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How to convert a library of DRM'd iTunes ACC songs to unprotected mp3s for free?

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think you mean "AAC" instead of "ACC" – quack quixote Oct 4 '09 at 1:49
or maybe you did mean "ACC", but really, is "Rah Rah Carolina" worth it? – quack quixote Oct 4 '09 at 2:16
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't know of any program that does this (I don't buy iTunes tracks). But here's the basic steps, and the absolute-last-resort method to accomplish what you want to do.

Generic method:

  1. Crack the encryption.
  2. Decode the AAC data to PCM/WAV.
  3. Encode the PCM/WAV data to MP3.

Absolute worst-case I'm-not-kidding-find-another-way method:

  1. Burn the tracks to CDR using iTunes (you may want to use a CDRW, especially if you have a lot of tracks).
  2. Rip the tracks from the burned disc to MP3, using whatever ripping software you prefer. If you use iTunes for the ripping, set the encoding options to MP3.
  3. (optional) wipe the CDRW disc and burn the next batch of tracks.

(Note this probably won't work if you can't play the AAC tracks in your iTunes.)

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Correct, if you can't play them, you can't burn them as audio cd. – emgee Oct 5 '09 at 1:46
If you can install a virtual CDR drive to burn an image on the hard-drive which you can virtually mount to rip from, the worst method becomes a little better. – dlamblin May 21 '12 at 19:34

Google for a program called Requiem. Last I heard it could decrypt iTunes music.

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It depends on what version of iTunes is in use. So far as I know (and it's been a few weeks since I looked) there isn't a version of Requiem that works with the latest iTunes, unless you backed up your encryption keys. – emgee Oct 5 '09 at 1:45
See Wikipedia. It can now work with newer versions of iTunes, but you will need to get it via bittorrent – Casebash Jul 10 '10 at 3:54

I'm trying - it fools iTunes into thinking that you're burning to a CD when actually you're ripping an MP3 copy. It means that you're not hacking the DRM (which would be piracy) but making a copy to play on any device that you own, which is your right.

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