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.
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...
Posted by Bob Rankin on 10 Dec 2007
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- DRM Removal (Posted: 10 Dec 2007)
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