Apple is going to kill music downloads. What's the best way to prepare?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by DUCKofD3ATH, May 11, 2016.

  1. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Universe 0 Timeline
    #1
    According to this article on MacRumors:

    Apple allegedly has an aggressive plan to "terminate" music downloads from iTunes within two years, reports Digital Music News citing sources with "close and active business relationships" with Apple.
    If Apple's going to stop music downloads in favor of streaming, they may decide to drop support for downloaded music entirely.

    I'd be shocked if they did such a thing, but then I never thought they'd stop selling downloaded music.

    I have a large library of music in iTunes (about 60,000 tracks), almost 40,000 of which are 256-kbps AAC format files. I'm considering the best way to convert those tracks to MP3 or FLAC or whatever format will result in the best quality given the source. Any suggestions on how to do that?
     
  2. rgarjr macrumors 603

    rgarjr

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Southern Cal
  3. DUCKofD3ATH thread starter Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Universe 0 Timeline
    #3
    That doesn't seem to make sense. Yes, when you convert lossy to lossless you'll still have a file that started out as a lossy format. But there won't have been additional loss incurred by converting to a lossless format, right? It's not like I'd be converting an AAC format to MP3.
     
  4. Brad9893 macrumors 6502

    Brad9893

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2010
    Location:
    Hiding Under the Genius Bar
    #4
    Apple has responded and said that this is not true. Even if they didn't come out and say this though, why would you begin converting over 40k songs just because of a sketchy rumor?
     
  5. DUCKofD3ATH thread starter Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Universe 0 Timeline
    #5
    Apple said it's not true they'll stop selling music downloads in two years. The rep refused to expand on his comment besides saying it's not true. He most specifically did not say they won't stop selling music downloads.

    So they could stop selling downloads in two years and one day.

    As for converting my files because of a rumor: I'm not. I said I'm considering how to do it so I'm prepared if it happens.
     
  6. mw360 macrumors 65816

    mw360

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #6
    He said the 3-4 year timeline isn't true either. So you have at least 4 years to do... nothing. Why would you convert the files at all? AAC is a popular standard. Converting to another lossy format will make the quality worse and a lossless format will increase the file size for no benefit. So what are you trying to do?
     
  7. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #7
    Yeah, well, Apple said nothing specifically about the upcoming Macs which means that there's a chance that Macs are going to disappear in 2 years so I better switch to Windows now. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #8
    I wouldn't worry about it because they're using the same authorization method throughout all their content and they have it setup to deal with stuff that isn't in the store anymore already.
     
  9. DUCKofD3ATH thread starter Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Universe 0 Timeline
    #9
    Exactly what I said: considering what to do. If I had the answers I wouldn't be asking.
    --- Post Merged, May 12, 2016 ---
    Thanks for your help, your snark is appreciated.
    --- Post Merged, May 12, 2016 ---
    Not clear on what you mean exactly. But authorization is not something I'd even thought about. Definitely a point to add to the "convert to open format" side of the ledger.
     
  10. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #10
    The best quality given the source would be to leave them in 256 kbps AAC. No transcoding issues changing to another lossy format, no giant file size for no benefit moving to a lossless format.
    --- Post Merged, May 12, 2016 ---
    Music sold on the iTunes Store is an open format. It isn't protected any more, doesn't require authorization. Videos still do, as do iOS apps, books, and audiobooks, but not music. You can take the file downloaded from the iTunes Music Store, copy it to a flash drive, and play it on another machine without authorization. (Or even on a completely unsupported-by-Apple device, like a Linux machine.)
     
  11. DUCKofD3ATH thread starter Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Universe 0 Timeline
    #11
    Really helpful, thanks!
     
  12. seanrt macrumors member

    seanrt

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    All you do is open the song in the finder, right click and select duplicate. You get an exact copy. No loss.
     
  13. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #13
    If Apple pulls a stupid move, I simply just refuse to upgrade past the point of the update. I'm running older operating systems and Apple devices just fine without being on the latest version of anything, really.
     
  14. decafjava macrumors 68000

    decafjava

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Geneva
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #15
    AAC is a standard format. The A's stand for "Advanced" and "Audio", not Apple. You could also call AAC mp4, because that's what it is. Its' the Audio Standard that is used for DVDs, Blu-Ray and many other applications.

    Should Apple go stupid and not support AAC, then it will take maybe a week for a new music player to arrive.

    That's what amused me about record companies being afraid of downloaders. Plug an external hard drive in my Mac (or a 128 GB flash drive), click on the Music folder, drag it on the external drive or flash drive, ...
     
  16. Belgique macrumors member

    Belgique

    Joined:
    May 6, 2016
    Location:
    Ocala, Floridah
    #16
    Don't worry, Trump said he will make Itunes Great Again.
     
  17. pika2000 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #17
    Is this an issue? Apple can close iTunes store tomorrow for all I care, and my music will be fine. They are non-DRM, standard AAC files, and they are on my hard drive. I don't see what's the big deal. Apple devices will still support AAC.

    Let's say worst scenario, Eddie Cue became CEO of Apple and went insane and forced iDevices to only use Apple music. Again, all my non-DRM tracks are on my hard-drive. I just grab a cheap Android phone, put a 64GB SD card in it, copy my music, and off I go.
     
  18. Tunster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    #18
    Like MP3, AAC is here to stay. It's supported by many devices and will do going forward in the future.

    No need to convert. Unless another service comes along and gives you a FLAC/WAV replacement for nothing, just keep them backed up. Spend the money on keeping those tracks safe!
     
  19. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #19
    Rgarjr is correct - a good analogy is a juicy triple decker sandwich (of your choice) - you can't take it and squish it down to 1 layer and expect to pump it back up to that triple decker and be the same. Now if you had a full FLAC file to begin with, you can convert to any lesser format and be ok (but you still couldn't take a lesser file and convert back to flac and expect it to be the same).

    Meant with no snarkiness or sarcasm....just trying to help explain.
     
  20. Zedcars macrumors 6502

    Zedcars

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Brighton, UK
    #20
    Well, actually I think they are both correct but they may have misunderstood each other.

    It is perfectly possible to take a lossy format and turn it into a lossless format. Of course, the sound quality has not improved whatsoever - it still sounds the same. All you are doing here is changing the format.

    If you do this with the expectation that it will somehow magically bring back the lost bits from the original lossless to lossy conversion then you would obviously be mistaken. But I think DUCKofD3ATH understands this.
     
  21. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #21

    This post shows that you completely misunderstand what's going on. But that's okay, you aren't required to know these things to use Apple Music (or any platform for that matter). What's important is that you learn so that you don't freak out, and make the quality of your music library suffer over that freakout.

    First off, even if your worst-case scenario comes out to be true, and Apple stops selling downloaded music, then your best decision would be to do... nothing. AAC is not an Apple-specific format, nor is it Apple-owned. You can play AAC files in VLC, on Android devices, all of the media player apps in the App Store and even not on the App Store, or even Windows Media Player (current versions, if you're on Windows XP still, then you need to get to a modern OS now). So, even if Apple "drops support for downloaded music entirely," then all you have to do is take those files into any modern media player of your choice, and play them. No conversion is required at all.

    Here's something else to consider: Apple Music's streaming format is the same AAC format as downloaded music. The only difference is that there is DRM embedded into the streaming versions of the songs, and the software jumps through some extra hoops to make sure the streamed audio is more difficult to save as a permanent local file. This is why it's extremely unlikely that Apple would purposefully refuse to support the playback of downloaded music on its platform.

    Bottom line: there is no technical reason for Apple to change what they support, so when Apple denies that they aren't stopping music downloads, it's a safe bet to believe them. And even if turns out to be a bald-faced lie, you can still take the music you've downloaded and play it on another piece of software or even a different OS, with no conversion required.

    Freaking out and converting your AAC files over this is a lot like freaking out and converting your MP3 files because Napster is no longer a thing. The conversion isn't necessary, and doesn't benefit you in any way.
     
  22. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #22
    Apple makes iTunes grate again and again :-(
     
  23. Presston151 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2016
    #23
    --- Post Merged, Jun 4, 2016 ---
    The loss has already occurred when the process went from analog to digital due to the 256 sampling rate. Once you have the 256 bit rate audio file, it will not diminish in audio quality going further. No matter how much you use the file. Saving it as a FLAC is unnecessary. You are not accomplishing anything. The damage has already been done.
     
  24. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #24
    Exactly. Considering how poor the production values are in a fair lot of popular music now, reaction to this rumor is a tempest in a teapot anyway. But I hope the rumor is nonsense. I sometimes still prefer to buy stuff rather than just stream it or make it available "temporarily" via Apple Music subscription. For the most part I don't bother with CDs now for pop music. Making a lossless version of less than stellar engineering doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
     

Share This Page