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Itunes Control??
#1
I am new to the CQC world but have been very active in creating a system, and potentially become an integrator. I have a quick question regarding CQC and audio. I have looked at what I think is everything currently supported. I have played with squeeze server and the built in audio repository. My conclusion is that for my customers the ease of use and low learning curve of iTunes (most already use it) makes is the winner. I have played with syncing iTunes automatically with squeeze server but found it wasn't as reliable as I would like. Please correct me if I’m wrong. I have decided to use iTunes as the actual audio player and use a blend of Apple remote (iTunes iPhone control app) and CQC for one way control. So.. What's the best way to control iTunes running on a separate PC. I see two possibilities.

1) Use more software (VectIR)to take IR commands generated from CQC and control iTunes via COM interface. As lame as this solution is from an integrators standpoint it works.

2) Use of the CQC AppControl client to run VB commands on the ITunes machine to control ITunes. This is a little cleaner but I am still having problems getting it to work. In theory is will work though.

Are there any other methods I am missing? Is there a better way to do this?

Any thoughts?

Thanks guys
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#2
That's always the problem it seems. People want to use iTunes because it's simple to use, but unfortunately they don't take automation seriously at all and the automation interface leaves a lot to be desired.

However, there is an iTunes driver, which also comes with a task bar helper program. The driver can talk to the task bar program (which is in the logged in user context and therefore can run iTunes which is necessary in order to interact with it, which also makes it very bad from an automation system point of view), and then you can play your iTunes based music via our audio player (select the QuickTime engine when you install it), and you can browse the iTunes music via the standard CQC media browsing interface viewer widgets.

You have to have iTunes installed and licensed on the system where the the audio player is running.

Anyway, that's an option for you. I'm not sure if it'll work out better than your other attempts to integrate it. Until they actually get serious about supporting automation, which doesn't seem likely I guess, it's never going to really be an optimal choice for an automated system.
Dean Roddey
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#3
Dean,

Have you looked at at the squeezebox server code? It seems that they interface successfully with itunes and their server software is open source. You could dig through it and see what they do.
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#4
Has anyone ever looked into using DACP?

Digital Audio Control Protocol is used by the Remote app on the iPhone / iTouch / iPad to control iTunes.

I found some info here: http://dacp.jsharkey.org/
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#5
jkish Wrote:Has anyone ever looked into using DACP?

Digital Audio Control Protocol is used by the Remote app on the iPhone / iTouch / iPad to control iTunes.

I found some info here: http://dacp.jsharkey.org/

I'm not sure it would provide a lot of benefits over what we already have, other than of course removing the need for the tray app which would be one less moving part. It still requires iTunes running on some machine somewhere. If they are going to serve the automation community they need a client/server architecture that doesn't require talking to a running app really.
Dean Roddey
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#6
Dean;
Why not a media server driver that interfaces directly with the iTunes XML file and does not require iTunes to be running? That would eliminate both issues, and as long as you could get directory access to the XML file on the network, you are all set.
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
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#7
DaveB Wrote:Dean;
Why not a media server driver that interfaces directly with the iTunes XML file and does not require iTunes to be running? That would eliminate both issues, and as long as you could get directory access to the XML file on the network, you are all set.

There is such a driver already. That was the first one that was done. Unfortunately the XML is not really documented. At first I could figure out how to get to the right cover art for a given tune, but later it changed and there wasn't any particular scheme I could see. And of course since it's really for their own internal uses, they could change any time and break such a driver in other ways also.

So the other driver was created because it could talk directly and get that information reliably.
Dean Roddey
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#8
Thanks for the input, confirms that I didn't miss anything. The problem is I want to use Apple Remote as a ui for player meaning audio needs to be played in iTunes native player. (Only because it makes an easy transition for the customer) However I still want to achieve a decent level of control and feedback from CQC. Squeeze Server offers the perfect blend but I find it's just to many pieces to be effective and apple remote still works better than IPeng . I have been running iTunes on a windows 7 Atom based PC with IPhone and Ipod Touch UI's for over a year now and it works really well. I’m blending that with Nuvo for a pretty effective level 1 package. Then when the customer wants lighting, theater, blind, and media control I want to add CQC to the mix. Building on what is already there.

I’m not a huge fan of apple but iTunes and apple remote is a pretty tight package. Also now that the Apple RIVA app is running better switching between the two works really well. I know apple and any software not under Dean's control would be considered a moving target but I think this should be revisited.

I would like to capture the current playing track title and or playlist from iTunes by CQC and output it to the Nuvo zone display panel. Also capturing the iTunes playmode status would be ideal. not to mention direct control of iTunes itself eliminating the need for IR interface.
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#9
For something that's not involving metadata and a repository driver in CQC, something like the protocol above might be sufficient for a basic feedback and player control type of driver I guess.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#10
Is anyone capable of writing this interested? I am willing to pay for this functionality.
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