Digital Audio Access Protocol (DAAP)
		     Protocol documentation v0.2

I. Introduction

Apple introduced the Digital Audio Access Protocol (DAAP[1]) with
iTunes4, to allow iTunes to share its library with other machines also
running iTunes.  iTunes uses the Rendezvous protocol[2], specifically
the multi-cast dns and service discovery bits, to find other local
machines that happen to be running iTunes and also sharing their

Rendezvous is well documented in a number of places, and so it will
not be discussed here.  DAAP, on the other hand, in spite of having an
IANA defined port number, has yet to be documented.  This will
hopefully rectify that situation.

UPDATE: With iTunes 4.0.1 apple introduced a handful of changes that
break compatability with iTunes 4.0.  The changes are simply:

	o the version number is bumped to 2.0, from 1.0
	o the sessionid needs to be an unsigned integer, it looks
	  like the way session id's are created caused a signed
	  sessiondid, e.g. -9184 as a signed int, the string sessionid
	  needs to be unsigned, e.g. 4294958112 - I don't know if
	  this goes for all numeric values, or just sessionid
PART 1 - High level overview

II. DAAP Overview

DAAP, in a nutshell, is a fairly simple protocol.  Once iTunes has
found another instance, it will connect to, and download basic server
information about that instance.  It will then download a dictionary
of attributes that will be used at various other points in the
conversation.  iTunes then makes a series of DAAP requests to download
the list of songs from the server, as well as the various playlists of
those songs that the server has shared.  Finally, when iTunes wishes to
stream a song from the server, once again, a request is made to the
server to stream the selected track back to iTunes.  In addition,
there is a provision for allowing the client to pick up on when
changes are made to the server.

The iTunes implementation of DAAP imposes some restrictions.  Most
notably, it limits a user to 5 connections/sessions at any given
point.  Note, that a session doesn't necessarily have to be actively
streaming music to be counted to that five connections.  (The limit on
connections is actually 10, as a client may have up to two connections
to the server - one for the database/playlist updates, the other for

Interestingly enough, the iTunes implementation of DAAP does not
restrict access to the local network.  This has lead to the rise of a
number of iTunes server repositories, including one that uses the DAAP
protocol to download the playlists of servers registered with it, and
uses that information to provide a search engine.  

III. Under the Hood - the DAAP packet format

At it's heart, DAAP is the latest in a long line of protocols that
uses HTTP[3] as it's underlying transport mechanism.  It appears to
prefer using the connection-oriented HTTP/1.1 - though there is also
some support, it seems, for HTTP/1.0.  This document will focus on the
HTTP/1.1 implementation, and assume that the HTTP/1.0 implementation
is around for some strange legacy reason.

(Note: the specifics of writing HTTP clients and servers are beyond
the scope of this document.  There are a number of excellent libraries
and resources out there for providing this functionality, however).

While the requests are normal URLs (documented further below), the
responses have the mime-type application/x-dmap-tagged.  This type
appears to be a flattened form of a plist or xml formatted file.  (In
fact, it would be fairly trivial to write an x-dmap-tagged to xml
converter, with just a little bit of foreknowledge on the specific

The basic format of DAAP (expanded on below) is:

    4 byte tag | size (4 byte int) | data

where the length of the data is determined by the size.  The 4 byte
tag can be represented as either an integer, or as a four character
string.  (Of course, the characters in that string form the bytes of
the 4 byte integer, highest order byte first - e.g. the code 'minm'
has the numeric value 1835626093.  This jumping back and forth comes
in real handy in writing code to deal with daap, as it allows you to
use switch/jump tables to react to the various codes, with a minimal
amount of hash-table lookup/string conversion/etc...)

Very early on in the DAAP conversation, a 'map' of content codes,
their long name, and their types gets sent back.  This map is used to
provide the basic description for a number of fields used in various
points further down.  See appendix A for a full listing of codes used
in the iTunes conversation.

An example, simple dmap-tagged block, the response to a /login

0000000  155 154 157 147 000 000 000 044 155 163 164 164 000 000 000 004
           m   l   o   g  \0  \0  \0   $   m   s   t   t  \0  \0  \0 004
0000020  000 000 000 310 155 154 151 144 000 000 000 004 000 000 037 336
          \0  \0  \0 310   m   l   i   d  \0  \0  \0 004  \0  \0 037 336

	mlog (36 bytes)
	  mstt - 200  (4 bytes)
	  mlid - 8158 (4 bytes)

NOTE: For some reason, iTunes sometimes lies about the size of the
response that its sending back, claiming to be sending back more than
it actually ends up sending.  No reason for this has been found, and
iTunes behaves properly if sent a packet with the correct size, so it
seems to be a non issue (save for possibly sloppy coding on apple's
part?).  The login response may be padded for an extra field that
doesn't always get dropped in (but iTunes always counts it).

For container types (e.g. content codes with a type 12, or list), the
data can, itself contain more code/size/data blocks.  Lists will
contain multiple code/size/data blocks, one for each item in the list.

All sizes are in bytes and count only the following data block.

IV. Client/Server conversation overview

Here's a quick diagram of the flow of requests/responses in a DAAP

client				server 	Description
	  ---/server-info---->		Request for server info
	<-------msrv-------		server info response
	  ---/content-codes-->		request for content-codes
	<-------mccr-------		content-codes response
	  ---/login---------->		login
	<-------mlog-------		login response (with sessionid)
	  ---/update--------->		update request 
	<-------mupd-------		update response (with server
	  ---/databases------>		database request
	<-------avdb-------		data base response (with dbid)
	  ---/db/id/items---->		request songs 
        <-------adbs-------		list of songs in database
	  -/db/id/containers->		request playlists
	<-------aply-------		list of playlists in database
	  -/db/id/c/id/items->		request playlist
	<-------apso-------		list of songs in playlist
	  -/db/id/items/x.mp3->		request mp3
	<--stream-mp3-file-		stream'd mp3

(For some reason, the iTunes server flags the content type as
x-dmap-tagged for the streamed mp3 - i don't know if this is laziness
on apple's part, or an intent to trip up web browsers trying to
download tracks).

The following sections will describe the requests and responses in
detail.  These sections will be expanded on ures are discovered and 
documented.  (Note: daap://server can be interchanged with
http://server:3689 for purposes of coding/using command line utilities
such as curl/wget to poke at things)

1. Server Info

Request: daap://server/server-info (or http://server:3689/)
Response: msrv
Description: Provides basic negotiation info on what the server does
	and doesn't support and protocols.
Content: (See appendix A for detailed information on codes)
	  mstt - status
	  apro - daap protocol
	  msix - does the server support indexing?
	  msex - does the server support extensions?
	  msup - does the server support update?
	  msal - does the server support auto-logout?
	  mstm - timeout interval
	  mslr - is login required?
	  msqy - does the server support queries?
	  minm - server name
	  msrs - does the server support resolve?  (needs persistent ids)
	  msbr - does the server support browsing?
  	  mspi - does the server support persistent ids?
	  mpro - dmap protocol version

2. Content Codes

Request: daap://server/content-codes
Response: mccr
Description: Provides a dictionary of content codes, names, and size
Content: ( See Appendix A for detailed code information )
	  mstt		status
	  mdcl		dictionary entry (one for each type)
	    mcna	item name
	    mcnm	item number
	    mcty	item type
3. Login (and session id)

Request: daap://server/login
Response: mlog
Description: Provides session information to use for the rest of the
	session.  If requiresLogin is set in the server-info, then
	from this point on, a basic http authentication header needs
	to be included with the request.  It is basically a header of the
		Authentication: base64encodedusernamepassword
	where the base64 encoded password is the string:
	base64 encoded (obviously replacing username and password with
	the appropriate values).  Username appears to be meaningless.
	A shame - i like the idea of being able to do user level 
	  mstt	status
	  mlid	session id (used in remaining requests <sid> below)

4. Update (and server revision)

Request: daap://server/update?session-id=<sid>
Response: mupd
Description: There seem to be two forms update requests.  The first is 
	the update when logging in, to get the initial data.  The 
	second (not yet documented) is to catch updates/changes to 
	the server database.  Note the addition of the session-id 
	from the login.
	  musr 	the server revision (<rid> below)

5. Database list

Request: daap://server/databases?session-id=<sid>&revision-id=<rid>
Response: avdb
Description: This provides a list of databases served up by the
	server.  At present, it appears that only one db per server
	is the norm, but it may be possible to have multiple servers.
	  mstt - status
	  muty - update type - always 0 for now
	  mtco - total number of matching records
	  mrco - total number of records returned
	  mlcl - listing of records
	    mlit - single record
	      miid - database id (<dbid> in subsequent requests)
	      mper - database persistent id
	      minm - database name
	      mimc - number of items (songs) in the database
	      mctc - number of containers (playlists) in the database

6. Song list

Request: daap://server/databases/<dbid>/items?type=music&meta=<list of
Response: apso
Description: This is the list of songs in the database.  Every song.
	Note given the format of the records and the request, I believe
	that it's possible to have other types as well.  The standard
	list of fields is (e.g. the value for meta):

	Note that in the response, it is very important that itemtype(mikd) 
	be returned first for each record.  It looks like the order of the
	remaining fields can be arbitrary, but it is vital that itemid
	be first.  It also appears to be permissable to leave out fields
	that are request.  I'd imagine there is some subset of fields
	that is required, however.

	  mstt - status
	  muty - update type (0)
	  mtco - matched items
	  mrco - items in message
	  mlcl - list of items
	    mlit - single item (one per song)
	      mikd - item kind (2 for music)
	      miid - item id
	      minm - item name (e.g. the trackname)
	      ...  - the remaining fields for the track

7. Playlist list

Request: daap://server/databases/<dbid>/containers?meta=<containermeta>&session-id=<sid>&revision-id=<rid>
Response: aply
Description: provides a list of the playlists stored on the server, as
	well as some basic information about them, depending on the
	metadata that the client asks for.  So far, iTunes seems to ask

	  mstt - status
	  muty - update type(0)
	  mtco - matched items
	  mrco - items in response
	    mlit - playlist entry (one per playlist)
	      miid - the playlist's itemid (plid below)
	      mper - the playlist's persistent id
	      minm - the playlist's name
	      mimc - the number of items in the playlist 
	      aeSP (optional) - is it a smart playlist

8. Playlist 

Request: daap://server/databases/<dbid>/containers/<plid>/items?type=music&meta=<playlistmeta>&session-id=<sid>&revision-id=<rid>
Response: apso
Description: provides a list of items in the given playlist, providing
	the requested meta information for each item.  The most commonly
	requested items seem to be:


	  mstt - status
	  muty - update type(0)
	  mtco = matched items
	  mrco - returned items
	  mlcl - list of playlist entries
	    mlit - single playlist entry (one per song)
	      mikd - item kind (2 for music)
	      miid - itemid of the song
	      containeritemid - id in the container

9. Stream song

Request: daap://server/databases/<dbid>/items/<songid>.mp3?session-id=session
Response: streamed mp3
Description: Request a song from the server.  Note that it is possible
	to use the 'range' http header to specify the range of a song,
	e.g. the start and end bytes for the track.  It's important for
	a server to support this, in case itunes users decide to jump

Content: the raw mp3 stream

Appendix A - iTunes4 content codes

This is a list of the content codes used by iTunes4.  Note, the
conversion from four letter code to integer is left as an exercise for
the reader.  (note: many of these should be self explanatory)

Code	Type	Name			Description
mdcl	list	dmap.dictionary		a dictionary entry
mstt	int	dmap.status		the response status code,
					these appear to be http status 
					codes, e.g. 200
miid	int	dmap.itemid		an item's id
minm	string	dmap.itemname		an items name
mikd	byte	dmap.itemkind		the kind of item.  So far,
					only '2' has been seen, an
					audio file?
mper	long	dmap.persistentid	a persistend id
mcon	list	dmap.container		an arbitrary container
mcti	int	dmap.containeritemid	the id of an item in its
mpco	int	dmap.parentcontainerid
msts	string	dmap.statusstring
mimc	int	dmap.itemcount		number of items in a container
mrco	int	dmap.returnedcount	number of items returned in a
mtco	int	dmap.specifiedtotalcount number of items in response
					to a request
mlcl	list	dmap.listing		a list
mlit	list	dmap.listingitem	a single item in said list
mbcl	list	dmap.bag
mdcl	list	dmap.dictionary

msrv	list	dmap.serverinforesponse	response to a /server-info
msaud	byte	dmap.authenticationmethod (should be self explanitory)
mslr	byte	dmap.loginrequired
mpro	version	dmap.protocolversion
apro	version	daap.protocolversion
msal	byte	dmap.supportsuatologout
msup	byte	dmap.supportsupdate
mspi	byte	dmap.supportspersistentids
msex	byte	dmap.supportsextensions
msbr	byte	dmap.supportsbrowse
msqy	byte	dmap.supportsquery
msix	byte	dmap.supportsindex
msrs	byte	dmap.supportsresolve
mstm	int	dmap.timeoutinterval
msdc	int	dmap.databasescount

mccr	list	dmap.contentcodesresponse	the response to the 
						content-codes request
mcnm	int	dmap.contentcodesnumber	the four letter code
mcna	string	dmap.contentcodesname	the full name of the code
mcty	short	dmap.contentcodestype	the type of the code (see
					appendix b for type values)

mlog	list	dmap.loginresponse	response to a /login
mlid	int	dmap.sessionid		the session id for the login session

mupd	list	dmap.updateresponse	response to a /update
msur	int	dmap.serverrevision	revision to use for requests
muty	byte	dmap.updatetype
mudl	list	dmap.deletedidlisting	used in updates?  (document soon)

avdb	list	daap.serverdatabases	response to a /databases
abro	list	daap.databasebrowse	
abal	list	daap.browsealbumlistung	  
abar	list	daap.browseartistlisting   
abcp	list	daap.browsecomposerlisting
abgn	list	daap.browsegenrelisting

adbs	list	daap.databasesongs	repsoonse to a /databases/id/items
asal	string	daap.songalbum		the song ones should be self exp.
asar	string	daap.songartist
asbt	short	daap.songsbeatsperminute
asbr	short	daap.songbitrate
ascm	string	daap.songcomment
asco	byte	daap.songcompilation
asda	date	daap.songdateadded
asdm	date	daap.songdatemodified
asdc	short	daap.songdisccount
asdn	short	daap.songdiscnumber
asdb	byte	daap.songdisabled
aseq	string	daap.songeqpreset
asfm	string	daap.songformat
asgn	string	daap.songgenre
asdt	string	daap.songdescription
asrv	byte	daap.songrelativevolume
assr	int	daap.songsamplerate
assz	int	daap.songsize
asst	int	daap.songstarttime 	(in milliseconds)	
assp	int	daap.songstoptime 	(in milliseconds)
astm	int	daap.songtime		(in milliseconds)
astc	short	daap.songtrackcount
astn	short	daap.songtracknumber
asur	byte	daap.songuserrating
asyr	short	daap.songyear
asdk	byte	daap.songdatakind
asul	string	daap.songdataurl

aply	list	daap.databaseplaylists	response to /databases/id/containers
abpl	byte	daap.baseplaylist

apso	list	daap.playlistsongs	response to 
prsv	list	daap.resolve
arif	list	daap.resolveinfo

aeNV	int
aeSP	byte

Appendix B - iTunes4 content types

(Note: the ones in parenthesis are assumed based on the arrangement of
types, however they have not yet been confirmed)

id	type
1	byte
2	(unsigned byte)
3	short
4	(unsigned short)
5	int
6	(unsigned int)
7	long
8	(unsigned long)
9	string
10	date (represented as a 4 byte integer)
11	version (represented as either 4 single bytes, e.g. or
		as two shorts, e.g. 1.0)
12	list


1. It is my assumption, at least, that this is what DAAP stands for
2. Apples implementation of the zeroconf standards
3. HyperText Transport Protocol - although, these days it's shunting
around a lot more than hypertext, no?