PS3 streaming iTunes AAC files

This is not going to be very pretty. I have spent too much time trying to get my PS3 to stream my iTunes music files. Looks like it is not going to happen anytime soon, which sucks because the PS3 is supposed to be some sort of centralized, all-in-one media and entertainment gizmo. Unless it comes to AAC files that are coded to iTunes (i.e. Apple specs; MP4 … not sure of all the technical codex jargon).

First I had to get Windows Media Player to allow Media Sharing. That was pretty easy (Library – Media Sharing option).

Out of the box, Media Player does not support playing AAC files. I guess Microsoft knows that iTunes users will not want to use anything less than iTunes, so why bother. At least I assume something silly like that is their reasoning for not providing simple, out of the box support.

In order to fix this problem, I had to make liberal use of Google, leading me to the installation of two Media Player plugins: Tag Support Plugin for Windows Media Player and The Orban/Coding Technologies AAC/aacPlus Plugin.

My Media Player can now see and play my iTunes files, but that was not really what I wanted. Streaming to the PS3 was the goal.

After all this time and effort, my PS3 could see the files, including some simple file info (artist, album, song name), but my PS3 could not recognize the file format. Those liberal Google searches that I mention led me to one cold hard fact. For some inane reason Sony has decided that support for AAC files (at least ones generated by iTunes) is not that important. This just does not make sense to me.

First, if I rip my own music from CDs that I have purchased, they should not have any copyright info, so they files should play. If Sony wants to support (and push) their own ACC format, more power to them, but I should be able to use the most popular music format on my PS3. Second, Apple (via iTunes) allows you to register several computers to play your purchased files. The PS3 is just another conduit for playing music files. Or rather it should be that cut and dry.

So what gives? I have several hundred CDs that I decided to rip using iTunes. Before I had my iPod, I would use Easy CD-DA Extractor to create MP3 files for my music programs. After I purchased my iPod, I decided that I could get better music quality, and take up less space, by using iTunes to rip music in its preferred format. MP3 was dead. Long live MP4. Seems like a reasonable decision, and I am sure that millions of other iPod owners do the same.

Seems like Sony has different ideas. For some reason they will not allow ripped iTunes music files and the PS3 to play nicely. I blame this all Sony because the rest of the world has accepted iTunes native music format as the digital music standard. I blame Apple for now allowing me to play purchased iTunes music files on my PS3. If Apple wants everyone to go digital, they should make previsions for playing legally purchased music on my entertainment centers (be they consoles such as the PS3 or a standard laptop).

Not a pretty picture.

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7 thoughts on “PS3 streaming iTunes AAC files”

  1. That’s odd, PSP supports AAC I think.

    Maybe it’s that PS3 won’t support AAC streaming?

    Try copying some AAC files onto a thumb drive or memory card and then copy it to the PS3 hard drive and see if they play.

    I will too. I messed around with streaming, from an NAS and also a Mac and it wasn’t smooth so I copied some pics over but I don’t know if I copied any music files.

  2. I do not have a thumb drive (I know … crazy) but I should be able to USB transfer some songs to my PSP and then plug in the memory card into my PS3.

    Let me know how it goes and I will write another update/report.

  3. I had this problem also, but found a solution, not simple though. much the same way you rip iTunes music to a CD and rip it to another computer to get mp3, you do an additional step for the PS3. at the final step (ripping iTunes CD) to computer, save to a folder all on it’s own and then burn to another CD. Then copy over to PS3 via CD or thmb drive. Might be expensive to atart with, but it’s worth it eventually.

  4. it’s Jan 2009, a year since this article, and the Sony PS3 still doesn’t support Apple AAC **streaming**. Grrr.

  5. Chris – Yes, this very much sucks. Maybe one day Sony will see the light. That or the iPod Touch and Phone will put the PSP out of its misery.

  6. I’m streaming unprotected AAC content to my PS3 right now. TwonkyMedia Server is what I found that lets me do it. Something about live transcoding or something.

  7. This is not Sony’s fault. This is actually the fault of high and mighty Apple. The term Those AAC files are protected by Apple because they want to hold the rights to their music and dictate to everyone what you can play their music on. Everyone thinks that Apple is so grand and perfect and kisses up to Apple that is why Apple gets away with this stuff. Think about it, they overcharge for their computer products and MP3 players, but people buy them because it is Apple and Apple is supposed to be better. I have other devises that are the same. They will stream all windows files, but will not stream the protected AAC files. Apple is the one that needs to change their ways.

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