vAutomation/CQC does support iTunes, but due to the iTunes' architecture, there are some very severe restrictions that one needs to be aware of. There are no "clean workarounds" unless the end user is technically savvy. Please read these FAQs thoroughly BEFORE posting any new questions:
Restriction 1. iTunes' metadata for music is stored on a specific database on the PC it was purchased on, not on the individual files themselves. Metadata is not tagged on the songs themselves.
Restriction 2. DRM-protected iTunes cannot be played on ANY PC other than the PC that it was originally authorized to play on.
A. Can I play DRM protected music via vAutomation/CQC?
Yes, with restriction 2, you must have the specifically authorized PC be left on all of the time, and it must be integrated with the multiroom audio system. If that PC is down/turned off, music will no longer be available, and an error will result on vAuto/CQC when usage is attempted. Furthermore, if the PC is eventually replaced, a not insignificant amount of programming will need to be done to support yet another PC instead.
B. Instead of playing the DRM'd music from the authorized PC, can I just upload the iTunes music from the PC onto the server, and then authorize the server?
Yes, but the upload is not a simple drag-n-drop / copy-n-paste. A technically savvy user ("power user") must be given access to the VidaBox server, the "power user" then must log on, start iTunes, and then manually import the music into the server's iTunes library.
iTunes DOES NOT auto-authorize songs that are "Drag-n-drop / copy-n-paste" into its music folder.
iTunes MUST be run, and have the music be manually imported.
C. What if I have non-DRM'd music (iTunes+ / iTunes Plus)? Can I just upload the iTunes music from the PC onto the server directly (So that I don't have to leave my PC on all the time?)
Yes - but there is no cover art (restriction 1).
The cover art, metadata, etc. is still stored on the original PC it was purchased on.
D. Is there a way to get around the metadata/cover art issue?
Can I somehow tag the covers and info onto the individual songs?
There are third-party applications for this, but none of them have been found to be fully consistent or foolproof in their operation. Furthermore, when new music is purchased, these applications must be run again. This can be a nuisance, as:
- these applications are not easy, "double-click" programs, and is only recommended for technically savvy users.
- after it's run, the entire library (all songs) is scanned & updated. For large libraries, this operation can take 1/2 a day or longer.
E. Can I have multiple iTunes libraries be made available on CQC/vAutomation?
Yes, but be aware of all of the restrictions above. It will be the job of the integrator to make the necessary programming adjustments and train users to work around the restrictions above.
The best workaround is to simply convert ALL of the iTunes music into an openly supported format, such as MP3. Then, all of these issues will go away since iTUnes is no longer being interacted with.
A tool like Tunebite can legally convert iTunes protected/formatted music into MP3, tag the music with appropriate cover art, metadata, etc.
However, this solution may still only be proper for technically savvy users, as there are a number of steps to be followed.
Please visit TuneBite's site at: http://tunebite.com/
for more information.
The best long term solution is customer education. Beyond installation & service, it's important for integrators to teach their customers about the products they buy into.
For music, the easiest thing to do is to purchase from MP3-friendly sites like amazon.com
, or just purchase physical CDs and archive them for the most seamless, easy experience!