How to Remove DRM from iTunes Music

iTunes is the world’s biggest online music store. It is probably also the world’s biggest distributor of DRM infested music. Even though, in the past few months, Apple has taken steps to rectify the problem, the chances of you purchasing DRM laced music from iTunes are still high.

So, what is the problem, you say? “I can still listen to all this music on my iPod/iPhone”. “I can still use iTunes to manage all my DRM music”.

DRM ( Digital Rights Management) is a term used to describe procedures which are taken to prevent unauthorized use of the media in question. So, for example, if you have music with DRM purchased from the iTunes store, you will not be able to play them on any media player, other than Apple’s. You will also not be able to convert these files to the MP3 format because Apple, under DRM, doesn’t give you the rights to do so.

But, do not despair. There are ways to get around this and we’ll be teaching you exactly how to do that in this post.

There are generally two ways to remove DRM from iTunes music. The first method, which we’ll discuss here, involves the fact that Apple doesn’t let you convert protected (DRM) music to MP3, but it lets you burn them on a CD/DVD, so that’s one way of getting the music out of the system.

The second method involves using software utilities to strip out the DRM from the music. We’ll be covering this method in a later post.

Exporting DRM laced music to a CD/DVD

Insert a blank CD/DVD in the drive and open iTunes on your computer. Select the File->New Playlist option (or press Ctrl+N). Give a name to the new playlist.


Now, the next step is to select all the files that you want to remove DRM from and drag them to the playlist that you just created.


Now that you have all the tracks you want on the CD/DVD media, right-click the playlist and select the option to “Burn playlist to Disc”.


iTunes will now present you a dialogue box where you can select the kind of CD/DVD that you want to burn. Make sure you select the Audio CD option.


iTunes should now start burning the music to the CD and it’ll let you knows once it’s finished.

Importing music from a CD/DVD

Now, select the Edit->Preferences option and under the General tab, click on Import Settings.


Select the MP3 Encoder from the drop down list and you’re all set to import the track on the Audio CD that you just wrote as MP3 files.

Remove the CD from the drive, and insert it back again. iTunes will prompt you to import the tracks from the CD to it’s own database. Let it do so and at the end of the import process, you’ll have new MP3 tracks void of any DRM.

Enjoy your DRM free music.


Sharninder is a programmer, blogger and a geek making a living writing software to change the world. His tech blog, Geeky Ninja, is where he shares his wisdom, for free !


  1. I use MelodyCan. Some features:

    ~> to convert dvd/iTunes video/wmv etc

    ~> to remove DRM/wma/MP4

  2. @Ann: Thanks. My next post was going to cover a couple of software solutions to do the same thing.

  3. Hello, here is the most detailed reviews for four DRM removal software tools that can be used to remove iTunes DRM:

  4. Thanks for posting this tutorial, Sharninder. When you import the music files from the burned audio CD back into iTunes to create DRM-free MP3 tracks, is the music metadata such as song title, artist and album lost? Will the song titles and other info need to be typed in before transferring the new MP3s to a Zune or other non-iPod media player?

    1. Yes, all that metadata will be lost since Audio CDs contain raw audio data without any metadata. There are CD DB services which read the signature of the Audio CD and “guess” the metadata but with CDs that you’ve burned yourself, the results won’t be very accurate. If you only want to convert songs for finally playing on the zune or another media player, I’d suggest that you use audio convertors rather than using this approach.

  5. Thanks for your helpful response, Sharninder. I have about 50 songs I purchased from the iTunes store before DRM-free music became available that I’d like to convert to MP3s. Can you suggest a free, relatively easy to use audio converter?

  6. if you need a drm remover,you can find what you need here.

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