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Music Player for Commercial Restaurant Music System

Posted on 2016-11-29
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Last Modified: 2016-12-01
Initially thought of using an iPod, old smart phone etc. but changing adding music, creating playlist, editing playlist, etc. would need to be done by physically accessing the device.  Can someone recommend a device that would allow me to play music through my stereo system that can be controlled through an app or web interface?  I can add a small laptop that someone could remote into but that is the best idea I've had.  Wondering what else exist.  Thanks in advance.
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Question by:1namyln
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by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 41906759
We looked into this several years back and developed a solution.  Then when the customer said "Well, we don't have to pay licensing fees just for use in the store" -- we dropped the project and deleted the files.  Getting sued as an accessory and facilitator was not on our bucket list.

The problem here is not technical, but legal.  About the only thing that is legal to play in a commercial establishment is a radio (if your establishlishment is less than 3750 square feet, and there are fewer than six speakers, etc. etc.), because the RIAA, BMI and ASCAP have been paid their performance fees by the radio station.  Even at that, stores have been sued for having a radio on during business hours.

These lawsuits are not cheap.  Typically RIAA/BMI/ASCAP start by asking for millions, then settle for a few hundred thousand.

If you're going to do this, you must buy licenses.  Infraction trolls are becoming more aggressive in going after small companies.  Licenses are only a few thousand dollars a year and it will keep you out of legal trouble.

Side note:  If you get sued and don't have a license, your liability insurance company will probably invoke "willful neglect" and refuse to defend you.
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 41906761
if you have access to the internet, there are lots of free music streaming sites out there - iTunes offers many different genres of free music radio stations...

and there are many other sources as well―google "free internet music radio stations" & you'll see what comes up
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by:gilnov
ID: 41906764
So once the licenses are in place, why not get a pair of iPods (or several) and build your playlists on a Mac or PC and just sync the device that's not being used at the moment and then swap them out to update the music.
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by:1namyln
ID: 41906782
At the risk of railroading the conversation I have to say I don't believe in IP.   I greatly appreciate the thorough answer Dr. Klahn.
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by:1namyln
ID: 41906802
So what about music where the copyright has expired?  Classical for example?  Ideally we can build a playlist containing such music?
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Dr. Klahn earned 500 total points
ID: 41906808
That's what we thought at first.  The trolls have that covered too.  Anything other than the original score is separately copyrighted by the arranger.
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Author Closing Comment

by:1namyln
ID: 41906820
Best comment for your on point description of why this is a PITA.  TROLLS!
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Author Comment

by:1namyln
ID: 41909585
Pandora Business sounds like a good solution.  http://pandora.moodmedia.com/

The Mood player can be accessed remotely!
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