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There’s a whole lotta talk going on about digital rights management (DRM) technology. In case you’ve been living in a cave, DRM is what Apple uses on music purchased from the iTunes Store to restrict who can play your songs. DRM helps prevent music piracy, but it also limits how you listen to your music. Every 99-cent song purchased through iTunes has Apple’s FairPlay DRM (artists who are signed with music label EMI have DRM-free songs available as “iTunes Plus” tracks for $1.29).
There are ways to remove FairPlay so you can play your songs on devices other than your Mac and iPod. You can burn your iTunes Store music to a CD, and then import the songs into your iTunes library, thereby creating FairPlay-free files. The problem is that you end up reprocessing music that’s already been processed for compression, which will affect your sound quality (you can rip your songs from the CD using the Apple Lossless Encoder to create FairPlay-free music, but your files will be a bit bigger then if you used a lossy compression scheme). Another method involved using JHymn (free, www.hymn-project.org), but Apple crippled JHymn with each iTunes update. JHymn development for the Mac (it’s an open-source application) seems to be in limbo.
But there are a couple of ways you may not have thought of. We’ll take a look at other ways to create FairPlay-free music from your iTunes-purchased songs. Since iTunes limits you to seven CD burns of any playlist that contains FairPlay-protected tracks, you might want to use one of these methods instead.
First method: Hijack your audio...