Convert iTunes Music Store purchased files (.m4p) to mp3?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Matthew England, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. I want to convert the Apple iTunes Music Store files I purchase, that
    thus far have come in a .m4p ("protected") format, to a .mp3 format.
    (This would allow me to play my purchased music anywhere I please on
    my .mp3-compatible equipment, thus not limiting me to my Macs or my

    It seems that Apple is specifically trying to prevent this. (Probably
    so they can force users to buy/use only their hardware for this
    purpose. ugh. I own a G4 and an iPod anyway, but still listen to my
    music in many other system/stereo contexts, like the mp3 player in my
    car. And yes, I have a mini-jack plugin in my car for my iPod, but
    that is not always very convenient.)

    Anybody have any suggestions?

    I see potentially promising things at
    <> and maybe I can find other stuff
    digging around <>, but before I go to all this
    research and other work (like trying to build mpeg4ip on my OS X box),
    I thought I would ask here to see if this is a worthwhile effort.

    On a side note, it would help a lot if I can play .m4p files in
    Windows Winamp (which is still my main music app...haven't converted
    everything to iTunes yet, if I ever will). I did try a winamp plugin
    (in my 2.91 winamp app installed on Win2kServer) discussed here:
    However, I could not get this to work for one of my .m4p files.

    On a side note: I do not want to do this If this is somehow illegal.
    However, I'm hard pressed to see how I would be breaking any USA law
    other than just some Apple constraint/wish. If I'm going to pay
    $0.99, it seems fair to me that I should be able play this song
    anywhere I desire. Is this a reasonable understanding/request?

    Thanks for any help,
    Matthew England, Aug 7, 2003
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  2. It's a tough line Apple has to walk. Gotta keep your suppliers happy
    while giving your customers as much freedom as you can.

    Reverend Paul

    Zorak: That lady mantis... wasn't really a lady.
    Space Ghost: Not really a lady? Huh? Then she must have been... Wait!
    You were digging on a dude?
    Zorak: It's not what you think. Carl is part of a male mantis
    resistance movement that intercedes at the moment when the
    urge is the worst. He lured me back to his nest, where we ate
    barbeque and talked sports until the urge had passed. He...
    saved my life, and for that, I will always be grateful.
    Space Ghost: What a remarkable story! I wonder who owns the movie rights.
    Zorak: Ted Turner.
    Paul Antonissen, Aug 7, 2003
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  3. This may be a brain-dead method, but here's how I've done it:

    1) Start iMovie, specifying a new project (I use 'Test' in the Desktop

    2) Once iMovie is running, click the "Audio" icon in iMovie (lower right,
    along the section of icons labeled "Clips", "Photos", "Audio", etc.)

    3) iMovie will display a list of your tunes - drag one down to the lower
    section of the iMovie window and drop it to import it

    4) Once the import is done, choose File/Export

    5) In the export dialog, choose "To Quicktime" and "Expert Settings...",
    and click "Export"

    6) In the Save As dialog, make sure "Sound to AIFF" is selected, choose a
    name and location, and click "Save"

    7) Switch to iTunes, and choose "File/Import"

    8) Once the file is imported, selected it in iTunes, and choose
    "Advanced/Convert Selection to MP3"

    There may be (probably is) a more efficient way, but this works for me.

    Patrick Mills, Aug 7, 2003
  4. Interesting. Is there any magic that prevents the .m4p file from
    being copied to (in an unlimited fashion) and played on another
    Mac/iPod besides mine? (If so, I hope it at least plays on *my*
    iPod.) It seems unlikely; I didn't notice any specific
    "cerfiticate/key" granted just for my G4 that I'm running.

    I don't wish to do this, just curious.

    Matthew England, Aug 8, 2003
  5. Matthew England

    Tom Stiller Guest

    You can't play protected music on a Mac unless that Mac is one of the
    three (max.) authorized to play the music. You can't transfer
    protected music to an iPod unless the source Mac is one of the three
    authorized Macs.
    Tom Stiller, Aug 8, 2003
  6. Matthew England

    Guest Guest

    They're _supposed_ to be cumbersome. Apple had to make a deal
    with the music companies and I'm sure that the music companies
    didn't want it to be easy. Nobody ever believed that folks
    wouldn't work around it - it's just that if it's trivial to
    do so, the record companies would never have signed on. It's
    got to be annoying enough that the the great mass of average
    users will not bother.

    The CD-Burning is probably the easiest. Besides, as a side
    effect you end up with a nice audio CD copy of the music which
    you could keep for playing in old stereos. (Very cool, though,
    that you have an mp3-cd-playing car stereo. wish I did. Actually,
    until a couple of days ago, I only wished I had a line-in jack
    on my car stereo so I could plug in my iPod, but my iPod's
    hosed now - the jack cracked and no longer works...)
    Guest, Aug 8, 2003
  7. Matthew England

    David C. Guest

    As far as I know, the only way to do this is to burn an audio CD and
    then rip it back.

    This will result in a loss of quality, but the result might still be
    acceptable, and may be no worse than a file-format conversion.
    The DRM is imposed on them by the copyright holders (the record
    companies). Purchased music can be burned to unlimited CDs (but no
    more than 10 burns per playlist), uploaded to unlimited iPods, or
    played on up to three Macs. But nothing else.

    It's restrictive, but much less so than similar music services from
    other vendors.
    It's not illegal to make unlimited copies for personal use if you
    actually paid for the song, but breaking a DRM scheme will violate
    the DMCA. This means if you want to be strictly legal, you must do
    it without breaking the DRM. As far as I know, the only way to do
    this is to burn an audio CD and them rip it back.
    You can play it anywhere if you burn it to an audio CD.

    -- David
    David C., Aug 9, 2003
  8. Matthew England

    David C. Guest

    Ignore anything posted by "Enough". He never says anything
    constructive. His posts are nothing but abuse. Any reply is simply
    feeding the troll.

    -- David
    David C., Aug 9, 2003
  9. Matthew England

    Gord Locke Guest

    Once you've got your ITMS songs turned into AIFF files (or the tracks burned
    to CD), rather than convert those to MP3, convert them back to 128kbps AAC.
    This will result in zero (or minimal) data loss and sound distortion. As
    opposed to the distortion on an MP3 conversion, which could be considerable.
    But your new AAC file won't have the ITMS DRM restrictions.

    Caveat: I don't know if everything can play AAC files. As for Windows
    WinAmp, maybe there's a plugin for AAC.
    Gord Locke, Aug 10, 2003
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