How to unDRM old iTunes songs


Caveat from the comments in the article:

[quote]Roberto, do you have an iTunes Match subscription? Because I’m
pretty sure you need that in order to download DRM-free versions of
previously purchased DRM-protected tracks from iTunes in the Cloud.
Apple Support’s FAQ on iTunes Plus (last updated 12/5/12) says so, and
it’s what I had to do.[/quote]

Verify that this works for you before you go deleting huge chunks of your music.

And make a backup.

Now if only they’d kill the drm on video content. I’m not buying any more until they do (but might still do an occasional movie rental).

I tried to do this a couple of weeks ago. I don’t have iTunes match and it did not work. Burning to CD and ripping them worked just fine, although it takes more time.

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I made the mistake of buying some DRM’d files off of Napster (not the old Napster, but the other one that has also been shut down) a number of years ago. Apparently there’s some elaborate way to strip off the DRM using an outdated version of Media Player and still get the original, digital file back without having to go through the burn-and-rip route. Never got around to trying it, though.

The problem with this is that you’re starting from a 128 Kbps file, transcoding it, then transcoding it again. I did the same thing a few times before 2009 and the results sounded pretty awful. Ok for a bog-standard car stereo or earbuds, I guess, but nothing more.

Anyone who still has a lot of locked files is probably best advised to pay for a one-year iTunes Match subscription, replace everything (and any matched sub-256 Kbps files in their collection) and make sure to turn auto-renew off, unless you actually find iTunes Match as a whole to be good value. (Which I think it can be for those who do a lot of mobile listening and have a good data plan. )

If you listen on decent speakers the 256 Kbps AAC files are still nowhere near CD or LP quality, but good enough for casual listening/background music.

On a related note, storage space is now so cheap there’s no reason not to re-rip all your CDs in a lossless codec like FLAC or Apple Lossless.

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Isn’t this a DMCA violation? The DRM is there “lawfully” and this is a circumvention of it. Apple supplied the method, Wired explained it and BB linked it. I believe that means all three parties pay?

If Apple supplied the method to circumvent its own DRM, which hasn’t been used for any music sold in the last five years, surely it’s at the very worst a violation in fact-not-in-spirit that would be very tough to prosecute.

And if it really does require iTunes Match there’s almost certainly no violation at all, because from day one that service has been configured to upgrade anything in your library (as long as it’s in Apple’s library) to a DRM-free 256 Kbps AAC file, even 96 Kbps stuff downloaded from who-knows-where.

Unless you want to carry them around on a portable device with limited storage space.

If you’re using iTunes you can set it to automatically create a lower bitrate copy when loading your portable device. Don’t know about iTunes competitors but I would expect most if not all can do the same.

iTunes music’s not a problem for me. Getting rid of the DRM on Audible purchases would be though. What I don’t understand is why Amazon are right behind DRM free music they’re so damned keen on DRM crippled audiobooks.

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