How to convert m4p to mp3 for free?
September 20, 2009 10:20 AM   Subscribe

What's the best free or cheap program to convert m4p files to mp3?

Like a program that won't be a trial version that gives me 45 seconds of the song. I'm on a mac. Thanks.
posted by jitterbug perfume to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you use iTunes? iTunes does this for you. Simply right click on the song (or album) and select "Create MP3 Version."
posted by applemeat at 10:35 AM on September 20, 2009

Response by poster: I've tried that and it works occasionally, but usually it says it can't convert the file because it's protected.
posted by jitterbug perfume at 10:37 AM on September 20, 2009

When I have desired my m4p's to become mp3's, I have burned them as an audio CD, which iTunes does allow you to do, and then ripped the resultant tracks from that disc to mp3.
posted by mumkin at 10:43 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Look here for information, and consult Google with a search like "requiem itunes" for the software.
It is illegal in the US to use this software, and it's my understanding of the DMCA that it's illegal to even tell somebody how to go about circumventing access controls on these files. I could be wrong about that last bit though. In any case, whether you trust some dodgy illegal software you got from a Rapidshare link is up to you; I wouldn't recommend it. It would be better to burn and re-rip the songs as mumkin suggests. Or you could just download the songs in the desired format over bittorrent or usenet. Burning and re-ripping is probably even legal! You can burn to a CD-RW or a disk image if you're concerned about wasting blank CDs.
posted by nowonmai at 11:08 AM on September 20, 2009

I suggest: (1) stop downloading from iTunes for exactly this reason (amazon, for example, allows you to download mp3's without DRM), (2) make mp3's of the stuff you've already downloaded in exactly the way that mumkin has described. It works just fine.
posted by crapples at 11:36 AM on September 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

What about Switch?
posted by jgirl at 11:45 AM on September 20, 2009

> (1) stop downloading from iTunes for exactly this reason (amazon, for example, allows you to download mp3's without DRM

iTunes files are now DRM-free so this is misinformation. You only need to worry about this stuff for older purchases.
posted by nowonmai at 12:02 PM on September 20, 2009 [3 favorites]

Which reminds me: Apple will let you upgrade your old m4p files to the new, higher quality, unprotected iTunes Plus format for 30c a pop. This might be too expensive (I think it's a rip-off), but you should consider that any conversion you do with your existing files will lower the quality whereas upgrading will get you higher quality files. Depending on what you plan to do next, you might not even need to convert to MP3; standard iTunes tracks should work fine on most players including Zunes, Sansas and most modern phones.
posted by nowonmai at 12:46 PM on September 20, 2009

Mpeg Streamclip is a free program that let's you do that. 1.) Open the mp4 file in the program. 2.) Export as audio. 3.) Choose the settings you want, and make mp3 the filetype.
posted by sswiller at 12:48 PM on September 20, 2009

No matter how you do it, you should know that transcoding one lossy format to another will cause deterioration in sound quality each time you do it - whether that's noticeable or acceptable to you is a personal matter, but you should at least know that your final version can not sound as good as what you started with.
posted by dirm at 7:39 PM on September 20, 2009

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