What's the best way to turn protected AACs into regular AACs for a large amount of files?
September 9, 2004 2:05 PM   Subscribe

iTunes question..what's the best way to turn protected AACs into regular AACs for a large amount of files?
posted by tetsuo to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
By cracking the DRM or legally?
posted by smackfu at 2:20 PM on September 9, 2004

the easiest way is to burn them all to a cd and then re rip them. and since you own them (Right?) it is legal (sort of...)
posted by ShawnString at 2:32 PM on September 9, 2004

If you bought the song then cracking te DRM is fair use as far as any just law is concerned.

As far as I know PlayFair still works.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2004

Try hymn.
posted by reklaw at 2:45 PM on September 9, 2004

With Hymn (on Windows), you can drag the files right onto the executable, and it will convert them all. No need to use the command line. If you're on a Mac, I'm guessing its even easier with Hymn.
posted by shinynewnick at 3:32 PM on September 9, 2004

I used fairtunes on the one DRM'd ITMS track I bought; this converts it to an uncompressed and unprotected format, which you can then re-import into iTunes as an MP3 or MP4.
posted by adamrice at 3:36 PM on September 9, 2004

I tried Hymn, but get an error message. (BTW, I think playfair is now the same thing as Hymn, just different name).

Copying to a CD and reripping would just take too much time, I'm looking at 300+ files here, and tried as mp3 and data files, it won't reimport them.

I'll give fairtunes a shot, if I can get one of the mirrors to give up the file.

Thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by tetsuo at 4:49 PM on September 9, 2004

From the Hymn manual: "In order to decrypt music tracks on a non-Windows sytem, you must have access to an Apple iPod portable music player." So this is probably pretty much just a wrapper around playfair, which also uses iPod keys for decryption.

Fairtunes should work fine, but you're gonna lose some quality if you recompress its output.
posted by majick at 5:03 PM on September 9, 2004

From the Hymn manual: "In order to decrypt music tracks on a non-Windows sytem, you must have access to an Apple iPod portable music player."

This is technically not true -- the Mac version of hymn will look for keys in ~/.drms, so if you can get them there, you're home free.

Conveniently, there's a program called FairKeys that will log on to Apple's iTMS server and get your keys for them and store them right in ~/.drms where hymn expects to find them. It is a bit cantankerous to get going, since it relies on a beta-quality clone of the Microsoft .Net runtime, and the documentation (what documentation?) doesn't say you need to run it a second time to deauthorize to avoid it eating up one of your iTMS authorizations. (Hint hint.) But it does the trick.
posted by kindall at 6:18 PM on September 9, 2004

Once again, people expounding on what they think fair use is, or what it should be, and not what it is. Beware of crappy psuedo-legal advice. /grouch
posted by anathema at 7:01 PM on September 9, 2004

Beyond that, your contract with Apple most likely takes this out of the realm of statutory copyright and into the realm of contract. So there goes your fair use anyway.
posted by anathema at 7:04 PM on September 9, 2004

So what? DRM is nothing but punishment for legitimate customers; it does nothing to discourage piracy. People using iTunes have made a conscious choice not to use Kazaa and its ilk. Putting restrictions on them is moronic, and so they will work around them (I did it recently because I wanted to play iTunes files on a PC with no Internet connection, and there's no way to authorise it...)

Breach of contract? Boo freakin' hoo. I'll carry on using Hymn until Apple sues me.
posted by reklaw at 8:45 PM on September 9, 2004

also anathema, when I bought my last powerbook, it was right around the time the store launched last year, so I bought a few albums to test it out. A week later I had a hard drive problem that required a format to fix, and I lost the tracks.

I was livid that what I just purchased days earlier couldn't be re-downloaded from iTunes. I only got the songs back because I made audio CDs for each album (something I almost never do, but I wanted to hear the music in the car that doesn't have an MP3 player). So I re-ripped them from the audio CDs back to mp3.

Now whenever I buy anything from iTMS, I make a backup of the aac files, and in some cases I rip to cd, then re-rip back to mp3. I also have an MP3 streaming audio thing downstairs on my stereo system that can't read the AAC files, so conversion to MP3 lets me enjoy the songs I purchased legitimately on my other legitimate music player. Same thing with one CD player in my car. It only plays discs with mp3s, not AAC files.

In both cases, the DRM has annoyed me as a customer and I buy less. If I could just convert protected AAC fiiles immediately to MP3, I would delete the AACs. As it is now, whenever I buy a CD, I just rip to MP3 and throw the disc away.
posted by mathowie at 11:26 PM on September 9, 2004

I find that the easiest way on a Mac is to import the protected files into iMovie, then convert them to .aiff. I have not been able to get Hymn working on either a PC or a Mac.
posted by skylar at 12:39 AM on September 10, 2004

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