iTunes and MP4, stupid?

botheredbothered Manchester UK
edited June 2007 in Internet & Media
I think this goes here.
I just signed up for iTunes because there were some songs I wanted and I wanted to own them legally. I got the songs and want to put them on an mp3 disc for use in the car. I find the songs are in m4p format! It seems paranoia is king and they are 'protected' and I'm banned from converting them so I can actually use them! What half witted idiot thought that one up?
From what I've read you can burn an audio CD then rip them to mp3 but there has to be a more sensible way, I have bought them, I do own them, If I'd have bought the original discs or even tapes I could do what I wanted with them. I only want to play them in the car not sell them on or charge people to hear them! I'm sure all these songs can be found on p2p anyway but what incentive is there to use iTunes when it is so restrictive? Idiots!
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Comments

  • reelbigfishreelbigfish Boston, MA
    edited March 2006
    bothered, just put the songs into a play list, the icon in the upper right corner will turn into a burn disc icon and you can burn the songs you bought plus others if you add them to the playlist. You can burn as many discs as you want, but don't try and rip those back into MP3, as they will be garbled. The itunes music policy is pretty generous. You can have it on 5 computers and burn as many cd's as you want. so if you want to listen to them in the car you will need to use a regular audio cd. Even if you got a different service, and they were protected MP3's you couldn't play them on your MP3 cd player as you player would need to be able to decode them.
  • botheredbothered Manchester UK
    edited March 2006
    Cheers but I have already burned a disc and ripped them to mp3, it works ok and they sound fine. I'm just looking for a way to do it without having to burn a disc first. I fail to see what is generous, if I bought the disc I could make an mp3 no problem, why shouldn't I be able to if I pay more per track?
  • reelbigfishreelbigfish Boston, MA
    edited March 2006
    well, you paid for an mp4, which can be played on an ipod. Otherwise you're stuck for digital players. Unless you own an ipod, don't buy from the music store. I own one, so I buy from there. Otherwise buy from some other source or buy from the store. Rhapsody (I don't know if they have it in the UK) lets you download the CD quality files and burns it to a disc automatically then you can rip from the full quality file into whatever you want.
  • botheredbothered Manchester UK
    edited March 2006
    Rhapsody (I don't know if they have it in the UK) lets you download the CD quality files and burns it to a disc automatically then you can rip from the full quality file into whatever you want.

    That's exactly what I have to do with iTunes. What I'm saying is if I bought a CD I could convert it and make an mp3 disc so why should tracks got from iTunes be in a format that prevents me doing that? I'm new to this so don't know what options there are. Every download site I've found either wants me to use Internet Explorer or pay a subscription. I just want to download (and pay for) songs that are then mine to do with as I wish, just as if I'd bought the disc. The Walmart site looks good but I don't know what format their songs are in but they won't download outside the USA. The iTunes 'service' is pretty good but everytime I get another track I want to play in the car I have to burn two discs! Just seems a crazy way of encouraging people to buy ligitimate music.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited March 2006
    There are reasons why only a few million subscribers exist in a potential market of hundreds of millions.
  • botheredbothered Manchester UK
    edited March 2006
    I'm begining to understand why, unfortunately.
  • DexterDexter Vancouver, BC Canada
    edited March 2006
    bothered wrote:
    everytime I get another track I want to play in the car I have to burn two discs! Just seems a crazy way of encouraging people to buy ligitimate music.


    For $30 US you can get an FM transmitter for your Ipod.

    Why keep burning discs? That will cost you more in the long run.

    Dexter...
  • EnverexEnverex Worcester, UK
    edited March 2006
    I'm aware of some un-DRMing software available for WMA so I'd Google to see if any is available for mp4. You're also transcoding from lossy to lossy so you're losing quality there too.
  • darkfluxdarkflux here (for now)
    edited March 2006
    ok, first of all, i'm not sure if reelbigfish actually knows what he's talking about, or is just really having a bad day, but half of what he's said is just plain wrong. first off, mp3's are not garbled when you re-rip them from a CD. unless of course they were in poor condition to begin with (or if your mp3 encoder is crummy). and as for Rhapsody, they don't offer "lossless" audio files, they're common wma's (which are also encrypted), and burn ing them to CD and re-ripping them would probably produce WORSE sounding mp3's than doing the same with iTunes (since Bill Gate$ would have you believe that encoding wma's @ HALF the bitrate of mp3's produces the same quality of sound >:P ). by the way, walmart's downloads are encoded wma's as well. for a list of music download offerers, check here: http://www.cnet.com/4520-7899_1-6396943-1.html , but don't expect to find too many willing to carry unencrypted files or mp3's. you see, for the extra couple bucks you're saving, they make sure that 70% of the populace of music downloaders do NOTHING more than play the music on the original purchaser's PC. and good luck figuring out how to play them on multiple PC's when you barely comprehend basic PC skillz... but i digress.

    i'm not sure what "reel" is talking about "protected mp3's"; there's quite simply NO SUCH ANIMAL! mp3's always have been, and always will be, PROTECTION-FREE! that's why they're so popular, and why they're called "mp3 players", and not "wma players", or "m4p players". that's another thing. it's M4P reelbigfish, not MP4! mp4's are Quicktime video files, m4p's are iTunes protected m4a's. you keep typing crazy stuff, newbs are gonna swarm to this site making "dumb posts" about converting video files...

    ok, now that i've "cut thru" the hype, how bout some possible solutions? well, there's a few ways to go about your problem. the easiest would be to just download on a p2p service, but we'll cut that out since it's illegal to dL anything you don't own already, which bring up the point that you could buy from iTunes, then just download the songs in mp3 format on p2p legally ;) but that would take awhile too, even with high speed...
    so on to solution 2: when you burn CD's and re-rip, you could use CD-RW's so that you don't waste a disc, then burn an mp3 CD-R, for permanence. that takes abit more time than normal, but saves you money in the long run.
    something else to keep in mind, is that if you use iTunes 5 or earlier you can convert your m4p's to mp3's DIRECTLY, using jHymn. iTunes 6 and later not yet supported, but they're working on it.

    if all this is just too much of a hassle, you could always just stick to buying CD's. you can get some older and even some new CD's on the cheap from eBay, and even Amazon allows individuals to sell new and used CD's thru them for cheaper than they charge. look for "xx used & new for $x.xx" on amazon below their price. i've gotten many CD's there for under $5, and used ones in EXCELLENT condition, too!

    fyi, the one AND ONLY thing iTunes has going for it, is it's selection. i've found rare songs on there that i've been unable to find, even on p2p. plus if you only want ONE of an artist's songs, well, that's where music downloads shine.

    one other thing to let you kids in on. tunebite is a program which can record live audio as it plays on your PC, and can automatically recognize when an encrypted wma or m4p file is being played, and capture it to mp3, unprotected wma, or ogg audio files. it costs about $17.90, but i'm sure you inventive folks can figure a way around that ;)

    by the way Enverex, if you know of a way to "un-DRM" wma's, i'd loveta hear it. i thought that all those older programs were no longer any good...
    anyways good luck all :)
  • EnverexEnverex Worcester, UK
    edited March 2006
    I managed to do something but you need a licence for it in the first place. In the end I gave up with all those crap DRM things (not that I wanted to use them in the first place) and use a site where I get lossless flac files now or ogg files if I dont want that quality.
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX
    edited March 2006
    i got one word for you, tunebite its not the fastest, but it workds, and keeps excelent sound quality, ive processed around 4,500 songs with it now.

    although, be warned, i have had it screw up on about 3 songs, not to bad, less than 1% failure, although, things ive learned, close napster and any other music playing app before using, set the file type access to wmp, otherwise it will screw up the licenses and not re-encode. (wont even play) this is one of those things that is best to let run over night.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited March 2006
    Tunebite's recording quality is only as good as your internal loopback. Since most soundcards have poor frequency ranges, your resulting files will be similarly neutered.
  • darkfluxdarkflux here (for now)
    edited March 2006
    you don't happen to remember what it was you "managed to do" do you? i got a bunch of wma's, which i have the licence for, but don't want to have to use tunebite on. if you've got a quicker way, without have to capture the file as it plays, i'd be greatly appreciative!
  • GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares
    edited March 2006
    I can't notice the difference in quality with Tunebite. I think of it as the Xerox principle - you'd have to transcode it a few times to notice a difference.
  • darkfluxdarkflux here (for now)
    edited March 2006
    Gargoyle wrote:
    I can't notice the difference in quality with Tunebite. I think of it as the Xerox principle - you'd have to transcode it a few times to notice a difference.

    it's barely noticeable, but if you turn the sound up loud enough, you might notice. it's really an audiophile thing; it's the difference between analog capture, and digital conversion...
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX
    edited March 2006
    yeh, my thoughts exactly, ive transcoded a sine sweep and it swept down to around 30hz, which i think was my speakers dropping off. i have had no problem with tunebite at all, except for its speed, but that is the only reason its legal. im sure i could get a little bit better quality with a $40 or $50 sound card, but if you'd notice it would be another thing.

    ie. i just burned a flac audio file and a transcoded mp3 file, and played them in my home stereo, computer stereo, and car stereo, i couldnt notice any difference in sq. the flac was a little bit louder, but that is just recording levels.
  • EnverexEnverex Worcester, UK
    edited March 2006
    darkflux wrote:
    you don't happen to remember what it was you "managed to do" do you? i got a bunch of wma's, which i have the licence for, but don't want to have to use tunebite on. if you've got a quicker way, without have to capture the file as it plays, i'd be greatly appreciative!

    I don't know of any way to remove the protection as none of them work anymore, but if you use a program that can record digitally you can do it that way which will leave you with raw audio, but you then need to encode it to something else. Programs like Cool Edit Pro, Creative Wave Studio, Goldwave, etc.
  • EnverexEnverex Worcester, UK
    edited March 2006
    yeh, my thoughts exactly, ive transcoded a sine sweep and it swept down to around 30hz, which i think was my speakers dropping off. i have had no problem with tunebite at all, except for its speed, but that is the only reason its legal. im sure i could get a little bit better quality with a $40 or $50 sound card, but if you'd notice it would be another thing.

    ie. i just burned a flac audio file and a transcoded mp3 file, and played them in my home stereo, computer stereo, and car stereo, i couldnt notice any difference in sq. the flac was a little bit louder, but that is just recording levels.

    Heh, lots of peole say that, but I've noticed they are normally the ones that think 96Kbit tracks are fine etc etc... heh.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited March 2006
    It's so brutally noticeable when a song has been rune through tunebite, or any similar device that records from the soundcard's DSP. The treble is often pretty flat, and the bass gets muddy. It's clear as day to me, but no one has my ears but me. :)
  • darkfluxdarkflux here (for now)
    edited March 2006
    Enverex wrote:
    Heh, lots of peole say that, but I've noticed they are normally the ones that think 96Kbit tracks are fine etc etc... heh.

    gotta agree with Enverex on this one. i stick to 192k myself personally ;)
  • GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares
    edited March 2006
    Thrax wrote:
    It's so brutally noticeable when a song has been rune through tunebite, or any similar device that records from the soundcard's DSP. The treble is often pretty flat, and the bass gets muddy. It's clear as day to me, but no one has my ears but me. :)
    I guess it's debatable whether or not most people can tell the difference, but I'm glad my ears lend themselves to cheap and simple solutions :)

    It's probably those years I listened to Metallica at insane volume levels that did it to me. See, bad taste does have consequences! ;D
    I should sue those Metallica guys. I still owe them one for Napster 1.0...
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX
    edited March 2006
    i have all my audio encoded at 192kbps cbr mp3.

    I can tell the difference between well encoded audio, and some of lesser standards, no, tunebite isnt a perfect image of the wma, but it comes REALLY close imho, and truthfully, the wma doesnt come close to the original recording or flac file.
  • darkfluxdarkflux here (for now)
    edited May 2007
    okay all, for those who haven't found out yet, there is a way to remove protection (digitally, without re-capturing) from iTune$ m4p files:
    QTFairUse6 for Windows. it will convert any m4p into an unprotected m4a, without re-encoding! plus, it's FREE (can't beat that price). version 2.5 should be the latest.
    also for protected WMA's, we have fairuse4wm (v. 1.3). it does the same thing, only for WMA's (and WMV's, for that matter), and is also, yup, you guessed it...FREE!
    google them to find, it's relatively simple, and free free free!

    enjoy!
    darkflux
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX
    edited May 2007
    .....so ummm yeh. I thought we couldn't openly support something that possibly violates the DMCA
  • GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares
    edited May 2007
    We've had a news post about FairUse4WM before. As long as we don't link to the downloads, or misrepresent the software as anything other than something that violates the EULA for iTunes, Napster, etc., it might be okay. I'm sure a mod will be here momentarily and we'll have a proper adjudication. :necro:

    In the meantime,
    "Never seen, heard, nor smelled an issue that was so dangerous it couldn't be talked about." - Stephen Hopkins, delegate from Rhode Island, 1776. :D
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX
    edited May 2007
    Well, if you haven't noticed the recent shift, Plays for sure is on its way out, and apple is offering DRM-less music. They just can't keep up with the crackers. MS fixed playsforsure around 5 times I think, then pretty much gave up.
  • darkfluxdarkflux here (for now)
    edited May 2007
    okay, for clarification, QTFairUse6 does NOT violate the DMCA, or the EULA for iTunes. it DOESN'T remove the DRM directly. instead, it "waits for iTunes to playback the protected file and intercepts the AAC as it is sent to the soundcard. When this occurs it copies frame-by-frame of unencrypted data into RAM taking the audio and saving it back into a new MPEG-4 container that is free of any DRM." [source: Wikipedia].
    as for FairUse4WM, it only works on files with a valid licence to play in the first place. that being said, it's not much different than Tunebite (other than HOW it operates).

    additional comments welcome :)
  • airbornflghtairbornflght Houston, TX
    edited May 2007
    well, actually the DMCA calls that circumventing DRM. Tunebite gets around the DMCA by recording the audio while it is in an analogue state which had been called the 'analogue gap'. This is what allows you to record your radio shows or tv shows. but afaik fu4wm and qtFairUse6 do violate the dmca as they are changing the data in a digital state and circumventing DRM, probable the former more than the latter.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX
    edited May 2007
    Any and all removal of any copyright-protection scheme is currently illegal in the USA under the DMCA. This does not qualify as fair use, or exploit any "Loophole" in the law.
  • jj Sterling Heights, MI
    edited May 2007
    Here is my 2 cents. Just don't use iTunes. It's a total scam. You can get your songs legally on the internet and be able play them were ever you want. Think about it. You wouldn't buy a cd that you could only play on a certin player would you? iTunes and the whole ipod stuff is just plain dumb.
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