1. ChrisMay's Avatar
    Hi,

    I've got a bunch of WMA (audio) files that I purchased (legally) some time ago. They work fine with Windows Media Player (v11) on my PC. I'm trying to play them on the PlayBook, but it seens they have DRM protection, and there doesn't seem to be any way of transfering the permissions, and hence the PB refuses to play them.
    It seems that my only option (other than not being able to listen to them) is to convert them to MP3s (or some other non-DRM format). Does anyone know of a way of doing this? I appreciate that removing the DRM is illegal for files that have been obtained by less-than-legitimate methods shall we say, but surely it is OK for files that have been legally obtained and paid for by me, (as these have)...?? Or maybe it isn't... Any advice or suggestions welcomed!
    EDIT: I should add that I'm really looking for a solution that I don't have to pay (much) for. Once I've converted these few files, I can't see me ever having to do this again, so the various programs that I have found online that cost $30-$40 are rather more than I'm prepared to pay to convert 20 or so old music tracks...
    Last edited by ChrisMay; 10-18-13 at 09:15 AM.
    10-18-13 08:24 AM
  2. Cynycl's Avatar
    I don't bother with converting anything anymore. If what I already own won't play on one of my devices, I download a copy that will. Much easier.
    FF22 likes this.
    10-18-13 09:44 AM
  3. ChrisMay's Avatar
    I don't bother with converting anything anymore. If what I already own won't play on one of my devices, I download a copy that will. Much easier.
    Even if it means paying for it again? I know the costs for audio files are normally quite small, but I really resent having to pay for something that I already own. In fact... <RANT MODE ON> Don't even get me started on DRM. It is the spawn of the devil in my opinion. The only people it really effects are normal users who can't play the files they have paid for on the device of their choice. The professional 'pirates' or anyone that wants to make illegal copies for profit (or whatever) can quite easily circumvent the security with minimal effort. <RANT MODE OFF> ... and breathe. Sorry about that, I just really hate DRM. In fact... etc etc.

    EDIT: These files are actually mostly AudioBooks that I have purchased in the past, and even if I can still download them from somewhere, they are going to cost at least several quid (pounds stirling) each, which I don't really want to pay, seeing as I already own them. In fact... <oh shut up!!>

    EDIT2: I've just found a free program that says it can record directly from the output of Windows Media Player and save it as an MP3 file. It looks like if I play the files in WMP while this program is recording, then I can 'convert' them into MP3s that I will be able to play on the PlayBook. Will be quite time consuming as it is only going to work in real-time, and I doubt the quality will be great, but for audio books, as long as it is audible, I'm not too bothered about hi-fi quality. Anyway, I'll give it a go, and report back. In case anyone else is interested.

    EDIT3: See my post(#16) later on ijn this thread for an update.
    Last edited by ChrisMay; 10-21-13 at 05:30 AM.
    10-18-13 10:36 AM
  4. Cynycl's Avatar
    Even if it means paying for it again? I know the costs for audio files are normally quite small, but I really resent having to pay for something that I already own. In fact... <RANT MODE ON> Don't even get me started on DRM. It is the spawn of the devil in my opinion. The only people it really effects are normal users who can't play the files they have paid for on the device of their choice. The professional 'pirates' or anyone that wants to make illegal copies for profit (or whatever) can quite easily circumvent the security with minimal effort. <RANT MODE OFF> ... and breathe. Sorry about that, I just really hate DRM. In fact... etc etc.

    EDIT: These files are actually mostly AudioBooks that I have purchased in the past, and even if I can still download them from somewhere, they are going to cost at least several quid (pounds stirling) each, which I don't really want to pay, seeing as I already own them. In fact... <oh shut up!!>
    Well I don't have audio books but I expect like everything else these are available to download from some site for free.

    I'm done paying for things over and over again. Been on that ride going from 8-track, to LP, to cassette, to CD, to mp3. Enuf is enuf. I bought it, I own it, and if I need a copy for another device, if I can find it on the internet, I'll damn well download it for free..................guilt free
    10-18-13 10:51 AM
  5. ChrisMay's Avatar
    Well, I think we are in agreement there, and you're probably right, if I could be bothered to search the torrents and various peer-to-peer download sites, I could probably find most of these files, and I certainly don't feel guilty downloading stuff if I have already purchased a legal copy of it (in whatever format), however, I resent having to waste the time and effort doing so. Also, you can never be sure exactly what you are getting with thiese sort of downloads. As far as I know, they can't attach a virus to an MP3 file (yet) but I have, in the past wasted my time downloading stuff that turned out not to be what it was supposed to be.
    Anyway, talking about this is just winding me up (no offence) so I'll leave it there, and go back to my WMP Recording...

    EDIT: PS. Keep meaning to say, I like your sig. Made me laugh, anyway...

    Chris.
    Cynycl likes this.
    10-18-13 11:00 AM
  6. Zildjian71's Avatar
    Why not just get a drm removal app?

    Top 5 DRM Removal Programs - Best DRM Removal Software
    Cynycl likes this.
    10-18-13 03:14 PM
  7. SEAWARRIOR's Avatar
    also, if you have a way of re-recording the songs w/ a quality device in .mp3, i.e. i have a very good stereo & zoom recorder that i've used, i set up the zoom in the middle of the room & record,,, it has the ability to record in .wav or .mp3...
    Last edited by SEAWARRIOR; 10-18-13 at 03:47 PM.
    Cynycl likes this.
    10-18-13 03:30 PM
  8. Cynycl's Avatar
    Because it sucks to have to reverse engineer a friggen audio file so you can use it.
    10-18-13 03:44 PM
  9. ChrisMay's Avatar
    Find me one that works, and doesn't cost 30-40 dollars, and I might.
    10-18-13 04:13 PM
  10. ChrisMay's Avatar
    also, if you have a way of re-recording the songs w/ a quality device in .mp3, i.e. i have a very good stereo & zoom recorder that i've used, i set up the zoom in the middle of the room & record,,, it has the ability to record in .wav or .mp3...
    This is basically the method I have gone for. Found a PC program that records to a MP3 direct from the computer sound output, ie not via speakers/microphone. Seems to have worked adequately.
    What is a zoom recorder? An app or a device?
    EDIT - Ok, I know now. Neat piece of kit!
    Last edited by ChrisMay; 10-18-13 at 04:31 PM.
    10-18-13 04:14 PM
  11. SifJar's Avatar
    Easiest way to remove DRM is typically to burn the content to an audio CD, and then rip it from the CD back onto your computer. I have done this with a bunch of music purchased on iTunes, and I'm certain that Windows Media Player can easily burn an audio CD from WMA tracks, even DRM protected ones. Of course, this means "wasting" a blank CD. There are a couple of options there; you could use a CD-RW so you can wipe it after and use it again, or you could use some sort of software to create an "emulated" CD drive on your computer, and burn the tracks to the "emulated" CD, then rip from it. I've never had much success attempting the emulated drive (maybe I just didn't try the right software or settings), but burning to a CD-RW has worked very well for me previously.

    And of course, if you do burn onto a CD-R, you have a hard copy as a backup/for listening to e.g. in the car.

    I have looked at various dedicated DRM removal programs before, but they all seem to cost money and it appears they mostly just play the track and record the audio output via some sort of loopback system (which you can easily do yourself with a free program such as Audacity if you prefer that method; the downside is you have to manually start and stop the recording, although you can edit the track with Audacity afterwards to trim out white noise at the start and end).
    FF22, Banco and ChrisMay like this.
    10-18-13 04:50 PM
  12. kwelamnp's Avatar
    Find me one that works, and doesn't cost 30-40 dollars, and I might.
    I looked at the same problem a while back regarding Audio book files. I found programs that claimed to do the conversion and perhaps they would. But how ever I looked at it, it seemed the programs were just playing and the re-recording the audio all at original speed. If a book would take 6 hours to listen to, then the conversion would take 6 hours too You could probably do this without any software. I gave up.
    ChrisMay likes this.
    10-18-13 08:41 PM
  13. RAFA1's Avatar
    There's an application for windows called "sound taxi" you can download it for free from YouTube (well not exactly YouTube but YouTube shows how to download it) also on YouTube you will learn how to use the application, good luck

    Posted via CB10
    10-20-13 03:53 AM
  14. FF22's Avatar
    No that anyone should condone some methods, I would guess that there are programs that can strip the drm from such files. If those files can be burned to a cd easily (such processes are so much faster than they use to be), you could use re-writable cd's over and over. Burn, then rip, then erase, burn, rip, etc.
    10-20-13 08:55 AM
  15. SifJar's Avatar
    No that anyone should condone some methods, I would guess that there are programs that can strip the drm from such files. If those files can be burned to a cd easily (such processes are so much faster than they use to be), you could use re-writable cd's over and over. Burn, then rip, then erase, burn, rip, etc.
    From the looks of things, no one has ever bothered to actually reverse engineer the DRM and remove it properly, instead taking the easy option of playing the file and recording the output, as invisibly (to the user) as possible. I have yet to see a proper DRM removal tool for most audio (or video) files.
    10-20-13 09:53 AM
  16. ChrisMay's Avatar
    Anyway, I'll give it a go, and report back. In case anyone else is interested.
    Ok, my (far from ideal, but adequate) solution is this:
    I'm using 'Free Sound Recorder'
    Free Sound Recorder: Record Anything You can Hear through Your PC to Audio Files
    Which (as it's name suggests) is a sound-recorder that is free of charge.
    I'm playing the DRM-Protected files in WindowsMediaPlayer, and running this program which records the feed to the sound card, and saves it as an MP3 file which I can then copy to my PlayBook and play as required.
    It's a good idea to disable system sounds when running this, otherwise it will include in the recording any bings and pings the computer might generate when dialogue boxes etc. pop up, or mail arrives etc etc.
    It only works in real-time, so a (say) 6 hour audio book will take 6 hours to copy, but that's not a big problem, I can just leave it recording while I'm doing other things, or overnight. (the sound recorder has a basic scheduling function, so I can set it to stop recording about when the playback is due to finish, so that it doesn't record hours of nothing).
    The sound quality is fine for audio books, and would probably be quite acceptable for music, if you weren't too much of a perfectionist.
    I guess this technique would not work so well for music files though, as I'm dealing with audio books which comprise a few files that are an hour or so each, and it doesn't really matter (in fact in some whays it's better) if I let the player play the whole lot(one books worth), and record it as a single file, wheras with music, you really need to have a seperate file for each song. However, there are plenty of free MP3 editing programs that you could use to split them up without too much effort.

    All in all, for my particular problem which is sorting out half a dozen or so audio books (and possibly the occasional one I may obtain in the future) it is a reasonable solution requiring a fairly minimal amount of effort...
    FF22 likes this.
    10-21-13 05:21 AM
  17. ChrisMay's Avatar
    From the looks of things, no one has ever bothered to actually reverse engineer the DRM and remove it properly, instead taking the easy option of playing the file and recording the output, as invisibly (to the user) as possible. I have yet to see a proper DRM removal tool for most audio (or video) files.
    There are several apps available that claim to be able to actually strip the DRM from the file without re-recording, however the only ones that I could find were several years old, and didn't work (anymore).
    From what I can gather from the (small amount of) research I've done on this, part of the problem is that the DRM on WMA files(at least) has been designed so that it can be 'upgraded' fairly easily. This means that if a technique to remove the DRM is released, Microsoft can move to block it quite quickly, rendering the removal solution useless, so unless any removal application is kept up to date on a fairly regular basis, it won't work for all that long, and maybe the DRM has been improved now to the point where it is not possible for a simple program to remove it...??
    Last edited by ChrisMay; 10-21-13 at 10:21 AM. Reason: added some stuff
    10-21-13 05:28 AM
  18. Roodog46's Avatar
    Would it not be possible to convert the files using WinFF? I see WMA amongst the preset settings, so it should convert to MP3 - worth a try.
    ChrisMay likes this.
    10-21-13 10:37 PM
  19. ChrisMay's Avatar
    Would it not be possible to convert the files using WinFF? I see WMA amongst the preset settings, so it should convert to MP3 - worth a try.
    Thanks for your suggestion, and I will certainly check it out, however I think the problem will be the DRM (or copy protection) on my original files. Although I own the files, the DRM stops me from playing them on my PlayBook.
    A quick Google suggests that WinFF cannot convert files with DRM, the tutorials I have had a brief look at seem to suggest using some other means (most of which I have already tried) to remove the DRM first, then use WinFF to convert from WMA to MP3 (that is WinFF itself cannot remove the DRM. Which is the object of the exercise in my case)...
    10-22-13 03:49 AM
  20. Roodog46's Avatar
    Other possibilities are Requiem or Audacity.
    Audacity - Audacity is a general purpose audio program that allows users to record and edit audio. It works on Windows, Mac OSX and GNU/Linux, as well as a couple other operating systems. If you start Audacity and press the Record button, it will capture the song being played. Add the LAME Encoder (also on the Audacity download page) and you'll be able to export from Audacity to MP3 files. (FREE)

    Read more: DRM Removal
    ChrisMay likes this.
    10-23-13 11:09 PM
  21. ChrisMay's Avatar
    Other possibilities are Requiem or Audacity.
    Audacity - Audacity is a general purpose audio program that allows users to record and edit audio. It works on Windows, Mac OSX and GNU/Linux, as well as a couple other operating systems. If you start Audacity and press the Record button, it will capture the song being played. Add the LAME Encoder (also on the Audacity download page) and you'll be able to export from Audacity to MP3 files. (FREE)

    Read more: DRM Removal
    Hmm, yes, I think this just uses the same technique that I'm already using, which is to directly record the soundcard output and divert it to an MP3 encoder. Thanks for the suggestion though.
    10-24-13 10:13 AM

Similar Threads

  1. CrackBerry Mods' Thoughts on BlackBerry and the way Forward
    By Sith_Apprentice in forum General BlackBerry Discussion
    Replies: 97
    Last Post: 05-27-14, 12:00 PM
  2. Apps offline on 10.2 with Android Runtime?
    By FabianB in forum BlackBerry 10 OS
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-23-13, 04:37 PM
  3. HTML Form on 9780 - 'Del' Key Deletes File, Not Text
    By nickdr in forum BlackBerry Bold 9780
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-21-13, 03:41 AM
  4. Voice Mail Setup on Q5
    By Rushi Pandya in forum BlackBerry Q5
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-20-13, 04:32 PM
  5. [Idea] Accessory: Clip on Q10 keyboard for Z10
    By incongruent in forum BlackBerry Z10
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 10-19-13, 06:06 AM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD