To free what lies within these stricken m4p files brings to mind an often quoted/misquoted line from Shakespeare’s Macbeth: Lady Macbeth, “Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!”
This inoculated digital file is not a mere coffee stain to simply vanish away with a Tide Stain Remover pen.
No! This is a complicated digital file inoculated with the dreaded, DRM*.
So, I’m sure, with my helpful instructions, you’ll use but one CD-R, to start. Your cost? Maybe, what? .20 or less each for a bundled pack of CD-R’s you may have scattered about your domain.
Alright, let’s free this file from it’s dark spirit from within.
1. Go to iTunes and under ‘Preferences/General’ where it says ‘When you insert a CD: Ask To Import CD. Click on ‘Import Settings’. A new popup window appears and change this to ‘Import Using’ MP3 Encoder’. Change Setting to ‘High Quality (160 kbps). NOTE: I’ve tried ‘High Quality 192 kbps and noticed no difference.
The concept here is that the next time you Import a song(s) from a CD to a Playlistit it automatically translates it/them to mp3.
2. Ok, go ahead and create a new Playlist. Call it, ‘CD playlist to Burn‘ and begin to drag your m4p songs from your many Playlist folders into this new folder.
We’re going to BURN this playlist later to a CD-R. So, keep in mind that you can only put so many songs on a CD. If your songs average 4 – 6mb and an average CD-R is 650mb then you can see (do the math) you will only get anywhere from 10 – 12 songs on your CD-R.
3. Once you have all your m4p songs in your new Playlist folder called ‘CD playlist to Burn’, it’s time to BURN this great, well thought out, musical CD creation.
Click on your newly created playlist called ‘CD playlist to Burn‘ and insert a blank CD-R. It doesn’t have to be formatted at this time. iTunes will take care of this for you. So, go ahead and click on ‘Burn Disc’, down in the bottom right hand corner of iTunes.
A popup window appears. Go ahead and choose the ‘Audio CD’** next to Disc Format. Choose the ‘Gap Between Songs: 2 seconds’. (you can choose from None – 5 seconds) Then, check the button for ‘Include CD Text’. Click OK.
This will take a little time. Go ahead and brew some Starbucks coffee, or green tea, and while you’re at it, check your text messages on your cell phone.
**If your wondering why not choose the obvious ‘MP3 CD Disc’ format remember, these files are DRM* m4p copy protected songs. If you were to choose the ‘MP3 CD Disc’ format you’ll get a warning saying “None of the files can be burned to an MP3 CD” and flag each m4p file accordingly.
Time lapse: Your CD should now be ready.
4. Go ahead and open it up. You’ll see that…”Hey! Wait a minute!”, as you say to yourself. “They’re all…aiff files! I thought these were going to be mp3 files! Miiiikkkkkke!!!”
Hang on. Hang on. We’re not finished yet. There’s but one more final step.
5. Go ahead and create another new Playlist in iTunes and call it ‘ Convert aiff to mp3‘. We’re going to drag your .aiff files from the CD into this new Playlist. Go ahead and start moving these over.
When your finished, choose one of your files in the new Playlist by clicking on it and either holding (Mac) option+I or simply go to the top of the iTunes menu and choose ‘File/Get Info’.
They should now be converted mp3′s released from their evil spirit and ready to be transfered over to your favorite mp3 player. In my case, the Delphi SkyFi3 XM Satellite portable radio/receiver/MP3 player.
Just think. All it cost you was around .20 for a CD-R and some patients instead of spending anywhere from $19 – $39 on the internet.
Hope this worked for everyone.
Addendum: You could also use a CD-RW disc. One nice advantage with CD-RW’s is that you can both erase and reuse this type of optical disc numerous times over and over and over. You can’t do that with a CD-R disc. So, now you’re saving even more money.
* Circumventing DRM is considered a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If you plan on sharing your songs on the Internet, you’re breaking the law, but the Audio Home Recording Act states that you can legally make copies of audio recordings for noncommercial personal use. Be smart and use common sense. Don’t abuse your fair-use rights.