How to Convert Your Copyrighted Songs from iTunes to MP3s

The only reason anyone should want to follow this guide is if they OWN the content in question. You wouldn’t steal a CD from the store would you? Downloading copyrighted music is the same as stealing a CD from a store. However, when you have actually purchased the content and you own it, it can be frustrating to feel like you’re being restricted from using your own music in your own way.

Everyone who uses the Internet for music has probably come across this problem before. You purchase an album from iTunes or you buy a CD from the store, and the songs are so heavily protected that you can’t copy it to your hard-drive, share with a friend, or even play the music! With the negative effects of Internet piracy regarding music downloads, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has created newly released CD’s and iTunes-released content with strict copyright protectionâÂ?¦and who could blame them?

It is important to note that to convert your iTunes songs or CD songs can be very easy. Downloading high-tech programs that claim to be able to convert copyrighted songs are false or illegal. The safest way to do the conversion is as follows:

Burning copyrighted content to a Recordable CD
Once you have iTunes open, and your music files have been purchased and downloaded, click File up at the top left hand corner menu. Choose the option to create a Playlist. This Playlist is going to be a list of the songs you are going to burn. Burning a CD is necessary, so that you can create your files in the manner you wish.

You might be confused. Why would I want to burn a CD of songs I already own and have on my computer, to get the songs BACK on my computer? The answer is simple. When content is copyrighted and downloaded from iTunes, you can’t do anything with it. Conversion is impossible. It might even be difficult to open a file in your media player such as Windows Media Player, unless the file is converted to an easily usable file called an “mp3.” By burning the files onto a CD-R, you are automatically converting them to CD-files, called “cda” files, which can then be ripped back onto your hard-drive as mp3s.

Once you have a playlist created (adding songs to your iTunes playlist is simple by just dragging the file from your library to the playlist), the songs can be arranged in any order you want, which does not matter for the simple task of ripping them back as mp3s, but can come in handy if you are burning the CD to play in your portable CD player or home stereo. To burn the playlist, insert a blank CD-R into your CD-R compatible drive, and click BURN which is located at the upper right hand corner of the iTunes program. You must be careful not to overload the playlist. Most standard CD-Rs hold 700 MB or 80 minutes. If the amount of space/minutes on the playlist is larger than what the blank CD can hold, your CD will not burn and you will have to remove some songs.

Once the CD has been burned, your next step is to eject it from the tray and re-insert it. This is very important. The CD has to be ejected and reinserted, or Windows will not see it as a music CD but rather still as a Data CD. You will then need to use a program that can rip songs from a CD, such as Easy CD-DA Extractor. These types of programs will let you choose your download location, which songs from the CD you would like to rip, and what file type you would like the songs to be. Choose your file destination folder, and what file type you would like, in this case “mp3,” and your job is done once you click START. The songs from the CD-in cda format-get ripped to your hard-drive as mp3s. You can now do with them what you wish.

Always remember that you MUST own the original files, or else this is considered stealing.

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