I would like to learn how to remove the Digital Rights Management copy protection off of iTunes purchases I made prior to 2009 so that I can make use of my entire music library on my Android smartphone.

Here's what I've tried:

  • I sorted all the purchases according to the presence of an iCloud icon and downloaded fresh copies as "Purchased". I then deleted the original Protected counterpart. This was partially successful but…

  • I have 230 tracks that, unfortunately, do not have an iCloud match. As a workaround, I set up a playlist called "DRM" and then sorted my music library according to "kind" as a means to group the Protected files. I added all the Protected audio files to the DRM playlist. I
    then burned those to a DVD and imported the songs back to iTunes 11.4. A "Get Info" on the files indicates that they are still protected. Did I do something wrong?

  • Apparently there is an iTunes Plus membership option. If I click "match" from within iTunes I only see a prompt to sign up for $24.99 per year but I have been unable to determine what, if anything, will actually be matched. Should I be able to tell in advance of signing up how many of my DRM-protected songs will be replaced with Purchased copies if I join iTunes Plus?

When clicking a Protected audio track in my music library to reveal it in the iTunes store I note that I don't always see a "Play" button to indicate that Apple still has the track associated with my purchase history. My best guess is that most of the tracks that were purchased back when DRM restrictions were the norm are the old lower cost versions, whereas primarily $1.29 versions are available as a download at present. If my guess is correct, Apple doesn't link back prior forms of tracks they have since upgraded. Can Apple remedy this in any way? (I tried contacting Apple/iTunes customer support via email but their web contact form kept producing an error so I don't know if Apple can fix the issue, either. I also tried participating in the community forum to ask this question but by topic failed to post there, too. :-(

I am not a high volume iTunes buyer. However, that also means that 230 songs out of my purchase history with Apple represents a significant chunk of my digital download library. Are there any workarounds?



Burning files with DRM on them to CD effectively removes the DRM, but you must make sure you are indeed burning an audio CD and not a CD filled with audio files.

I think you may have missed a step in re-importing your burned music back into iTunes: delete the songs you just burned to CD.

Make sure the song or any version of it is no loner in your purchased list or anywhere on your computer. Now when you import the song iTunes will not use the purchased version with DRM on it as the authoritative version.

  • FYI: Other than Steve, who has clearly tried to help, please don't downvote my question for the hell of it. I wrote this post after working to solve this problem for hours upon hours (including researching other DRM topics). To be clear, I have PURCHASED all the music I'm talking about. I have NEVER used Napster or equivalent to share music illegally. I have been buying Apple products since before Apple had a retail store and became "cool". We're talking a full 10 years before iPhones came along (and back to the Apple IIe if I count school)! Help me out here or simply ignore the topic please
    – NewsView
    Jan 12 '16 at 20:50

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