Remove DRM from iTunes
Some iTunes music comes with DRM, but you can use an iTunes trick to remove DRM. Note this should only be used if you own the actual rights to the music, or if you are allowed to remove DRM by the rights-owner.
DRM iTunes songs usually have an .m4p file extension. But this trick basically allows you to convert .m4p to .m4a.
To be clear and provide some background, DRM is a complex topic that is far beyond the reaches of this article. DRM on songs is intended to protect the copyright owner or the distributor of the music, but for some end users it can be considered restrictive or obnoxious as it can sometimes limit where a song can be played or listened to. The idea for those that dislike DRM is that you paid for the music therefore the user who paid for it should be able to listen to it how they want, but whether or not that is true is unclear and it may depend on the copyright owner or the distributor, or the creator of the music. Complex stuff, lots of theory, probably not what most people think about when they just want to listen to a song or burn a CD of some music! Record companies and owners of music don’t always agree with that concept and they often like DRM to protect from music copying or improper file sharing, an understandable concern for musicians and producers alike.
When you buy something like a song from iTunes, or some other online music download services, some songs and music will come with DRM protection preventing you from playing a file outside of iTunes or another media player.
But a trick with iTunes can be used to remove DRM if you have a disc of the music. You should only do this if it’s allowed by the owner of the music however, for example if it’s your own disc and you are the musician and distributor.
How to Remove DRM from songs using iTunes
Interestingly, you can use iTunes itself to remove DRM from songs by ripping a cd, then burning it, and then ripping it again. It’s a little circler but it works, here’s how:
* Create a playlist within iTunes that includes all the songs with DRM
* Using a blank CD-R disk, Burn the DRM songs to this CD with iTunes
* Once the CD is burnt, re-rip the entire CD with iTunes
* Your newly imported songs will be DRM free
To avoid confusion you may want to delete the originals with DRM protection.
This method to remove the DRM protection works on Mac OS X and Windows, so regardless of where your iTunes music is stored you’ll be able to remove the restriction.
DRM is a complicated topic, and it is entirely up to YOU to understand your abilities and rights regarding DRM and DRM removal.