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1

Thursday, March 29th 2012, 6:10pm

Need Tunebite support for new Napster 5 (Rhapsody) file formats

Apparently the new Napster in Europe (taken over by Rhapsody) will no longer permit downloads in WMA format. They have decided to hide the downloads away in a folder away from the user, and change the file format.

My understanding is that they're AAC files of some sort, but the DRM protection is such that they are currently only playable using Napster's own software.

The songs download in two sections. The first is a FLV file, which acts as a 'seed' (they even named it so) for the main file which contains the bulk of the data.

The FLV file is playable in other software, but only plays for around ten seconds.

Example:

46960230_192_05_seed.flv (192 = bitrate?) links to 46960230_192_05_rienf which contains the full song but is not recognisable or playable.

2

Thursday, March 29th 2012, 7:31pm

If you're here because in Germany they switched two days ago you may want to read this topic in German forum: Frage zu Napsr/Rhapsody-DRM...

If German is not your language: I strongly doubt there will be a way soon to use these strange files the way Tunebite did DRM removal the legal way on WMA and M4P. If you're a "To Go" subscriber you may copy the WMA synced to your player back to system, they are playable and convertable with Tunebite, but they are only 160 kbps now. Otherwise you may use recording functionality from Tunebite.

jimmy b

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Posts: 14

Location: Nottingham, England

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3

Friday, March 30th 2012, 4:15pm

Hi Paul,

I'm experiencing the same problem as you with the new Napster 5 music files.

I sent Napster a email a couple of days ago to find out what the crack was with the new software and here is the response I received from there customer support

Quoted

Dear James,

Thank you for contacting Napster Customer Support.


I understand that you would like to locate the tracks downloaded for
offline playback on your computer. I would be happy to assist you with
this problem.


James, I would like to inform you that you will not be able to
locate the downloaded tracks for offline playback. Those tracks will be
in an encrypted file format and you cannot use them to play with any
other music management software like Windows Media Player. You can use
them only with the Napster software.


If there is anything else that I can assist you, please reply to this e-mail.
So the bottom line is you can now only use the Napster music files with the new Napster 5 software. That is why you only get about 10 seconds of play back when trying these new music files in any other media software.

Tunebite did a really good job for me with my "old" Napster WMA files but I personally think with this "new" Napster music file it will be a lot more difficult and more of a challenge for the Tunebite Dev team to come up with a solution.

Since receiving this news I have phoned Napster up and cancelled my Napster to Go subscription with them (£15 a month). Up until now I have been quite happy with the service from Napster but not now.

Today I have been looking around for a similar new music service as Napster and I have come across this

http://www.zune.net/en-US/

It works on the similar lines as the old Napster, you can stream or download the WMA files, which then Tumebite can work it's magic on ;).

It may not have all the music Napster did but it certainly looks promising plus it's a cheaper monthly subscription (of £8.99) than Napster.

I'm going to take the free trail and see if it is worth the money over the weekend ;)

4

Saturday, March 31st 2012, 11:25pm

If you're a "To Go" subscriber you may copy the WMA synced to your player back to system


I am a "To Go" customer but at this stage I have not been able to sync any tracks to my device, so was unaware of what format they were in. If they're WMA then obviously the software is converting them - from one compressed format to another, which isn't very good for the quality.

5

Sunday, April 1st 2012, 8:28am

I am a "To Go" customer but at this stage I have not been able to sync any tracks to my device, so was unaware of what format they were in. If they're WMA then obviously the software is converting them - from one compressed format to another, which isn't very good for the quality.

There is an extra client to be installed separately, and that does download the files and save them to device directly. So you never know, conversion may appear - on Rhapsody servers ;-)

6

Monday, April 2nd 2012, 10:47am

Long-time user, having the same issues - looks like we'll just need to sit tight for now - was just wondering what you made of the Zune set up, James/Jimmy B? Is it worth looking at?...

jimmy b

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Posts: 14

Location: Nottingham, England

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7

Monday, April 2nd 2012, 6:45pm

was just wondering what you made of the Zune set up, James/Jimmy B? Is it worth looking at?...
:thumbup: Very impressed with it.

I cancelled my Napster to Go subscription (£15 a month), and sign up for Zune. At £8.99 a month it's pretty cool.

Zune has a better GUI, faster downloads and IMO better quality WMA files, also they convert pretty nicely in Tunebite too :D unlike the new Napster 5 files.

I was worried that Zune didn't have half the Music and Artists that Napster has, but every Artist/Track I have looked for, I found.

It took me a while to set up, but now I have the files going where I want them to, it's all good.

All in all I'm glad I signed up to Zune

8

Monday, April 2nd 2012, 8:15pm

I've given up and just cancelled my Napsody (Rhapster?) sub...

Moved to Zune like jimmy b - it's half the price that NapsterToGo was (if you pay for a year) and it quite happily downloads WMA files to directory of your choice. Although it does insist on creating its own folders like iTunes.

Zune has music vids and movies too, but they're not exactly cheap. £15 for a movie download. I'd rather buy the DVD.

The signup doesn't seem to like UK credit cards though. It steadfastly refused all mine.

I had to log in via my XBox 360 account (which had some old card details) and it was happy to let me have a trial even though the card expired last year!

So all in all a good thing. Saving some money now.

:D

jimmy b

Beginner

Posts: 14

Location: Nottingham, England

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9

Monday, April 2nd 2012, 9:02pm

The signup doesn't seem to like UK credit cards though. It steadfastly refused all mine.


I had that problem too mate.

I had to use their online chat support service. They manually inputted my card details, after that is was plain sailing.

10

Wednesday, April 4th 2012, 1:48pm

Sounds like a plan. Nice one, cheers for the advice, guys...

11

Thursday, April 5th 2012, 2:12am

I'm so glad I searched Google enough to find this thread!

Only just realised today that the reason my Napster wasn't working was because it had changed entirely!

Big fan of Tunebite, and have been using it for years with Napster, so also interested in whatever alternatives there are. I'm giving this Zune a try and so far I love it. Seems to have the same variety of music as Napster. I was scared it wouldn't have the stuff for my particular taste but safe to say that it has everything I've searched so far.

If anybody knows of any other similar services, please let me know. Zune seems to be the right way to go but there's no harm in trying a variety of different things to find one most suited.

Thanks again to all the contributors to this thread. Much appreciated!

12

Sunday, April 22nd 2012, 10:59am

Having moved from Napster to Zune my view is that the selection of disks available is far better with Zune - and of course, for less money.

13

Monday, April 30th 2012, 8:48pm

Well, I am still battling with Napster at the moment (But also have a Zune trial setup and it is working fine).

The funny thing at the moment is they keep deleting my posts when I mention Audials/Tunebite as they say I am promoting piracy.

If you want a laugh you can see the thread here http://forum.rhapsody.com/rhapsody/topic…stomer_support? (I am trying to get them to respond positively rather than just deleting things they do not like).

Below are the deleted posts so far (I have been a very happy Tunebite user for about 6 years too).

---
Another contact
yesterday and it seems very unlikely we will ever get WMA downloads as standard
but I don't know which support member to believe. I would probably go with the
option that required Napster to do the least work. The only other work around
is to use Audials Tunebite software to convert the tracks to MP3s as you stream
them and you can then do as you wish with them. Audials is very good and it
removes the protection. My view is, so long as I have a subscription I am
allowed to own and listen to the track as I wish and they should not be
stopping me from listening it to as I want. If I cancel my subscription then
clearly I do not own some of the music and I would delete it. As a paying
subscriber for 7+ years I do own the music at that time and I can do what I
want with it. It is a bit like me buying a book and being told I cannot read it
in the bath! I can read it where I bloody well want to.


---
Oh, and this makes
interesting reading too... Need Tunebite support for new Napster 5 (Rhapsody) file formats
Seems Zune may be the way to go now.







----

14

Tuesday, May 1st 2012, 11:05am

Do you really wonder? It is not piracy, but it is against their terms of service. It is legal (at least I'm pretty sure about Germany), but explicitly not wanted. So why should they support you? Especially why should they accept discussions about competitors?

15

Thursday, May 3rd 2012, 4:57pm

Do you really wonder? It is not piracy, but it is against their terms of service. It is legal (at least I'm pretty sure about Germany), but explicitly not wanted. So why should they support you? Especially why should they accept discussions about competitors?
Firstly, it is not their forum, it is an online service provided by a third party. Secondly, they should support me because they have a contract with me (signed about 7 years ago) for a service that would provide downloadable WMA file. They are now in breach of that contract.

Finally, freedom of speech! They do not mind us talking about competitors, just ways of getting the system to work as it has done for the past 7 years or more.

Out of interest, what do you use Audials software for? It is largely used to get around issues like this.
Do you really wonder? It is not piracy, but it is against their terms of service. It is legal (at least I'm pretty sure about Germany), but explicitly not wanted. So why should they support you? Especially why should they accept discussions about competitors?

16

Thursday, May 3rd 2012, 5:27pm

@charlesmarks, I don't get it, what is your problem now? In here you can talk about Audials, and of course also about music services like Napster, but we cannot give you support about your contract with Napster, that is something you must fight with Napster support. And when you want to start talking in here about Audials competitors this is also not "nice", I cannot grant that such postings may stay or may be treated as spam. Everything has it's time and space, and who supplies a public forum also has the right to choose who is welcome and who/what is not. If you're worried about your Napster contract - call your lawyer.

I use Audials for the same, before I converted WMA, now I record from Spotify, but I'm aware of what I'm doing, I know it is legal but unwanted, and when Spotify finds out they are free to end my contract. My risk. I would never ask Spotify support for help on breaking their terms of service.

17

Thursday, May 3rd 2012, 7:26pm

The term we use in the UK is "keep it under your hat"...

woof is right - of course they won't take kindly to you talking about ways around the system.

I suspect the reasons for them changing the way it works were because they knew people were doing this before, and wanted to try and plug the leak.

Now I've been on their forum talking quite openly about WMA files and so on, but I wouldn't dream of bluntly stating "I want to copy them to MP3 and keep them" (or similar) because I know they won't like it.