DRM Removal

Category: Audio , Music

Are you trying to convert iTunes music to MP3 format? Or maybe you have some protected WMA files that you want to convert? There are plenty of good reasons why honest people might want to use a DRM remover to convert their legally purchased DRM-protected music into other formats. Here's how to do it...

How To Remove DRM from Audio Files

Perhaps you've purchased music from iTunes and you want to play those tunes on a non-iPod music player. Apple says no. Maybe you've become a Mac or Linux user, and you need your WMA (Windows Audio) files in a standard, portable format. Microsoft says no. How about making backup copies of your music library? Or burning your favorite tunes to a CD so you can listen in the car? The RIAA says no.

But that doesn't mean you can't.

Yes, you CAN free your iTunes music from the shackles of DRM. Yes, you CAN move your Windows WMA audio files to other operating system platforms. Yes, you CAN make a backup copy of your music library to protect yourself from hard drive failure. And yes, you CAN listen to your music without a computer, on that expensive stereo system in the living room, in your car or with a non-iPod player.
DRM Remover

If you're frustrated by the DRM protection roadblock, check out my list of audio converters below. These programs will help you convert iTunes AAC and M4A formats to MP3, or just about any other sound format you need. You can also use them to convert protected WMA files to MP3. Some of these tools are free, and some require payment. Generally, the paid-for software is a little easier to install and use, so depending on your geek level, choose the one that works best for you.

The Big List of Audio Conversion Software

  • Requiem - The Requiem software captures the audio stream of a song while it's being played in iTunes, and outputs it to an MP3 file. In non-technical terms, you could say that it "listens" to the song while it's being played on your computer, and converts it to another format. (FREE)
  • Audacity - Audacity is a general purpose audio program that allows users to record and edit audio. It works on Windows, Mac OSX and GNU/Linux, as well as a couple other operating systems. If you start Audacity and press the Record button, it will capture the song being played by iTunes. Add the LAME Encoder (also on the Audacity download page) and you'll be able to export from Audacity to MP3 files. (FREE)
  • Audio Hijack - Record live audio from software applications and audio devices. Similar to Audacity, but for Mac OS X only. (US $32.00)
  • TuneBite - The purpose of the TuneBite converter is to remove the copy protection from music and audio files, so that it can be converted into a more compatible format for your audio device. This software works with over 50 different audio and video files including: WMA, M4A, M4B, AAC, WAV, FLA, and AIFF. (US $24.90)
  • Sound Taxi - Sound Taxi is a program that is specifically designed for converting DRM files like WMA, AAC and M4P to MP3 files. It works with Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista. (US $14.90)
  • NoteBurner - NoteBurner is designed to convert DRM M4P, WMA, M4A and M4B files, as well as regular audio files, into WAV or MP3 files. NoteBurner creates a virtual CD drive to simulate the ripping and burning process so you can convert iTunes M4P files to MP3. (US $29.00)
  • MAC M4P Converter - is a tool to convert M4P to MP3 on Mac OS X systems. It will convert DRM protected or unprotected M4P music files (as well as audio books) to plain MP3 files. Uses a "virtual CD drive" technique similar to NoteBurner. (US $35.00)
  • ShareDRMusic - is designed to convert any DRM protected music files (such as M4P, M4A, WMA, M4B), or unprotected music files (such as WAV, MP3, WMA) and audio books to MP3, WMA or WAV files. (US $35.00)
  • NoteCable - NoteCable is similar to some of the other audio converters. It takes protected DRM files and transfers them to a virtual recording platform and then you convert these files to unprotected MP3s. (US $34.95)
  • ImTOO Video to Audio Converter - ImToo Video to Audio Converter was designed to extract audio files from video files. It is compatible with the following file formats: DVD, AVI, VCD, GIF, WMA, Flash, WAV, MP4, M4A, ADE, AAC and CUE. (US $25.00)
  • Applied Technologies Replay Converter - This is a high powered audio/video converter software platform that allows you to record and convert a variety of audio/video formats like AVI, WMV and MP4. (US $29.95)
  • WMA Convert Platinum - This software program has been designed to un-protect audio and movie files so that they can be converted to other formats. It works with a large selection of protected files produced by companies like iTunes, Wal-Mart, Music Match, Rhapsody, Audible and Cingular mMode. (US $14.99)
  • Easy WMA - This conversion software allows you to convert WMV audio, WMA, Ogg Vorbis and AIF files to WAV, AIFF, M4A and MP3 files. This software also offers drag and drop compiling, batch processing, iTunes conversion and ID3 tags. Does not have DRM removal capability. (US $10.00)
  • SoX http://sox.sourceforge.net - The swiss army knife of sound processing programs. This software allows you to record and convert audio files to different formats. It supports a huge list of file formats including, but not limited to: RAW, AIFF, AU, ARV, CD-R, MP3, IRCAM, DOS, FLAC, VOX. For Windows and Linux/unix systems. Does not have DRM removal capability. (FREE)
  • TuneCab - Appears to be a clone of SoundTaxi.
  • TuneRaft - Appears to be another clone of SoundTaxi.
  • Melody Can - Appears to be yet another clone of SoundTaxi.

Do you have another DRM remover tool that works well for you? Post a comment below...

 
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Most recent comments on "DRM Removal"

(See all 71 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

paddy
25 Jan 2009

I have all the songs off and now I need a way to strip DRM off of them. All I need is a tool that works.

P.S. banshee works great, thanks


Posted by:

JohnK
07 Feb 2009

I use Freecorder, a free tool that simply records the output of your sound card and converts it to mp3. Just play a WMA file in MediaPlayer and Freecorder does its thing on the fly, whether the file is DRM protected or not.

Quality suffers, as the file is converted from digital to analog in the sound card, then back to digital and compressed to mp3. But I mainly use it for listening to WMA audio books on an iPod.


Posted by:

MayCai368
08 May 2009

Yes, there are many usful to help people.

to convert DRM protected music or convert iTunes music to mp3, here is more one wonderful software to sharing.

http://www.removing-drm.com

And, there is detial using guide, I think it is also helpful

http://www.flash-on-tv.com/resource/wondershare-music-converter-helps-you.html


Posted by:

Felix
15 Jun 2009

After iTunes stoped selling DRM protected music, most of this software became unusefull. As file format converters they are not perfect. What I found great is sofware pack that comes from http://media-converter.info
They offer nice conerter and a tool to download video from youtube/hulu/etc...
Their converter (don't remember name - it's black) worked out for me as best from all listed.


Posted by:

Dan
02 Oct 2009

I'd love to use some of this free decoder software, but I'm finding it quite difficult.

Two links in this article lead nowhere. And on the hymnproject page I'm finding the same.

Please help.


Posted by:

Jason Linsey
17 Jan 2010

This is all well & good for music files. But you don't give any consideration to video files. What if I want to burn a movie I bought of iTunes to DVD?


Posted by:

summer
25 Mar 2010

I used aimersoft media converter.

Quoted from its website:
"Remove DRM from protected music video movie from iTunes, BBC iPlayer, Windows Media Centre, Zune MarketPlace, Napster, Rhapsody, Nokia Music Store, Spiralfrog, iMeem, iMesh, Bearshare, eMusic, Puretracks, MusicGiants, CinemaNow, Blockbuster, Amazon Unbox etc"

I think its an all-in-one software which performs all round as DRM remover and music & video converter, fast and very easy to handle.


Posted by:

alfija
26 Mar 2010

drm remove software can help you remove drm protection and convert any formats


Posted by:

jessicawell
06 Apr 2010

almost never touching Windows Media Player except to activate DRMed music, which I would quickly rip into MP3s with the help of this DRM removal program


Posted by:

sadasw
28 Apr 2010

drm remove software can help you remove drm protection and convert any formats


Posted by:

slappHappe
13 Jun 2010

Thanks, I took the Audacity route which, very simply, is: The audiobook will play in iTunes on your Mac. Soundflower will route the speaker audio to the microphone where Audacity+LAME will pick it up and re-record it and export and .mp3 file. Complete instructions at my my blog ...

http://slapphappe.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/drm-workaround-for-your-audio-books/


Posted by:

drmremoval
23 Jun 2010

good job ! thanks for sharing. with your guide, remove drm become a simple thing


Posted by:

elle
02 Jul 2010

Thanks for your sharing this information, Tune4mac iTunes Audio converter is also better software on Mac.
http://www.tune4mac.com/mac-itunes-audio-converter/


Posted by:

medianoche
31 Aug 2010

Great information, thanks!
I'm looking for a good audio converter to convert DRM files, so it might be very useful for me =)


Posted by:

Tim
22 May 2011

you can use wavepad from http://www.nch.com.au/wavepad
it will directly convert itunes to mp3, even giving you the option of variable bit-rate encoding. Good stuff!


Posted by:

Anne
29 Jun 2011

Freeme2 is also a free DRM removal used to remove DRM protection from Windows Media audio and video files. drm removal


Posted by:

yogi
29 Mar 2012

I'm looking for a good audio converter to convert DRM files, so it might be very useful for me =)


Posted by:

NewsView
13 Feb 2016

I just want to mention that NoteBurner doesn't appear to work anymore. The version compatible with my OS hangs up on m4p files when used in conjunction with iTunes 11. If I assemble a playlist of M4Ps that read "Protected" under "kind" in my library, the first track will convert and the rest will not.

Beyond that, NoteBurner is not $29 anymore. I paid $39 and it's NOT working on M4Ps that contain pre-2009 DRM. I feel as if I've been scammed! I own over 300 DRM-protected tracks, all lawfully purchased through iTunes, and even iTunes Match, as advised on MacWorld, Wired Magazine, LifeHacker and Apple's own support community, DOES NOT SUBSTITUTE OR REPLACE M4Ps with M4As.

As a warning to those who are late to the DRM-headaches that arise when attempting to use a non-Apple playback device: I did receive M4As after my initial iTunes Match signup, but iTunes Match re-converted them to M4Ps, while still continuing to list them under "kind" as PURCHASED (sneaky, eh?). My library is one hot mess after subscribing to Match. I turned Match off in iTunes 11 after thinking the process had been successful — doing so because I thought it would prevent Apple from continuing to alter the contents of my library — but apparently there's no REAL way to turn off Match/iCloud enabled services through iTunes 11. Apple continued to modify my library at will in the week subsequent to my Match signup, and now my library is populated with duplicates (the original M4Ps, which I kept but unchecked in my library after signing up for Match + the M4As that Match began *reverting* to M4Ps, hence the duplicates).

I turned Match back on to re-grap M4As after they completely disappeared and now I have even more duplicates (because what was on the iCloud became outdated while Match was off —— and once turned back on Match re-deposited playlists I had removed or edited locally with older copies).

The old standby for those who wanted to create MP3 counterparts is to rip a physical CD back into iTunes. As far as I can tell, however, that method no longer works, either. For one, iTunes 11, even though the option to "get track names" is checked, won't grab them. That means I have to name each CD track manually (of 300+ old DRM purchases I need to rip!). Meanwhile, in the tests I made the ripped CD brought the M4Ps back in the same way they went out —— sans track names —— even though the converter was set to MP3 in iTunes 11 (Mac OS 10.6.8). Long story short, Apple has rendered a lot of the workarounds that have been mentioned on the Internet ineffectual.

My DRM "crime" consisted of my total ignorance that my pre-2009 iTunes purchases would not be "future proof" enough to run on a non-Apple device. So here I am with an Android smartphone and yet I am still dependent upon my iPod 20GB Photo for playback! Hey, Apple I used that dang iPod for 10 years. Do you think I'm going to spend more money buying iTunes content or subscribing to iCloud services if I am disgruntled by your micro-managing tactics? I realize Apple wants to protect their "ecosystem" (business interests) but at some point don't the changes rendered by iCloud-capable versions of iTunes cross the line into anticompetitive business practices?


Posted by:

Belinda
21 May 2016

Thanks for your sharing. When mention about Audio DRM removal, I always use iTunes Music Converter (http://macsome.com/itunes-converter-mac/index.html). It is simple tool for me.


Posted by:

May Sue
21 May 2016

Here is a purchased Audiobook DRM removal tool - Macsome Audio Book Converter (http://macsome.com/audio-book-converter-mac/index.html), which supports all the purchased Audiobooks from iTunes Store and Audible.com and other protected Audiobooks.


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Article information: AskBobRankin -- DRM Removal (Posted: 10 Dec 2007)
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