How To Convert Protected Audio Into a Plain MP3

Major recording labels protect their signed-up artists and the songs they produce through Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology so as to avoid illegal distribution of copyrighted songs. However, if you bought music from legitimate downloading stores on the Web such as iTunes, then you would want to maximize your expense by being able to play them anywhere, provided that you do not distribute or share them to others. This "unlocking" of protected audio can actually be done so that you can play the songs on any other MP3 player or computer.

With the Use of Replay Music

Replay Music is a software application for Windows-based computers. It functions as a recorder program for any music file you play on iTunes or whatever audio player you are using, automatically converts the audio files to the MP3 format, and tags the converted files with the song title, artist's name and album details. Additionally, it recognizes and instantly divides the files into individual tracks for you during the recording process. There are other software applications available on the Internet that can perform this function. The essential feature to look out for is the ability to convert any audio file format to the MP3 format.

Burning Songs Onto a CD

  1. Download iTunes for free for Windows-based or Mac Operating Systems from the Apple website. Follow all the instructions for correct installation.
  2. Set the properties of iTunes Import Preference to MP3, or whatever format you wish. Afterwards, set the iTunes Burn Preference to Audio CD.
  3. Organize the audio files for easier access by creating a play list of all the iTunes protected music you bought. Do this by selecting the New Playlist from the File menu. Choose all the audio files you wish to convert to the MP3 format from the Music Library and drag these into your newly created playlist.
  4. Burn these audio files onto your CD by clicking on File and then Burn Playlist to Disc. A pop up window will appear that will prompt you to insert the recordable CD (CD-R) into the optical drive. Once burned onto the disc, the audio files' format becomes AIFFs which can be played on almost any CD player.
  5. To finally convert the AIFFs into the MP3 format and still contain all the store ID tags such as song titles, artists' names and album details, you will have to rip the audio files back into the iTunes. Do this by accessing the Music Library, and clicking on the CD icon. Highlight all the songs still in the AIFF format and drag them into the Music Library, and the conversion process to MP3 will start.

Converting protected audio to plain MP3 could become an issue if one uses this method to illegally distribute copyrighted material whether for profit or for free. Maximizing one's legal audio download expenses may seem like a valid reason but once the material is in plain MP3 there really isn't any practical way for record labels to prevent your from sharing them. The whole issue is still being debated by the music industry on one side, looking for more effective restrictions and the Internet community on the other, looking for a new paradigm for media distribution.


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