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AAC to MP3: How to Convert iTunes Protected AAC to MP3

By Catrina Jones

Updated on July 13, 2019

"I have about 200 protected AAC audio files in my iTunes library, which are are not playable on my MP3 player! How can I convert these iTunes protected files to MP3 so that I can put them on my MP3 player for listening?"

If you want to get MP3 versions of your iTunes protected AAC audio files, check out the following guide. It will show you how to convert protected AAC to MP3 with the most easy-to-use AAC to MP3 converter.


Part 1: What Is Protected AAC Audio File in iTunes?

iTunes protected AAC audio file was the default file format for music sold on iTunes Store prior to 2009. If you enable "Kind" in iTunes, you will see the songs are labeled as "protected AAC audio file". "Protected" means these AAC audio files are encrypted by Apple's FairPlay. FairPlay is a digital right management (DRM) technology developed and used by Apple to prevents content from being copied, shared or played on non-authorized devices. This makes senses why you can't play protected AAC audio files on Android phones, Zune, Sonos hi-fi system and other non-Apple devices.

Since April 2009, Apple has stopped adding DRM protection in iTunes music and used a new, high-quality format called iTunes Plus as the default format for music buying from iTunes Store. The DRM-free AAC audio file is also called iTunes purchased AAC audio file.

Part 2: Can I Convert Protected AAC Audio File to MP3 in iTunes?

So, is it possible for you to convert protected AAC audio files to MP3 through iTunes?

Actually, there're 2 options available for you.

The first option is use iTunes Match subscription. You can use iTunes Match to upgrade protected AAC file to iTunes Plus which is completely DRM-free. When the DRM is removed, you can use iTunes to convert AAC to MP3 directly. Go to "Preferences" in iTunes, click "Import Settings" and then choose as MP3 encoder. Select the AAC files you want to convert, and then click "File" > "Create MP3 Version".

Note: There is no guarantee that all protected AAC songs can be upgraded successfully. Usually the same album or song must also still be available in the iTunes Store otherwise you won't be able to convert or upgrade these protected AAC or M4P files into DRM-free version.

The second option is to burn protected AAC audio files to CD, then rip them from CD to MP3 format with iTunes. You need to create a new playlist in iTunes, find a blank CD, burn the protected songs to CD and then import the songs from CD back to iTunes using the MP3 encoder. This method requires so many steps and it’s time-consuming to complete the whole process as well. I don’t recommend using this method though.

Part 3: Best AAC to MP3 Converter: Convert Protected AAC to MP3 Easily

The quickest way to convert protected AAC to MP3 is by using a powerful iTunes audio converter called TuneFab Apple Music Converter. What TuneFab Apple Music Converter can do for you?

#1. Remove DRM from iTunes protected AAC audio file.

#2. Convert iTunes AAC, Apple Music M4P, Audible AAX to multiple formats.

#3. Support Up to 10X faster conversion speed and batch conversion.

#4. Support MP3, M4A, AC3, FLAC and other DRM-free audio formats.

#5. Keep original quality: 256 Kbps, 44,100 Hz.

Step 1. Download The Best Protected AAC to MP3 Converter

Download and install TuneFab Apple Music Converter on computer. Once launched, the software will open with your iTunes. All your iTunes audio files will be loaded on the main interface of the software.

Step 2. Add iTunes Protected AAC Audio Files

Now you can go to "Library" or use the "Search" box to look for the protected AAC files that you want to convert to MP3. You can sort out the iTunes audio files by the file type, such as music, music video, movies, podcasts, audiobooks, etc.

Select Protected AAC File

Step 3. Select MP3 as Output Format

You can go to "Output Settings" > "Output Format" to set up the output format as MP3. And you can select another output folder to save the converted AAC files. Keep other parameters as they are if you don't want to change the quality settings.

Select MP3 Format

Step 4. Start Converting Protected AAC to MP3

Now simply click on the green "Convert" button and the TuneFab Apple Music Converter will instantly convert protected AAC audios to MP3.

Convert Audiobooks to MP3

That's it. With TuneFab Apple Music Converter, you can easily convert protected iTunes AAC files to MP3. So you don't have to worry about the playback problem of protected AAC files. Now enjoy your MP3 music on any device you like freely.

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