I’ve had a task on my to-do list for a couple years and it involved finding a program to remove the DRM from music I’ve purchased from the iTunes music store.  I despise DRM.  I realize despise is a bold word to use but it’s true.  This past weekend I found a piece of freeware software that will strip the DRM, replace the song with an identical one with the same name, and put the DRMed one in the Trash.

Here’s the play by play to get this to work on your Mac.

  1. Download Requiem 4.1
    • If you have updated to iTunes 11, you will need to downgrade your version of iTunes since Requiem doesn’t work with iTunes 11 (download iTunes 10.7 here)
  2. Install Requiem
  3. Ensure all the DRMed music you bought from iTunes has been added to your iTunes music collection and that you have authorized your Mac to play these songs.
  4. Run Requiem
  5. Requiem will being striping the DRM from your protected music one song at at time and put an identical (DRM-free) copy in the same folder as the original song.  Requiem is fast and will only take about 5-10 seconds per song to strip the protection from it.
    • I had trouble with a couple files that prevented Requiem from working at all.  My solution was to move all folders of artists out of my iTunes > iTunes Media > Music folder, then move a few folders back into the above folder (which Requiem scans when it starts up), and re-run Requiem and thus I found the troublesome file.  It took me a few minutes longer to do a batch of folders at a time but it worked.
  6. I went a step further and converted all my new DRM-free songs to .mp3.
    • Go into iTunes > Preferences
    • Next to “When you import a CD: ” click the Import Settings button
    • Change “Import using:” to MP3 Encoder and choose a “Setting:” of 192kbps or higher
    • Click ‘Ok’ twice.
    • Now right click on any song inside iTunes (or select all your songs by shift-clicking) and select “Create MP3 Version”.
  7. Now I can upload this music to Google Play or Amazon Cloud Player or use on an Android phone or any computer without needing to authorize that computer or be stopped cold from playing/uploading the song.