At the risk of sounding like a raving, gibbering Apple fanboy, I’ve got to ask, what’s up with all the FUD? First there is the paranoia about Apple tracking you through your DRM-less $1.29 downloads, and now there’s this big deal about no longer being able to convert DRMed AACs to DRM-less MP3s (discovered via boingboing.net.)
In summary, perhaps the easiest hack to strip the DRM from iTunes Music Store AACs is to burn the songs to disc, then re-rip them. Personally, I would re-rip them to Apple Lossless, because the songs are already cut-rate quality as they are, and re-encoding them into a lossy format like MP3 or AAC can introduce very subtle but very annoying artifacts into the sound. The corresponding Apple Lossless track is about 10x bigger than it’s AAC counterpart, but hard drive space is cheap, and who really needs all 7,000 tracks that can fit on a 30GB 5th generation iPod? According to iTunes, it would take me 42½ days straight to listen to all of my music without repeating a single song, and unless there really is gonna be another Great Flood coming our way, I think I’ll be OK with having a few hundred-or-so less songs on my iPod.
But I digress.
The concern is that in iTunes 7.2, for some reason, you can’t play the re-ripped tracks on your iPod. I don’t know if this was intentional or not. It sounds weird, though, because apparently there isn’t a problem if you re-encode the songs as DRM-less AAC.
Even if it was on purpose, all you would have to do is use another CD ripping program like LAME (or for the command-line-phobic, use Max instead) and then this would fail to be a problem.
Come on, people, buck up. Just because corporations are known for screwing people over doesn’t mean you can’t get up, work around them, and screw them back. No need to whine. Just stick it to The Man like the hippies did!
Still, the Apple fanboy in me is pretty skeptical that they did this on purpose. I want to see what iTunes 7.2.1 is gonna be like, first.