I’m not a fan of pirated music. I think it is morally wrong and dishonest stealing. Many people do not realize that pirated music is not just illegally downloaded MP3s from P2P networks and torrents. It is also music on unauthorized CD copies that friends burn for other friends. But I digress from my main topic.
When I download music I buy it on iTunes. Though the selection is much smaller then P2P networks like BearShare and Gnuttella, it is legal, the download speed is fast, and the quality is consistent. But there is one thing that I really despise about iTunes (and most other pay-per-download site), DRM protection. DRM stands for “Digital Rights Management.” It substantially limits rights on music. For example, the music cannot be played on more then a set number of computers (For iTunes, it is five.) and the music cannot be copied onto a CD more then three times. This DRM inhibits me from playing my songs on other media players. So, I am stuck with iTunes.
hymn is a DOS command-line based program. Essentially, you feed the iTunes file into the program. Obviously, this way of stripping the DRM is very tedious.
JHymn is MUCH easier! Just feed in the folder path and set the self-explanatory options. JHymn has a cool feature of directly converting the protected iTunes files to MP3 format. The other two hymn project programs only convert them to an ACC m4a and m4b format, most of which media players cannot read.
iOpener is the easiest one to use! iTunes must be open while it is running. Basically, unlocking the DRM just requires a press of the button “iOpen!” The program does the rest. It unlocks all of the songs in the iTunes song database on the hard drive.
Some question the legality of stripping the DRM protection. The way I see it, I am not copying the music for somebody else. I keep everything on my computer. I do not give away CDs or share the music online. DRM was designed to inhibit music listeners from doing those activities. It was designed to keep illegally free music out of the hands of listeners. And I am not doing any of that.
Comment on your experience with hymn or your opinion on DRM and music pirating.