Take Jobs to Task – How to remove DRM from iTunes

26 Comments

I’m a geek and a Mac fan. I admit it. I’ve read Job’s letter four times already. I’ve read countless rebuttles, analyst opinions, and blog posts about Job’s Thoughts on Music. Yesterday the solution to the problem of DRM hit me. Stop buying DRM’d music. We can demand this because its our dollars we give to these failed DRM schemes.

Yes, I’m asking all the Apple iTunes users to do us all a favor. If we, the consumer, want and demand DRM to go away, we have to stop buying it. It’s not a letter from Steve that will make this happen, as he points out the idiodic recording industry demands DRM. It isn’t some companies like Monster and Yahoo who back his ideals. So join me in boycotting DRM and let these clowns know we won’t be controlled because of their own insecurities. DRM had its trial run in the industry and it is a failure. I’m not saying that intellectual property doesn’t deserve to be protected, but I am convinced that there is no technological answer that does not step on customer toes.

DRM failed for one reason. It did what it was supposed to do. Wow, what that must be like to have a customer base you can’t trust. Would you buy from someone who shows contempt for the usage of the product they sell?

Let’s make this clear what I’m asking, because after all these analysts and the other camps spewing crazy statements it is hard to know what is real and fake. Not buying DRM’d content means the iPod still works. I know, I know. It might sprout legs and run back to Cupertino if it isn’t fed DRM’d things to decode. It also means that there is no reason to perform technical voodoo to get the purchased content to actually play. It will just play. Amazing concept? I bet Jobs is an audiophile and wants to sell higher quality content in the store, but due to DRM he can’t offer it. How about Apple Lossless downloads and H.264 encoded Hi-Def movies? DRM has blocked this from happening, not Apple’s technical capability.

I like good technology. AAC is good technology. Ogg is good technology. MP3 is good technology. Apple Lossless is great technology. Protected AAC is not.

26 Comments

irinem

I use MP4-Converter: http://mp4-converter.info/
MP4-Converter is the next generation easy-to-use software that converts just about any video and audio file that can be played on your computer.
Extremely fast conversion speed and simple user interface.

anjey_friendky

The story shows how to unprotect drm from protected wmv, wma, m4p, m4v, m4a, aac files and convert to unprotected WMV, MP4, MP3, WMA or any video and audio formats you like, such as AVI, MPEG, MOV, 3GP, m4a, aac, wmv, ogg, wav…
It’s easy and a must do operation, folks!

Point 1: I’ve purchased and downloaded some wmv videos, which is drm protected – so I cant copy them to MP3 player and my wifes htc diamond OR ANY DEVICES? I was shocked!!! #%#$%!!
WHY this happens?
So found a way – drmbuster – it converts my wmv (and avi actually) directly to my iPod.
found another software:drmremoval – seems to works slowly, but perhaps I miss smth.

Point second:
Can’t copy to my iPhone avi from my hard disk! I own that avi (movie maker production :) ) and I own the iPhone! So what&!. I can’t – I get a message: “cannot be imported because it does not appear to be a valid exported file”… ###ing limitation.
I was amazed, but drmbuster did this job for me too. It even recompressed video to iphone screen size – so I don’t have to copy all 900mbytes to devices. Just 200!!

The program is capable to convert any format I had on my hard drive – I even dragged there my while entertainment hard drive (I use different ones for windows and entertainment, to not loose valuable video), and it reconverted everithing, that looks like a video or sound.
fortunately, I hadn’t iphone conneted, otherwise it may be fully fill its memory!
Really, extremely easy to use piece of software – napster converter, itunes converter.

I am a big fun of skins and skinned software! I contacted their support, and was given an answer – If you gather some more users who desires this – we will implement for you!
What do you think juys, let’s ask them?
Please….

GolaYing

Good ides. And I recommend a well work drm remover aimersoft almedia converter, which I using now, it’s cool to remove drm music video, HD video than you imagination.

Brian B

I’ve been looking for a program like TuneCab for over a year. I have Rhapsody and I can only play the songs on my PC. When I want to create a CD, I use Roxio to copy the live stream to MP3. Works great, but it requires a little setup each time (to adjust the volume levels). I’ve googled for a Rhapsody ripper and never found anything. But now I downloaded TuneCab and it’s awesome. I’m converting my first ten CDs right now and it’s cranking through them. It takes about a minute per song to convert. Once these are done, I plan on burning my entire Rhapsody library with TuneCab over the weekend. It rocks!

THE METALLIZER

I think you people are all missing the point. The main point everyone should be wondering about is for one, are we gonna let the music industry now dictate to us on what musial devices we can play our music on.

OSRB

I stopped buying from there as well. Also, went to emusic.com as olivier stated, they have a limited catalog. But, no DRM and no hassles when trying to share your music within your house on a network of CPUs and consoles—or anywhere else for that matter. Plus they have allot rare/indie stuff that itunes doesn’t. I’m still a collector of CDs as well because I want the best of both worlds. I like to have my music in a holdable selection—not just digital. So I rock both in a no DRM zone.

Glad to see others who’ve seen what I see.
Cheers!
OSRB

Steve Simitzis

The inconvenience of DRMed music from iTMS is much smaller than the inconvenience of buying digital music elsewhere, so I seriously doubt a boycott could be successful. Especially since most people don’t understand what DRM is and why it’s a problem. If there’s going to be a change, it will come from the top. Most likely it will be pushback from the consumer electronics industry (like Steve Jobs’s letter) looking to make it easier to sell multiple devices to the same household.

And besides that, DRM just isn’t a human rights issue. At most, it’s an issue of consumer inconvenience, and if an individual consumer doesn’t feel inconvenienced, it’s going to be hard to get them to care. A user with iTunes, an iPod nano, and internet access will rarely notice Fairplay, if ever.

Galley

CDs are not only cheaper than buying from the iTMS, they are lossless, and DRM-free. If Apple offered 192Kbps files, then I might buy some singles, otherwise forget it.

Marcus

I purchased SoundTaxi – a Windows application, great, simple to use product. It does its magic by basically re-recording the files! And the best thing: keeping the tags.
Very excited about the product! You may check it at SoundTaxi.Info

Derik

Fairplay DRM, like all DRM, is a wrapper. DRM isn’t keeping Apple from selling Apple Lossless and H.264 video (they can just as easily be wrapped in it). Bandwidth costs are.

Pete

It’s not about helping or hurting Apple or the big record companies. It’s about what I feel right doing. I do not feel right giving money to someone — anyone — for a music track that limits my usage. I will not buy from ITMS or any other place that sells DRM cripple-ware. I don’t give a spit whether or not it affects their bottom line (it won’t), but at least I won’t be paying for limited rights.

I find legal MP3s online and subscribe to eMusic. There are a lot of great independent groups out there and I’ve been turned on to a lot of them. Still, I find there are a lot of songs and bands that I wish I could in good conscious buy and, yeah, it sucks when I find something else that I want and can either a) pay for a crippled version or b) find a free pirated (albeit non-crippled) version.

And to me, that’s the strangest part of all this. It’s not like any of this can’t already be found online, completely free of both cost and restrictions. Why not just make the same product available to the honest folks out there? I (and probably most folks) will happily pay for a completely legit download through a store with a nice interface and good catalog.

Pirated music (and software) can be a pain to find, especially if you’re picky about the quality and/or are looking for something a bit unusual. I think a lot of people would happily pay a bit (say, US$0.99/track?) for a good quality track that’s easy to find where you get nice “warm fuzzies” knowing that you’re “supporting the artist” (or, more likely, the artist’s record company, but at least you’re keeping it leagal).

I tell you, I’ll be all over ITMS if/when the DRM goes away, but until then, I’m only a window shopper at best.

blah

Want to write apple news for yourself? http://www.themacminute.com is a great apple blog and you can apply for a job in the forums! Its a new site, and its all run by one person so the news flow may be a bit slow.

David

Anyone who exports their iTunes to CD and then re-imports them is taking an already questionable quality recording and making it worse. That’s one of the reasons I won’t buy from iTunes.

Like others have said, boycotting iTunes is not useful in fighting DRM. Supporting things like the EMI showcases on Yahoo are. They’ve seen that releasing DRM-free music has generated big sales. It’s the only thing record companies understand.

Neven Mrgan

Also:

“The record companies will be very pleased if people stop buying iTunes, and by CDs instead. If you want to boycott DRM, listen to public radio instead.”

Yes, because public radio regularly plays video podcasts, TV shows, and all the music artists I’m interested in exactly when I feel like listening to them.

Neven Mrgan

Boycotting the iTunes Store will do nothing. Let’s get real – arguments against DRM have been out there for a long time, studies show that sales would likely increase were DRM to be dropped, and Steve is calling for it. After all that, you think studio execs will listen to something like a .01% drop in iTunes sales?

Even if the drop were more significant – 30% over last year, for instance – do you think that public outcry over DRM would be blamed? Think again. You’re not dealing with the sharpest (nor the most honest) tools in the shed here – they’d blame Steve, Apple, iTunes, piracy, etc. They would NOT blame themselves.

This call for a boycott has the same entertaining premise as most online boycotts: it says that something like backing from Apple and Yahoo won’t make DRM go away, but a call to action from a blogger will.

Trotskiii

All that this process will achieve is to strengthen the record companies, they don’t like Apple iTunes’ deathgrip on the market – weakening iTunes will strengthen their resolve to impose DRM at will! Surely buying from and thereby strengthening iTunes helps Apple in its proposed discussions with the big 4 to remove DRM?

I dont like DRM either but I really can’t see how you can say it is a failure. iTunes is completely based on DRM, and dominates the market, yet before it the music download market was floundering.

BTW – burning an AAC track to disc then re-ripping to MP3 degrades the tracks audio quality in a similar way that resaving a JPEG several times degrades its image quality. So although the resulting file may be reasonable it is still not anything like the quality of the track that you originally purchased. I would guess that the Fairplay DRM removal hacks that are about also result in a similar degredation of quality due to the process actually re-ripping the already compressed files?

Steve W

The record companies will be very pleased if people stop buying iTunes, and by CDs instead. If you want to boycott DRM, listen to public radio instead.

Justin

I agree that it will be great to have DRM free content on iTunes, but who is willing to front the extra 6 to 7 dollars per album that I buy in a record store. If you aren’t pirating music, then why complain so much about DRM?

Joseph

You really want to make an impact? Stop buying ALL music from the Big 4. Buy Indie. The music is better, and you can get a lot of it unencumbered with DRM. The only way better than not buying the crap is to buy something else.

Jeff

The DRM in iTunes is a bit of a red herring. I buy music from iTunes on my laptop, burn a CD, and then just import it into iTunes on my desktop, which syncs my iPod. No DRM – and I can move anything from my iPod to any other Mac using Senuti.

Roger Zender

I’ve been doing this as well… One resource I thought would be nice, that i’ve been planning on posting on my blog, is a list of DRM-free stores. Below is what I have so far, but I’m sure this site could be generating a bunch more than I can.

Here’s what I have:
http://www.emusic.com
http://audiolunchbox.com/
http://www.roughtrade.com/
http://www.insound.com/
http://www.bleep.com/
http://www.mindawn.com/
http://magnatune.com/
http://digital.othermusic.com/ (coming soon)

Bill Green

I totally agree with you, and I’ve stopped buying DRM’d music myself.

I also would agree that Steve is an audiophile, and would no doubt love to offer higher quality music for download. I doubt, however, that such downloads would be Apple Lossless. The files are just too big, especially for those of us with big libraries on small hard drives.

Jason

Excellent suggestion! It would be interesting to see this actually take off and watch the market shift to actually demand non DRM’d downloadable music! Sweet!

On a related note that bugs me about this whole DRM and iPod only fiasco is that no one makes people buy from the iTunes store. Why don’t people complain about the DRM that keeps PlaysForSure on specific players? I had an experience where I bought an MP3 player that didn’t play Yahoo! music.

That’s my rant. Thanks.

olivier

i stopped buy iTunes music a long time ago and switched to eMusic, DRM-free.

and then, since they have a limited catalog, i buy the CD if i want some tunes that iTunes doesn’t have, so i live a DRM-free life.

will start buying on iTunes again when they drop DRMs.

Comments are closed.