Cars, USB, iTunes, DRM, OUCH!!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bogart, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. bogart macrumors member

    Mar 31, 2008
    Dunno where to post this to get sensible suggestions and to be helpful to others - by all means tell me where.

    Problem: I *wanted* a car with a jackplug socket on the radio to play my ipod touch on - I reasoned that would be a stable interface for the foreseeable future. But the car I got is a fiat and has a silly USB interface designed for Microsoft mp3 players (as if anyone ever heard of such a thing ...). Had to pay another 70 quid for an adapter to make apple kit work with it. This worked well until iOS 5 when it stopped working. No fix in sight, I doubt if Fiat will ever fix it (the later cars have hardware that works directly with iphones and stuff without the adapter - hey they noticed ;-) ).

    Having fiddled for ages I've given up trying to get it working with my iTouch with iOS 5 and have been looking at what some people suggested - copying music onto a USB stick. That would work - it can play MP3's on usb sticks except for (drum-roll) DRM. They get you at every turn don't they.

    Right, so my podcasts are in mp3, no problem. Some music is m4a - I haven't converted it but I believe conversion is easy. The problem is the m4p's which are encrypted. I am told the only legal way to convert m4p's to mp3's is to burn them to a cd, set the itunes import format to mp3 then import them. Well it kinda works .. but in the process they lose their metadata and become just plain numbered files - pretty unusable unless you really *do* want "random" music (you cannot know what's in the tin until you open it) which I don't. So now I'm stuck. I have 114 songs/movements/whatever in m4p - too many to laboriously transfer a few at a time and put the Metadata back by hand.

    Any suggestions for a way to handle this ? Advice out there is to put the songs in a playlist then burn that - I have them in a playlist. So I'm thinking that with a bit of clever manipulation of xml somewhere I might be able to mechanically put the Metadata back. I have cloned versions of the OS so don't have to worry too much about screwing up my itunes data.

    Apple, if you are reading I would say two things:

    1. This is an excellent example of why control of all aspects of development are needed - the *real* solution to this depends on Apple AND Fiat getting in step, which is never going to happen - particularly when one side (FIAT) will not benefit from fixing up their software for iOS 5 (they would prefer I bought a new car!) It isn't a good idea for two separate companies to work around a changing interface unless they co-operate.

    2. I don't want to steal my music. I don't want to put it on the Internet and give it away. I'm not trying to sell it to anyone - I JUST WANT TO LISTEN TO IT IN MY CAR AS I COULD BEFORE - AFTER ALL, I'VE PAID FOR BOTH. Is that too much to ask for ? Doesn't this just show what's wrong with DRM on sold music ? I can no longer use what I've paid for.

    andy :( :mad:
  2. jamesr19 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2009
    I use a connects2ipod. Managed to pick one up for £30 on eBay 2 years ago. Works fine and I've never had a problem. It plugs into where the stereo supports a 6disk changer. I can control the iPhone/iPhone/iPad (works fine with all 3) using the controls on the stereo and the steering wheel. It's a really good piece of kit.

    The only thing it doesn't do is charge any new iOS devices. It works with the iPhone 3G but nothing later. I bought an "iphone charge converter" that sorted this out nicely and haven't looked back.

    That's what I'd recommend...
  3. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    There are a few options, but they all cost some money.

    1. Upgrade your 114 songs to iTunes Plus. At $0.30 for each song, that's only $35.

    2. Subscribe to iTunes Match and convert those m4p's to m4a's. $25 for one year. (NOTE - I think this is a feature of iTunes Match - please confirm this before going this route).

    3. Invest in an adapter that will transmit from your iOS device to a radio frequency. The adapter will plug into the 30-pin and allow you to use an unused frequency. Some adapters will also charge your iOS device via the cigarette lighter.
  4. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    "Sensible" is always subjective. I'd focus on getting a proper iPod/iPhone interface installed (either aftermarket or a replacement head unit with built-in interface) but that's my preference and what I've done on all my vehicles. You have to sort out what's "sensible" to you based on your preferences. There are plenty of possible options for you to purse and some others are already suggested in this thread.

    I wouldn't suggest this unless sound quality is at the bottom of your priorities and/or you find a decent modulator which is very difficult (don't rely on price/brand/etc).

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