Removing FairPlay protection from iTunes music files

Files purchased through the iTunes Music Store are digitally protected so they can only be played on the computer where they were purchased from, or any legal iPod attached to the system.

FairPlay is Apple’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology used to protect music files bought from the iTunes Music Store. Files purchased through the iTunes Music Store are digitally protected so they can only be played on the computer where they were purchased from, or any legal iPod attached to the system.

However, there’s a GPL-licensed program called Hymn which is able to remove this DRM protection from files purchased via iTMS (iTunes Music Store) with no quality lose. This little jewel can be downloaded from:

http://hymn-project.org

and it’s available both in source code and pre-compiled for Mac OS X and Windows.

Hymn requires an iPod to be attached to the system in order to extract the keys used to encrypt the music files content. Thus, the easiest way to use Hymn is attaching my iPod to my PowerBook, downloading hymn’s binary image for Mac OS X from the web site, launch hymn and then drop into it the protected music files (Hymn sports a nice Cocoa interface),.

A protected music file has a “.m4p” extension meaning the content is protected. When dropping a file with a “.m4p” extension into Hymn, the file will be decrypted and a corresponding, unprotected “.m4a” file will be stored at the same location. This new “.m4a” file can be played on any system which supports the AAC encoding audio format. Any Mac OS X computer or iPod will do.

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6 thoughts on “Removing FairPlay protection from iTunes music files

  1. I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Removing FairPlay protection from iTunes music files, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  2. I ran this application on my purchased FairPlay v2 .m4b files and it would not convert them?

  3. I lost my mother and it may seem silly, but I miss a mothers’ influence on the style and details behind my wedding. I had the same problem when choosing my dress because this is such a special day, not just for us the couple but for our families. I want invitations that are simple with vintage touches to keep them classic. More importantly, I would love there to be a clear message about how thankful we are that we will be celebrating with the people we love most, that honors my new parents-in-laws’ generosity in giving us a beautiful wedding. I have to admit, I get a little happy thrill every time I see my dad’s and his parents names together!

  4. Great website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get advice from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thank you!

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