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Music on C4


nxr

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On 7/15/2023 at 9:43 AM, WhyPhy said:

If a smaller company like Autonomic can create this functionality, I wonder if others might now be able to do the same. I’d be surprised if Autonomic has some special arrangement with these big tech companies. 

It's not if it's possible, it's what it takes -ie data collection agreement? Unofficial integration?- and if you're willing to do it.

If for example Apple requires data collection or ad popups and that goes against Control4's policies....well that's a problem. If memory serves, that was the hold up with Google (ans Siri still) voice integration that they wanted to get data on EVERYTHING to allow integration (even items not controlled).

 

Something like Autonimics or even Sonos have an advantage there in that their systems are limited to just audio. So any data collected are just that - audio. Less of a hold up than a C4 controller that also knows locks, doors, lighting, video, security

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12 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

If for example Apple requires data collection or ad popups and that goes against Control4's policies....well that's a problem. If memory serves, that was the hold up with Google (ans Siri still) voice integration that they wanted to get data on EVERYTHING to allow integration (even items not controlled).

Apple has a much stronger customer-centric privacy stance than pretty much any other big tech company. It’s more likely about wanting almost complete control of the user experience, for consistency and feature parity. I’ve seen no documentation in the Apple developers portal of any functionality that even hints at sharing user data that isn’t directly related to the functionality of a feature. Unfortunately, there is nothing published related to “full UI integration of Apple Music.”  Perhaps the EU probes are causing them to loosen their grasp a bit?

 

18 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

Something like Autonimics or even Sonos have an advantage there in that their systems are limited to just audio.

That’s a good point. If a company is only focused on audio, they have more developer focus and expertise to get the more complicated integrations to work. Audio does seem to be just one item on a long list of features for Control4. Still, with almost 100 million subscribers worldwide and being the second largest streaming music service, I would hope Apple Music would be a fairly high priority. 
 

 

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9 hours ago, WhyPhy said:

that even hints at sharing user data

That they don't share it doesn't mean they don't obtain it, and that is where the issue would be.

 

4 hours ago, anon2828 said:

but if Tesla can agree to get native Apple Music working it would seem that Control4 should be able to do the same

Again, Tesla has a lot less POTENTIAL info on you (like your alarm code) than Control4 potentially has.

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1 hour ago, Cyknight said:

Again, Tesla has a lot less POTENTIAL info on you (like your alarm code) than Control4 potentially has.

You obviously have no idea how much data Tesla collects. They have complete location history, record every move a driver makes to train their “Full Self Driving” (whether the car has FSD or not), and have a camera pointed at the driver to track their face and eyes. They record and store video clips from when the car is driving and from when it’s parked in your garage. They have the the ability to unlock, start, and move the car remotely, and open your garage door. Furthermore, there is no way to opt out of the data collection or view/delete the data on their servers. The Tesla CPU processes about 500 trillion ops/second of data. Control4 doesn’t even have the potential to be remotely near this level of data collection and inference capability, much less have something in full production monitoring millions of customers.

Speculating that Apple Music requires all partners to share all data, even if when it’s not directly related to Apple Music features, is baseless and unfounded. 

If Control4 already works with Google and Amazon services, then privacy isn’t what is limiting Apple Music functionality. 

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Honestly, I'm guessing, but I doubt the reasoning is likely related to data collection. The platforms which support Apple music are totally closed platforms, whereas, Control4 isn't (we actually have a lot of access to things).

Also, we have no way of knowing what those platforms are giving up, what Apple's demands are or the potential liabilities associated with working alongside Apple (such as, if it gets compromised, would Snap be required to pay Apple liabilities?). I'd be guessing 99% of the issue is contractual though.

And Apple regularly makes seemingly unreasonable demands of their partners too (sometimes forcing them to change things to benefit them, such as in the past, they were apparently forcing developers to support Apple ID Sign-in as an example, or redesigning things to prioritise Apple)

That being said, I don't think Snap is ignoring Apple music. Snap seems to definitely be interacting with Apple on a regular basis (as evidenced recently).

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I reached out to a friend who works at Apple and have some more details. Last year, Apple released updates to their developer tools that allow third party developers to incorporate more Apple Music functionality into third party apps. These tools are Apple Apple MuiscKit and Apple Music API. These tools work with iOS apps, Android apps, and JavaScript apps. A Control4 integration would most likely use the JavaScript client/server implementation (control panel/smartphone app being the client, C4 Director being the server).

There is a data share requirement: the user must agree to share their personal Apple Music data (i.e. personal music library details) with the third party developer (i.e. Autonomic/Sonos/Control4.) There are no data share requirement for the third party developer to send any data back to Apple, and looking through the API documentation, there are no provisions for even doing so. There are also no ads or pop-ups. The only requirement is, after a user signs in with an account that does not have an active Apple Music subscription, to inform the user that the subscription is inactive and that subscription activation is required to play music.

All of this information is available on the Apple Developer website: Apple MusicKit, Apple Music API

Here are the key takeaways:

  • The Autonomic integration appears to be a fully authorized integration (using Apple MusicKit and Apple Music API)
  • There are no data sharing requirements for third party developers to send data to Apple
  • New functions were added last year that enable more comprehensive third party integrations
  • Third parties must do some development work to enable these features, but it appears to be very straightforward and well documented, and reference libraries are available

Given this, the big question isn't can Control4 can enable native Apple Music Support, but rather if and when Control4 will enable native Apple Music Support.

 

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10 hours ago, nxr said:

Super helpful and better question is why haven’t they?

maybe no resources (time, people, money) to do it.

maybe the apple/C4 customer base isn't large enough to pay for the investment.

maybe they thing sharebridge is enough (stupid thought)

maybe they have no Apple developers who can work in Java.

or maybe they're just chicken. :)

 

 

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11 hours ago, nxr said:

Super helpful and better question is why haven’t they?

I think Snap is generally greatly underestimated.

Firstly, it should be assumed that anything we can think of in regards to Apple API's, Snap already has access to. And they likely even have access ones signed under NDA's. Halo has Siri support (and official AppleTV support), which is  evidence they have a very strong working relationship with Apple. 

The libraries Apple provides might not integrate with their libraries without major changes, or Apple's development agreement may be totally unacceptable, or require specific hardware/infrastructure in place. Or, the API may not be suitable for other reasons. 

Development is only 1 part of the equation. As an example, MacOS doesn't have a Netflix App, windows does. It's immediately clear that Netflix is capable of developing that app though. Similar to SnapAV. It's very clear their developers can do it too if / when its possible.

But, as eggzlot mentioned, the most logical question is to ask why very few companies have integrated with Apple Music so far. 

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55 minutes ago, ekohn00 said:

If I had to start all over, that would be the sole reason why....   

With that said Savant is heading out of this space and into the ultra lux category with costs associated to balance a lot of the 3rd party integrations they are incorporating. I will do a write up some other time. 

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1 hour ago, Control4Savant said:

Crestron has always been about being only a control system and integrating well with systems such as Autonomic. I have Apple Music in the current Savant release. 

upthread it was said to be in beta and had some issues.  I am no expert.  maybe C4 has it in beta too.  

This thread is almost making me sign up for Apple Music to see what all the hype is about, c4 integration or not...

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27 minutes ago, eggzlot said:

upthread it was said to be in beta and had some issues.  I am no expert.  maybe C4 has it in beta too.  

This thread is almost making me sign up for Apple Music to see what all the hype is about, c4 integration or not...

C4 does not have it in beta. 

Im a big Apple product user but have never cared too much about using the service over my existing HiFI Tidal account 

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Apple is a very high “attach rate” vendor they package things to make u consume more of their services at an attractive price, wether u like it or not Apple Music have a huge customer base because of this!

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1 hour ago, Control4Savant said:

C4 does not have it in beta. 

Im a big Apple product user but have never cared too much about using the service over my existing HiFI Tidal account 

You are authorized to speak as to what is under beta at C4?

I have a Mac Pro, iPad Pro and an iPhone, so I am 100% in the iOS ecosystem.  Just never used Apple Music really - Pandora for 10+ years, SiriusXM for 10+ years and Amazon because it comes with Prime and then I have over 1 TB of live FLAC of various concerts over the last 40+ years.

So I am curious what all the fuss is about for Apple Music.  And for what its worth, I used to work in the music industry, I am a really bad musician, and I listen to music almost all day in my house, so its not a casual thing I rarely use (music services that is).

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Apple Music has a 15% market share after Spotify at 31%.  And I would guess that a large majority of C4 users are in the Apple ecosystem and would consider using Apple Music as in the high income demographic Apple must dominate when it comes to phone market share.  C4 likely knows the Apple vs Android market share given app downloads, and/or app connections to the cloud.  It would be interesting to know what their data shows.

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