Expect some fireworks here: a new Android app called doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder promises to record songs and radio stations from Apple’s iTunes Radio to the Android device.
It’s the work of doubleTwist, which has a history of cracking Apple’s walled gardens for users of other devices. “The doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder saves songs and radio stations that you stream from iTunes to your Android device,” explains the new app’s Google Play listing.
“It is extremely easy to use: play something in iTunes on your Mac or PC and then select “dT Recorder” from the AirPlay device list. The streamed audio tracks will automatically be saved on your Android device.” The app is free, although people can pay for a premium upgrade to record songs at a higher quality.
And the legality? “We are based in the US where recording radio & TV for personal use has been protected under fair use for decades,” claims doubleTwist in a reply to a review on the Play Store claiming the app is piracy. “We are proud to be supporting fair use with our products.”
Also see doubleTwist president Monique Farantzos’ quote: “Given that Apple built their iPod empire on letting millions of people rip CDs based on fair use, we don’t see how they could object to this app.” We suspect Apple’s lawyers will take another view.
Watch too for Google’s response if (well, when) it takes pressure from Apple and/or music rightsholders over the app’s availability on Google Play. The company removed Grooveshark’s app from the store in 2011 and again in 2012 when the streaming service was facing lawsuits from major labels over its lack of licences, and has also taken action against some apps that rip YouTube videos to MP3 files.
Think too about the wider implications, with pretty much every streaming music service now offering a “radio” option alongside their on-demand functionality. doubleTwist thinks iTunes Radio can be recorded just like traditional radio can, so why not apply the same logic to Spotify and Pandora?
We’ve talked about the flexible definition of radio in the streaming era, but not so much about the legal implications. doubleTwist AirPlay Recorder is set to bring those to the forefront in the coming days and weeks.