The iPod Journals: What about protected WMA files?
So today at the Sheaf's arts meeting I picked up the newest album from the Kings of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak, thinking I would pass it on to Ewan, if he didn't have it, and he could review it since he was a fan of the first one. Of course, I was thinking, I could import the disc into iTunes and keep a copy for myself. What I didn't count on was copy protection.
I popped the disc into my drive and popped up iTunes and began listening. I hadn't heard the Kings of Leon before, but I was pretty sure that the pops, whistles and difficult to hear vocals weren't part of the experience. Placing the disc in the home stereo system confirmed by suspisions. Why the heck wouldn't the disc play in iTunes I wondered? Turns out the album is protected by various encryptions that must be downloaded through Windows Media Player in order to play. My subsequent attempt to import the WMA files into iTunes failed. Turns out the whole Microsoft/Apple battle has resulted in making iTunes incapbable of importing protected WMA files, the kind you get on Napster and other online music stores (Apple's iTunes store uses a Apple licsensed AAC-codex). The result. No foreseeable way for me to get Aha Shake Heartbreak onto my iPod.
However, with a little Googling I discovered a way to beat the whole copy protection thing without complex new programs or codec converters.
1) Import the copy protected WMA files into Windows Media Player and then creat your playlist.
2) Burn a copy of the files to CD. The resulting CD will not retain the original copy protection.
3) Pop the CD back into your drive and import the disc using iTunes like you would a normal CD.
4) Pat yourself on the back. You've just beaten Microsoft and Apple with their own system.