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Old 24th November 2003, 21:32   #1
ThomasW
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Playing back iTunes Music Store AAC files in Winamp

Hi,

about a month ago I had written a plugin to play back iTMS files in Winamp. While the plugin worked great with unprotected AAC files, it wasn't able to decrypt the iTMS files. It turned out that Quicktime, which I used in order to legally decrypt the music on authorized computers, is really crippled on Windows. That's why support for output plugins, visualizations and the equalizer is not possible. :-(

I was really frustrated because of these limitations (which do NOT exist in Quicktime for Mac OS X, by the way) and decided not to release a plugin at all.
In the last weeks I got some emails from Winamp users asking me to release the plugin in spite of the limitations, so I'll attach it here. I hope some people will find it useful.

If you find bugs or have ideas on how to improve the plugin please post them here. Support for equalizers, visualizations and output plugins, though, isn't possible unless Apple decides to release a version of Quicktime for Windows that's on par with the Macintosh version.

Best regards,

Tom

P.S.: I haven't created an installer, just drop the unzipped file into your Winamp plugins folder.

P.P.S.: While I'm absolutely sure that the plugin won't delete your files or something, I cannot take
any responsibility for any bugs the plugin may contain. ;-)
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File Type: zip in_tunes.zip (16.4 KB, 39490 views)
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Old 25th November 2003, 09:45   #2
ThomasW
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I have now created an installer for the plugin and you should soon be able to find it in the official plugins list on winamp.com.
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Old 25th November 2003, 10:05   #3
DJ Egg
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So, this plugin supports AAC, MP4, M4A and M4P,
except the encrypted M4P files from iTunes are crippled?
(no EQ, DSP/Output plugins, like in_wm) ??

[edit]

ok, I've just tried it out, and it adds M4P support only,
but (tf) I don't have any of these files.
I guess what we need now is for some feedback to know if it works or not.

Cheers

[/edit]
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Old 25th November 2003, 14:13   #4
ThomasW
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DJ Egg: The current plugin is only for M4P files. If you or anybody else is interested in a fully featured AAC,MP4 and M4A plugin that is compatible with the M4A tagging standard used by iTunes (unlike the current AAC Winamp plugin), I could release that, too. The only limitation in that plugin is that it does only read the tags and doesn't write/change them. (The current Winamp SDK is obsolete and all those Metatag functions are not documented at all . I guess that will change as soon as Winamp 5 is finally released.)
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Old 25th November 2003, 14:40   #5
Gonzotek
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Works for me No complaints beyond the already noted limitations .

Good work! I use iTunes to work with my iPod and to purchase music, but it's not so great for casual listening/playback when I want to work with other applications. My system starts to feel sluggish, and I can't hide it in the systray. I've always used winamp for everything other than apple drm'd files and now that's been taken care of too

New sdk will probably come out with final or shortly thereafter; it would be SO AWESOME if you added all the new metadata stuff when it is available.

Thanks!
-=Gonzotek=-

I was away for a while.
But I'm feeling much better now.
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Old 25th November 2003, 14:46   #6
CraigF
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gonzotek
I use iTunes to work with my iPod and to purchase music
mmmm, DRM *droool*

If you're gonna purchase music, why not just order the cd?

(obviously avoiding those with copy protection)

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Old 25th November 2003, 15:16   #7
Gonzotek
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Because:
A) I don't want to wait for the cd to arrive--Instant Gratification.
B) I don't care about album art or inserts
C) I haven't had a standard, standalone cd player in use in around three years
D) The first thing I'd do if I got a cd would be to rip it to a format supported by my iPod (and then likely lose or give the disc away)
E) If I want a disc copy of the "protected" files, it only takes ~5 mins to get one. I realize that it won't be quite as high-quality as the original, but neither would the p2p-download tracks I would have burned instead.

The DRM apple uses has had hardly any negative effect on me. The one complaint I had (regarding drm) has been negated with this plugin. I understand that Apple may change their policies and/or code and make this plugin not work; but hey, the record industry is changing their cd policies and making them not work. So...I use what works for me and am satisfied. I acknowledge the limitations, but the advantages are compelling enough for me to buy anyway. When and if that changes for the worse, I'm certain I'll (once again)re-evaluate my method of obtaining new music.

I was away for a while.
But I'm feeling much better now.
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Old 25th November 2003, 15:24   #8
ThomasW
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Quote:
Originally posted by CraigF
mmmm, DRM *droool*

If you're gonna purchase music, why not just order the cd?

(obviously avoiding those with copy protection)
There are several reasons:

1.) Ordering CDs takes more time and often you have to buy the whole album to get the song you like.
2.) The great thing about iTunes is that you won't notice the copy protection at all if you're on the Mac. Want to open the file with a sound editor? No problem. Want to use the song in other applications (e.g. your DVD creator)? No problem. Want to burn it with another burning application? No problem. Want to use another player? No problem. Want to convert to .WAV for some reason? No problem. You will only ever notice the protection if you are really going to copy the music to more than 3 computers.
3.) More and more CDs are copy-protected. Here in Germany about 95% of all new CDs already have a copy-protection.

But I have to say that if I lived in the US, so that I could still get most CDs without copy protection, and I was a Windows user, I wouldn't buy songs in the iTMS (or in one of the WMA stores), because on Windows, you really notice the copy protection and that's a pity. (That's why I first decided not to release this plugin at all.)

Last edited by ThomasW; 25th November 2003 at 16:00.
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Old 25th November 2003, 18:21   #9
Jstphish
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Quote:
Originally posted by ThomasW
DJ Egg: The current plugin is only for M4P files. If you or anybody else is interested in a fully featured AAC,MP4 and M4A plugin that is compatible with the M4A tagging standard used by iTunes (unlike the current AAC Winamp plugin), I could release that, too. The only limitation in that plugin is that it does only read the tags and doesn't write/change them. (The current Winamp SDK is obsolete and all those Metatag functions are not documented at all . I guess that will change as soon as Winamp 5 is finally released.)
I would love to have that plug-in. If you could provide a download link that would beyond great. Personally, I can't stand how Winamp5 displays .m4a files. It's pretty much one of the reasons I am still using iTunes and not Winamp5. That and I can't import the .xml library list from iTunes to Winamp5. I really don't want to re-rate all 1,500 songs.

Anyway, yeah a download link would be great.
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Old 25th November 2003, 18:27   #10
ThomasW
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jstphish
I would love to have that plug-in. If you could provide a download link that would beyond great. Personally, I can't stand how Winamp5 displays .m4a files. It's pretty much one of the reasons I am still using iTunes and not Winamp5. That and I can't import the .xml library list from iTunes to Winamp5. I really don't want to re-rate all 1,500 songs.

Anyway, yeah a download link would be great.
See this thread Please tell me if the plugin works for you.

Tom
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Old 25th November 2003, 20:50   #11
Jstphish
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Thank you so much. It works perfectly!!! I don't need it to write tags yet because I find iTunes does it much easier and faster anyway. Thanks again!
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Old 26th November 2003, 14:55   #12
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Feature Request:
Add .m4b to your supported file extensions. It's the protected apple/audible audiobook filetype, and it seems to be identical to .m4p. I took copies of some of my *.m4b files and renamed them to *.m4p and your plugin worked fine. The only functional difference in these two types of files that I know of is iTunes and the iPod remember the last position you were at when you pause while listening to an m4b(so you don't have to seek around a long book to get back to your spot). The position might be stored in the iPod/iTunes database, not the file, so if you can't support remembering the paused position via Winamp, I'd understand; but that'd be cool too

Cheers,
-=Gonzotek=-

I was away for a while.
But I'm feeling much better now.
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Old 27th November 2003, 12:53   #13
ThomasW
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gonzotek
Feature Request:
Add .m4b to your supported file extensions. It's the protected apple/audible audiobook filetype, and it seems to be identical to .m4p. I took copies of some of my *.m4b files and renamed them to *.m4p and your plugin worked fine. The only functional difference in these two types of files that I know of is iTunes and the iPod remember the last position you were at when you pause while listening to an m4b(so you don't have to seek around a long book to get back to your spot). The position might be stored in the iPod/iTunes database, not the file, so if you can't support remembering the paused position via Winamp, I'd understand; but that'd be cool too

Cheers,
-=Gonzotek=-
Have you already looked at the modification date of those m4b files? Does it change when you play one?
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Old 27th November 2003, 13:14   #14
Gonzotek
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Just checked, it does not change, they're all dated with the time/date(date modified) I received them. So the pause data is stored in the database then, right? oh well, I can get along without that.

I was away for a while.
But I'm feeling much better now.
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Old 27th November 2003, 14:45   #15
ThomasW
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All right, I'm going to update the plugin (add .m4b as a supported file extension) this evening and will post it here.
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Old 27th November 2003, 17:25   #16
ThomasW
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Here's the updated version with m4b support. It's completely untested ;-)
(I don't have any .m4b's and I cannot buy them yet here in Germany.)
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Old 27th November 2003, 22:39   #17
Gonzotek
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Cool, working perfect so far.

I was away for a while.
But I'm feeling much better now.
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Old 28th November 2003, 04:09   #18
DJ Egg
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a link of interest?
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Old 25th April 2004, 16:15   #19
silv
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Memory leak?

Is there a memory leak in the plugin?

After a few hours of playing mixed mp3/m4p files from a large playlist winamp has ballooned to over 60megs of memory usage.

I appreciate your efforts and greatly enjoy listening to m4p in winamp, just the memory usage is a little out of control =)
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Old 25th April 2004, 16:29   #20
ThomasW
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I'll look into that today or tomorrow.
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Old 27th April 2004, 09:23   #21
ThomasW
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I have too much work to do... :-(
This will have to wait until the weekend.
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Old 27th April 2004, 11:48   #22
inthegray
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Thomas, I really do hope you continue to update this plugin, and fix some of the memory problems people have been experiencing. There was even some mention of the "leakage" on slashdot in this recent discussion.
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Old 28th April 2004, 04:20   #23
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this plugin rocks, would love an update
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Old 2nd May 2004, 13:02   #24
ThomasW
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memory leak fixed

There was indeed a memory leak in the plugin. It's now fixed. I'd be glad if you could try out the new version and tell me if you encounter any problems.
If everything's ok, I'll update the plugin on the official Winamp plugin page tomorrow.

You can find the new plugin here:

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....36#post1344136

Last edited by ThomasW; 2nd May 2004 at 15:18.
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Old 15th May 2005, 21:22   #25
morgan1989
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this may sound stupid but what do I do once the plug-in has been installed?
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Old 6th January 2006, 05:56   #26
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okay i'd love to have shoutcast support with this since most of my music is downloaded via itunes. i'm using winamp 2.95 and shoutcast 1.9.0

there seems to be an error, there's no output from winamp when the winamp output is enabled on shoutcast. if i remove the .dll and restart, its able to play non-protected music fine.

i know this thread is way dead, but if anyone could find a way to rip the itunes music to a playable format or write a little code to help me out, i'd love it.
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Old 25th January 2006, 17:38   #27
Kick FM
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Hi there,

Interesting threat this is. I do have a question.
Since a few days I stream music in AAC+, but MAC users can't listen, because there is no Winamp for MAC.
I've tried listening by iTunes/Quicktime but it won't work.

Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance!

Regards
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Old 25th January 2006, 17:43   #28
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Hmm, although your question has got nothing to do with playing iTMS files in Winamp, VLC is recommended for playing aacPlus on MACs (note, there might be other AAC+ players for MAC available)
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Old 25th January 2006, 17:50   #29
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Okay, I'm sorry...but thank you also!
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Old 3rd February 2006, 01:22   #30
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why can't I find this searching on the plugins site?
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Old 3rd February 2006, 03:13   #31
DJ Egg
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Because it was removed, along with all Real and QT related plugins, to avoid any potential legal issues (and maybe also at the request of Apple, though I'm not entirely sure about that, heh). Alas, these things can happen where any closed/proprietary/protected formats are concerned (ie. your best bet is to simply not use/buy them in the first place) ;-)
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Old 4th February 2006, 14:39   #32
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I'm sorry to say this, but it was pretty silly to remove the plugin from the plugin page. It only used Apple's officially supported APIs that Apple made available to make things like this plugin possible. It has nothing to do with Hymn, it does not break the copy protection and it's not possible to make unprotected copies of M4P files with this plugin. There have never been any requests from Apple to change or withdraw the plugin.

I really don't like it that Apple has crippled their APIs (first on Windows, later on the Mac, too) so that it's not possible to add support for visualizations, DSP plugins etc. to the plugin - in this regard, I agree with DJ Egg.

I do no longer use a Windows PC, so I did not update the plugin for quite some time. I don't even know if it still works. If it doesn't work properly, please post here. If I manage to find the source code, I'll promise to update the plugin.

(Remember to download the latest version from
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....36#post1344136
Don't use the version available in this thread!)
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Old 4th February 2006, 15:21   #33
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Yup, I absolutely agree with you that the plugin should not have been removed.
We did try to plead with the decision maker at the time, but alas, it fell on deaf ears.
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Old 4th February 2006, 15:53   #34
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if Apple did say anything about it it was probably due to the fact that Winamp is obviously not an apple product ... we all know how locked in they like to keep their customers ..If it was a legal issue Apple had I think this forum topic would have been removed as well.
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Old 14th March 2006, 23:52   #35
hans moleman
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Playing back iTunes Music Store (M4P-AAC) files in Winamp

Got a problem, output plugins not working on iTMS songs...
playing through speakers instead of headphones.
Other unprotected songs do play through speakers though.
i am a fan of counterstrike and i use vent so i need music going through 1-piece headphone.
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Old 15th March 2006, 21:48   #36
CraigF
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Please direct your complaints at Apple. Or simply refuse to buy into their bullshit.

We obviously cant help with itunes music store content.

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Old 17th March 2006, 12:35   #37
kjo78
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Great plug

this plugin works great once you install quicktime alternative codec-pack wich can be downloaded at free-codecs.com, it surely plays m4a songs in winamp. Thanks
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Old 18th March 2006, 13:31   #38
CraigF
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Winamp can play m4a files natively. Just not those downloaded from the itunes music store that include DRM (m4p)

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Old 31st July 2006, 08:28   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by CraigF
Winamp can play m4a files natively. Just not those downloaded from the itunes music store that include DRM (m4p)
Hm! U may convert it with this - I'm Napster subscriber, but iTunes has also to be supported!
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Old 3rd September 2006, 10:51   #40
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is it possible to get winamp to see the songinformation from the .m4p files?

it just show the filename from the ipod. like "oysp.m4p"


But it plays the song fine!


How do i get the song information?



//
Daniel
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