How to Convert a Protected MP4
By Alexis Lawrence
When you download MP4 files from paid download sites, such as iTunes, those MP4s are DRM-protected. DRM is a safeguard placed in files to protect against the illegal download and sharing of copyrighted music, but this protection also makes it difficult for people who have paid for and legally downloaded the music to utilize the files anywhere other than on their computer, including on portable media devices such as MP3 players and cell phones. If you want to make the files usable in these devices, you will have to get past the copy-protection.
Burn the protected files to CD in iTunes.
Create a playlist of the protected songs that you would like to convert. ITunes allows the burning of protected MP4s to disc. If the playlist is longer than 74 minutes, which is the time limit on CD-Rs, iTunes will give you the option to burn the playlist onto more than one disc.
Highlight the playlist. This will make the "Burn Disc" button visible at the top of the screen. Click the "Burn Disc" button.
Insert a blank disc into your computer's CD drive. When you click the "Burn Disc" button, iTunes will automatically prompt you to insert a disc.
Click the "Burn Disc" button again. The iTunes player will prompt you with a pop-up message that says to click the button again to burn the files to disc. A progress bar will appear at the top of the screen and show the status of the disc-burning. It will also show the estimated time remaining. When the disc is done writing, leave the disc in the computer.
Rip the files from the CD with CD Master.
Download the CD Master CD-ripping software (see Resources). Follow the prompts to install CD Master to your computer.
Open CD Master and wait for the software to recognize the CD in your computer drive. This may take a minute or two. If CD Master doesn't recognize the CD, eject the disc and insert it again.
Go to the "Record" menu and select "CD Ripper" from the menu options.
Select the output file type and output folder of your choice. CD Master can convert protected MP4s into WAV, OGG or MP3 files. To choose an output folder, click on the "Destination Directory" button next to your chosen file type of WAV, OGG or MP3. You will be able to browse your system for the folder where you would like to save the files.
Use the "Move all" arrow to transfer all of the files on the CD from the "Available Tracks" list to the "Tracks to Process" list. This will move all of the audio files on the CD to the list to be converted. Click "OK" and the conversion process will begin. Progress will be monitored on the CD Master screen. Once the conversion is complete, the unprotected WAV, OGG or MP3 files will be available in the folder you chose for file output.
Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.