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Step-by-Step Guide: How to Unprotect iTunes Songs

By Zoe Clarke

Updated on October 25, 2018

Songs you purchased from iTunes Store are protected by Apple FairPlay Digital Rights Management before 2009. Those restrictive songs can't play on the unauthorized computer. At Macworld Expo of 2009, Apple finally decided to drop DRM from the iTunes music library. But songs purchased before this decision are still wrapped in DRM. If you want to liberate the purchased music from DRM restriction, I can provide you ways to unprotect iTunes songs. After that you can easily transfer or put the iTunes songs to whatever device you like. You can directly go to Part 2 if you want to know how to transfer music from PC to iOS devices.

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Part 1. How to Unprotect iTunes Songs

First of all, we need TuneFab Apple Music Converter to assist us in unprotecting iTunes songs. This is a professional software to convert M4P to MP3 legally. As you know, MP3 songs are flexible to copy for sharing.

It features:

* Convert Apple Music M4P songs to high quality MP3 tracks;

* Easy-to-use and fast conversion;

* Transfer AA/AAX/M4B audiobooks to MP3;

* Keep meta data info after conversion.

Next I will show you how to unprotect iTunes songs with the help of TuneFab Apple Music Converter in 3 steps.

Step 1. Select Songs That You Want to Convert

Launch TuneFab Apple Music Converter and iTunes will pop up automatically. In the main interface, go to "Playlist" and click "Library" to select songs or albums. 

Select Music from Library

Step 2. Set Output Format for Converted iTunes Music

Click "Output Format" and from the drop-down list, select MP3. From the right side, you can adjust codec, bitrate, sample rate, channels.

Select Output Format

Step 3. Convert DRM-ed iTunes Songs to MP3

Make sure all parameters you've set meet your requirements. Then tap "Convert" to start converting.

Start Converting Apple Music Tracks

This all the process of unprotecting iTunes songs. After successfully converting, you can gain iTunes songs in the format of MP3, which DRM protection is removed by TuneFab Apple Music Converter . Now, you can follow Part 2 to transfer the iTunes songs to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with an easy but fast tool.

Part 2. How to Put DRM-free iTunes Songs to iPhone/iPad/iPod touch

When all the DRM-ed songs from your iTunes library are unprotected, you will need a tool like TuneFab WeTrans to transfer the songs, audiobooks or videos from computer to your iOS devices, such as iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPad Pro, iPad min, iPod touch, etc. TuneFab WeTrans will automatically detect and show all the music from your iTunes library so you don't have to manually add the songs into the program. With one simple click, you can have all the songs saved in your device. Now you can download the software by clicking on the button below and then follow steps to put the music to your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.

Step 1. Launch TuneFab WeTrans

When the software is launched, you will see its main interface which contains different parts: Music, Video, Photo, SMS, Contact, etc. You cannot preview these categories unless you have successfully connected your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch with the program.

Step 2. Connect iOS Device to PC

Now you can connect your iOS device to PC with the USB cable. If it is connected, you will see the interface that shows all the basic information of your device.

Connect iOS Devices

Step 3. Add iTunes Songs to iPhone/iPad/iPod touch

Now you can go to "Music" > "All Music", in this category, you will see different playlists such as Music, iTunes U, Podcast, Ringtone, Audiobooks, etc. If you want to save the songs on a new playlist, you can right click at the "Playlist" tab, then choose "New Playlist".

Add Music Playlist

When the new playlist is created, you can click on the "+" button or "Add Item" button to add songs from PC. When you have selected the songs you want, click "OK". Then the program will start transferring songs from PC to device. A few seconds later, you will see all the songs saved on your desired playlist.

Add iTunes Songs to iPhone

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Part 3. FAQs of DRM-ed & DRM-free iTunes Songs

Q1. What is DRM-ed iTunes Songs?

Purchased media files including music, videos, audiobooks are usually encrypted with DRM (Digital Rights Management) for legally and efficiently protecting digital contents. All songs purchased from iTunes Store are encrypted with DRM before 2009.

Q2. What is DRM-free iTunes Songs?

Songs purchased from iTunes Store these days are in the iTunes Plus format: M4A. They aren't encrypted with Digital Rights Management protection and the bitrate of the downloaded music is twice the resolution of the original iTunes standard.

Q3. How to Identify What Songs Have DRM Protection?

In your library, use "Songs" view, and look at the "Kind" column for ones with the word "Protected". If you do not see Kind, enable it by going to "View > View Options".

Identify iTunes Songs on View Options

Q4. Does Lack of DRM Mean that I Can Copy iTunes Songs Unlimitedly?

No, copyright law is still in effect. DRM can't give you a flexibility to judge what's right and what's wrong. But lack of DRM can help you do this.

Q5. Are There Ways to Upgrade Old DRM-ed Songs?

Yes, but not free updates. Apple allows you to upgrade songs to iTunes Plus by charging you a $0.30 fee for each song. But that option disappeared quietly when iTunes Match was launched in 2011. Therefore it is not possible to upgrade old DRM-ed songs to iTunes Plus now.

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