Rockin’ Friday – Beating iTunes

Welcome back to another edition of Rockin’ Friday! Today I will be talking about how one might wrestle out of the grip that iTunes has on your musical freedom.

A little introduction first for those who have been living under a rock for the past few years. iTunes has become one of the more dominant media-players, and with that the iTunes Music Store has become the dominant online music store. However, by buying a song from there (which admittedly is very easy, cheap and of a very good, reliable quality) you get the song in a protected AAC format. What does this mean? Basically you’re restricted to listening to the song in iTunes and on your iPod. Not even Apple’s other media programs, such as iMovie, allow you to use protected songs. And this can be a major pain.

Recently, Apple have released ‘iTunes Plus’ which allows you to pay slightly extra to have the protection removed. However, this indeed costs money and only exists for a small few of the songs that Apple sell. For those who need other methods, I’ve been looking into other ways to combat this restriction.

For Windows users, there are relatively few free ways to do this, as the programs are shareware. The most prominent of those that came up on Google was one called SoundTaxi. This has a free trial, but will eventually cost you $19 or more depending on the version. Once it converts the file, it will preserve the song, artist, album name and other metadata.

A free, but perhaps more inconvenient, alternative is QTFairUse 6. This is indeed free, but does not preserve metadata. It also requires Python to run, rather than being a program. The other downside is that it doesn’t seem to work in iTunes, although this could be just on the Mac version of iTunes. So if you’re a little adventurous, give this a try, but otherwise stick with SoundTaxi.

For Mac users, we have a program called FairGame, which is actually quite ingenious once you get it working. It requires a little setting up, but it is essentially a script that uses iMovie to convert your file in to a .wav, and then iTunes to convert it into an .mp3. It runs into a lot of problems, and disrupting it in anyway up until you have a .wav will mean you have to start all over again, but otherwise it works pretty well. And it’s free!

So that’s all for today, enjoy your weekend and see you next week!

Rock on! \m/

About TV Denim Chap


Posted on April 25, 2008, in Music and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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