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  #11  
Old Dec 11th, 2007
rgbyhkr rgbyhkr is offline
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You're not the only one as I know for a fact that K hears this a lot. I feel pretty confident that we'll see K add this eventually. Importing existing digital music collections into the K is something I talked to K about before music was even added as a feature. I've always looked at my system as a movies server with music tacked on as a bonus. But, my feeling is that since they do the movie side so well, they should be doing the same for music. In that way, importing existing music libraries is a must have.

The holdup is likely a matter of wanting to do it in a way that is extremely reliable and preserves the user experience. I expect that when it does come, it will be similar to what we have now with Conductor - background syncs from computer to the K with very little intervention or action required by the user once it is installed and running. My personal feeling is that it will also be fairly basic to preserve the user experience even if that means less overall functionality. The lack of import support is one major reason why I don't use K for music - Sonos has me covered there.

Here's some questions and thoughts about how it may play out:

- What formats will they support? MP3 is a no-brainer and WAV/AIFF seems likely given how they direct rip now. The question is what else, if anything? Given that iTunes is the player of choice, you may see AAC support as well - perhaps even ALAC. I don't expect WMA, OGG, APE and while unfortunate, probably not FLAC either.

- DRM'd versions will not be supported. DRM-stripped versions will be, but I don't think they will facilitate automatic transcoding like ReQuest does. That requires a reliance on a 3rd party app and K would likely rather not have to do that. I don't think they want to get into the business of developing those tools on their own, either. Beyond which, transcoding of low bitrate DRM content can lead to sound quality issues, and I don't think they want to "promote" that. They may suggest where users can go to do the conversions, but that's likely about it.

- I don't expect podcast import support. Sound quality is too low, no available metadata from AMG, user desirability for this is likely low, etc.

- I don't expect audible book support.

- I don't expect internet radio support. Between sound quality issues, spotty track data depending on the station, station streaming URL address changes, etc, I think it would be too much of dip in the user experience quality for them to go that route.

- I do expect playlist synching. The question here is how they will rectify or otherwise alert the user to missing tracks due to format incomparability. My Sonos system will "see" iTunes playlists, but will leave out AAC DRM songs in those lists (they don't show up on Sonos system rather than showing up and just getting skipped) because it can't play them back.

- How do they handle tracks that can't be identified? We have the manual entry system now via the Web UI, but this seems like a big PITA if you had a bunch of tracks to go through. I'm assuming that they will use AMG's "acoustic fingerprint" feature to identify imported tracks. I think I've read somewhere that it has a hit rate of ~85%. The question then is whether the unidentified tracks are actually in AMG's database but just can't be identified by the "acoustic fingerprint". If they are, just give users a way to select the album/track rather than manually entering all the metadata.

- I don't expect video importing.

I have no inside knowledge from K about any of the above, it's just my opinion based on what we have and have not seen from them in the past. I'd like to think that we'll see this sometime in 2008 given the desirability of the feature, but I had previously hoped for it in 2007 as well. Getting from K to iTunes is the first piece and that seems to be working well so hopefully they can focus on going back the other way.

Jeff
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  #12  
Old Dec 16th, 2010
talitha talitha is offline
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Nice, but not much help if (like me) you have around 200 gig of music on iTunes that you really want to add to KS so as to take advantage of the Remotescape app on the iPad. :-(
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