Ok, I’ve never really used the iTunes Music Store to purchase music, mainly because they really don’t carry much from the artists I like, and I still have at least 500 pieces of vinyl and cassettes to digitize, but anyway, as a favor I purchased a few songs for someone. It didn’t turn out so well…

I was already registered, I’m sure I did that when the iTMS came out, or for some contest or something, so I managed to login ok. (Even though Apple still thinks my old email address should be my user id, though I’ve tried to change it, luckily it forwards to my current email address.)

Alright, so I purchase the music, it loads into iTunes, I can play it, and I now attempt to burn it to a CD. The user experience quickly goes to hell.

First iTunes tells me that “at least” of the songs in the playlist can’t be burned to a CD. So I try deleting one, then another, and another, soon there are no songs in the playlist. I assume that none of them can be burned to a CD. Did I miss a memo? Can you still burn songs you purchase from iTMS to an audio CD?

And still, some in the industry wonder why people don’t like DRM.

Now keep in mind, this is a favor for someone, and I said it should take 15-20 minutes. More than enough time I figured to download the songs and burn them to a CD, right? Well, now I’m searching for software to break the DRM, just so I can put these freakin’ songs on a CD. No luck there. I end up using Wiretap (old free version) and Soundflower to play the songs on my Mac and record the output right back to non-DRM’d files. This added 30 more minutes to the process.

In the end it did work, though I was told the sound quality seemed to lose something, which I will chalk up to preconceived notions about re-recording the audio to non-DRM’d versions, and nothing else.

Note: As I’ve recently received an iTMS gift certificate (Thanks Lenzies!) I’ll be trying this process again. I’m hoping to skip the whole “breaking the DRM” part this time though.

4 Responses to “DaRn Music”

  1. Bryan BuchsNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve never had any problem with songs bought from the store. Make sure that you create a new playlist, and that the running time will fit onto a CD. The easiest thing to do is all the songs you want to burn in your Library, then drag them into the left-hand panel – that will automatically create a new playlist with those songs for you. From there, you can add or remove songs.

    DRM’d or not, iTunes should burn it up for you. Also, make sure that you’ve got “Audio CD” ticked off in your preferences under “Disc Format” – you can’t write an MP3 CD full of AAC files.

    Once you’ve got them burned to disc, you can delete the DRM’d files from your library and replace them with an import of your now free-and-clear audio files.

  2. Bryan, yup, I did all of that. It was only 6 songs, new playlist, I choose Audio CD, etc. Still, no love from iTunes. :(

    I’m wondering if I should de/re-authorize my Mac with the iTMS and see if that does anything.

  3. BillNo Gravatar says:

    You may want to take a peek at Hymn, though I’ve never used it myself: http://www.hymn-project.org/

  4. I did try hymn and a few apps that said they could break the DRM, but they didn’t work for me… urg…

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