet. (This, by the way, is the situation where iTunes sharing becomes most interesting -- it's fun to find out what random people listen to!) This might not include "most people" but it's a lot of people, students in particular, and it's pretty nasty to put them in legal jeopardy just because they want to exercise their fair use rights.
    • MP3s still work fine (Score:3, Informative)

      by Vandil X (636030)
      I still say the best way to de-DRM iTunes purchases is to burn then to an Audio CD-RW, then rip back as MP3s. Grab the album art from WalMart.com and you're all set.
      • I still say the best way to de-DRM iTunes purchases is to burn then to an Audio CD-RW, then rip back as MP3s. Grab the album art from WalMart.com and you're all set.

        Hmmm ...

        If you don't notice the significant audio degredation from decoding a lossy format and then re-encoding with a different lossy format

        ... and if you don't mind spending all the time to burn those CDs

        ... not to mention wasting all that money and plastic

        ... and re-typing all of the track metadata when you rip from your custom-burne

        • Audio degradation is insignificant if you rip back at a high bit rate.

          Hardly any time is wasted. CD-RW's can be burned and ripped while you're doing something else.

          No plastic is wasted, CD-RW's are reusable, supposedly thousands of times.

          The metadata (song title, album title, genre, etc.) isn't lost in the burn/re-rip cycle. iTunes stores the data on the CD somehow.

          • Audio degradation is insignificant if you rip back at a high bit rate.

            OK, if you don't mind using two or three times more disk space.

            Hardly any time is wasted. CD-RW's can be burned and ripped while you're doing something else.

            Also a good point, although the time is certainly > 0. You have to arrange the songs into disk-length sets, unwrap the CD, insert the CD, etc.

            No plastic is wasted, CD-RW's are reusable, supposedly thousands of times.

            CD-RWs are a good idea. I gave up on them after I had se
    • As some others have postulated, it does seem that tracks 'cleaned' with the old version of hYmn (playfair), do still playback fine.
      Tracks processed with recent versions of hYmn don't play, and display a message saying the machine isn't authorized to play the track, even though the original track is authorized to play on that machine, and the original track continues to play fine.
      Considering that the hex edit hack offered in another post here works, it seems that the file is just looking for that non standar
  • Is there any word on what other changes have been made? Aside from AirTunes, everything else on their site matches the 4.5 feature set. Plus, it was a previous 'minor enhancement' that changed the licensing terms of already-purchased music via the iTMS (to the significant apprehension of many people).
    • by iguanarama (612171) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @03:57PM (#9380955)
      I'd place good money on there being changes that support the upcoming UK/European version of iTMS rumoured to be announced next week.
    • by jadriaen (560723) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @04:09PM (#9381086) Homepage
      Plus, it was a previous 'minor enhancement' that changed the licensing terms of already-purchased music via the iTMS (to the significant apprehension of many people).

      It might be interesting to note that the changes in the licensing terms are only for the newly bought songs in 4.5, i.e. for the songs you already purchased before upgrading to 4.5, the old terms still apply.

      That aside, nothing changes in the licensing terms from iTunes 4.5 to 4.6.

      • It might be interesting to note that the changes in the licensing terms are only for the newly bought songs in 4.5, i.e. for the songs you already purchased before upgrading to 4.5, the old terms still apply.

        So long as you continued to use the old version. If you upgraded to 4.5, the new restrictions apply to all songs purchased.
  • Another Change? (Score:5, Informative)

    by platypussrex (594064) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @03:51PM (#9380866)
    They are also reporting over on the Apple Discussions that the problems with sharing large (somewhere over 50 gig) libraries has been fixed.
    • Re:Another Change? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @04:15PM (#9381140)
      The mark was under 50 GB; I'm not sure where it was, but it was related to the number of tracks, not the size of the library. When iTunes 4.5 came out, my library on my home machine was 42 GB and 11,000+ tracks. I had the problem.

      And yeah, I can confirm that 4.6 has fixed it.
    • Re:Another Change? (Score:3, Informative)

      by seedman (609436)
      I can confirm that iTunes does in fact fix the 6000+ track bug with sharing. Also, it appears that only the machine hosting the library has to be updated to fix the bug.

      In my own testing, I found that connecting to a iTunes 4.6 shared song library of 13000+ tracks over my 100mb LAN from a machine running iTunes 4.5 or 4.6 takes about 10 seconds. Connecting to the same shared library over standard (11mb) Airport takes about 13 seconds.
    • 700GB Library (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by meehawl (73285)
      My library is 700GB+ and Media Center [musicex.com] doesn't even break a sweat.
  • AirTunes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wedding (618458) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @04:01PM (#9381001)
    I'm curious to see how AirTunes works with multiple speaker sets. If I can pump the same playlist to the stereo in my front room, my bedroom, my living room and the one outside, then Apple has just sold 4 Airport Express boxes. The cost of four will be much less than the cost (dollars+personal time) of running all that wiring and getting the speaker sets to all work well.

    Can't wait to get my hands on this tonight!
    • Re:AirTunes (Score:3, Informative)

      by platypussrex (594064)
      From what I've read you'll be able to stream to each of them, but not at the same time. If what I've read is correct then the audio output will only be sent one place at a time... which includes the host computer, so if you stream to a stereo, you won't have speakers working on the computer at that time.
      • Re:AirTunes (Score:2, Informative)

        by wedding (618458)
        That's the way I read it as well, but I was (am) hoping to see an option for multiple sets. The ability to pump to multiple room sets would make it considerably more valuable to me.

        As it is now, I probably won't buy one. I've got an iPod with a dock wired to the MD input on my stereo. Not much improvement to have to walk back to the iMac just to switch playlists. No, I haven't forgotten the wireless components, it's just not quite what I need.
    • From what I can tell, you can, but only one at a time. You pick the set from a drop down in iTunes.
    • Re:AirTunes (Score:5, Informative)

      by phatsharpie (674132) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @05:32PM (#9381906)
      No, AirPort Express only allows you to broadcast on one set of speakers (one AirPort Express station). AirPort Express can broadcast any audio out from iTunes. It works by compressing whatever audio is coming from iTunes using the Apple Lossless Codec and sends it to the station where the "stream" is decompressed, thus no audio degradation is incurred.

      Here are some explanation:

      http://homepage.mac.com/craigamiller/iblog/C6726 60 861/E1786577583/

      -B
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, 2004 @02:53AM (#9384728)
        In case you haven't noticed it, the new iTunes has support for trailers [apple.com], an although this is just a small departure from their current feature set, I bet they are just fine tuning the backend technology to support a full video on-demand service. In a few months, you'll be using iTunes to buy a movie for $9.99 and stream it to your Airport Express II to watch it in your own home theatre. I can't wait.
        Originally posted here [blogspot.com].
        • Mod parent up!

          That's pretty insightful --

          An AirPort Express with a composite video out for connection to a TV would be a stroke of genius. :-)
        • Karaoke! To me it would be awesome if you could turn the music you bouth from iTMS into karoke(ie have 2 seperate tracks when you d/l, a normal AAC track and a track with no audio and some type of lyrics file. You could assign a video to the song or just use the visualizer in iTunes to stream to your tv. It would be a lot of fun, plus I would be that people would probably buy more music when they are drunk and high on karaoke!
    • Check out the squeezebox with it's synchronize feature. You can put a wireless box, a set of powered speakers in a remote room. It can be synched to play the same music as another room. It's more money than AirTunes but the features of the squeezebox are kick ass. It's totally changed the way I listen to my music.
    • Re:Good news (Score:5, Informative)

      by platypussrex (594064) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @10:04PM (#9383567)
      Just read a post on the Apple Support forums from an Apple Employee who says that it will be possible to send different streams to different AE boxes under Panther by starting multiple instances of iTunes under fast user switching and letting each one stream to a seperate box (assuming your bandwidth can take it). Sounds pretty cool to me.
      • You may be able to control all of those streams using this hint: http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20040 60806111322

        Basically set up a playlist, play it as your multiple users, and control it with one final user (adding/deleting tracks).
      • In theory couldn't you do it by duplicating the iTunes program and starting seperate instances in teh same account?
      • by o-hayo (700478)
        Last time I tried to fast-user-switch iTunes wouldn't run, claiming "Another user is running iTunes, please ask them to close it" or something similar to that. Is that still true or did some update sneak in multi-user iTunes support without me noticing =(
    • Re:AirTunes (Score:2, Insightful)

      by illogic (52099)
      The easiest way to accomplish this is analog: just hook up a wireless speaker system to your computer, then put receivers in each room. Last time I checked 900MHz was a popular frequency, but there might be 2.4GHz models available by now. Google found this... [amphony.com]
  • What the other 'minor changes' are?
  • Oh great, iTunes 4.6 is out, but now Apple are having problems fulfilling orders for the Airport Express units that make use of the new features. I ordered 2 on Monday (from the UK Apple Store) with an estimated ship time of 3 days. Received an email this morning telling me that it's going to be mid-July before they will be available.

    Anyone know a reason why? Too many orders? Problems with the unit? Announced too early?

  • by nickovs (115935) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @06:24PM (#9382313)
    I look forward to having an AirPort Express to try this with, not so much to play music directly as to have a chance to reverse engineer the broadcast protocol. Apple don't seem to have published much about the protocol to be used to send music from a Mac to the Express but I can imagine that lots of people are looking forward to buying a number of the AirPort Express hardware units for distributing audio and there is almost certainly another set of people who want to know how to use iTunes 4.6 to stream audio to other computers.
  • by crazney (194622) on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @06:44PM (#9382450) Homepage Journal
    So I've just checked iTunes 4.6 and it appears to NOT break iTunes sharing, unlike last time [slashdot.org].

    I've updated my iTunes webpage [craz.net] to mention this.

    Anyhow, one really cool feature that it seems to add for that AirTunes stuff is the ability to 'push' music upwards, rather than just pull down. This will allow one to control remote devices (what music is playing). Now I just can't wait to get my hands on an (Australian) AirPort Express [apple.com.au] device to reverse it. I can already think of a tonne of applications for this.
  • by foidulus (743482) * on Wednesday June 09, 2004 @07:02PM (#9382551)
    would be the ability to press a button in any app and have the track change(well, kind of how the volume up/volume down/brightness up/down works on the iBook), provided the app currently being used doesn't use the button. I know you can re-map keys, and you can script iTunes rather easily via applescript, but is there a way to associate a key with an applescript? Could save a lot of time flipping through windows.
    • You should easily be able to do this. You can map some (maybe all) of the function keys to do anything you want. So, you could conceivably write an AppleScript to do what you wanted and then map the function key to it.
    • Butler does this (actually, it is a 2 key combination). There are also apps that allow you to assign keys to scripts if you want to code your own. Check out macosxhints.com for tons of information on Butler (including a handy config guide!) and assigning keys.
    • In classic, I mapped several of my F keys to iTunes-controlling applescripts (plenty out there to download). I'm assuming X would work in much the same way.

      On a side note, where's the goodies for the Windows version? Where's the visualizations, scripts, add-ons and plugins? Come on, It's been out for over 6 months now!

    • I recommend Synergy [wincent.com].

      It works very well and is cool looking to boot
    • Get your hands on a bluetooth enabled cellphone like the Sony Ericsson line and you can use Salling Clicker [salling.com] to change the iTunes album, song, volume, and most other things too. It will pause iTunes when you receive or make a call and can be set up to pause when the bluetooth device is out of proximity (ie when you leave). Comes with plenty of default scripts and is extensible with AppleScript. Seems like the prefect combination of devices
  • That all I want. To go from one track to the next seamlessly. Is it that hard? I swear I had a version of MacAmp back when I was running OS9 that did it.

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