Less than a decade ago, digital rights management (DRM) debates were as common and heated as online privacy debates are today. Apple’s iTunes was, of course, the biggest digital music distribution center that utilized DRM, but in 2009 Apple finally caved and ditched its digital file-protection solution. But what about all the music people purchased before 2009 that is digitally locked to just a few devices? As it turns out, dumping the DRM on your old iTunes purchases is remarkably easy.
Sometimes solutions are so simple and obvious that we don’t even consider them, and that may be the case if you’ve been wondering how to remove the DRM from old iTunes purchases to ensure they can be played freely on any and all devices.
As Wired staff writer Roberto Baldwin points out, this can be accomplished in four easy steps.
First, you have to adjust your iTunes preferences to ensure that “Show iTunes in the Cloud purchases” and “Show View Options” are selected. Then you must ensure that your old DRM music is ready and waiting to be re-downloaded. You also have to be using the same account you bought all that old music with, of course.
After those two preparations, you’re ready to identify and delete all of your old DRM-protected tracks and then download all of the new DRM-free versions from iTunes.
It’s a very simple process and all of the particulars can be found in Wired’s guide, which is linked below in our source section.