updated 11:45 am EDT, Wed August 30, 2006
iTunes DRM circumvented
A new software solution circumvents Apple's FairPlay DRM restrictions to create DRM-free music from purchased iTunes music. Users on Hymn message boards, who have cracked the iTunes (FairPlay) DRM yet again, are committed to cracking the iTunes DRM to allow free use of purchased music. The project has been dead in the water since Apple released iTunes 6 and changed the way the iTunes DRM worked (although previous versions work with older iTunes versions); however, the new solution adapts original code from previous attempts (QTFairUse) and users have managed to get it work with iTunes 6. The somewhat-clunky QTFairUse6 requires Python 2.4 and several other tools and uses the information that is buffered (i.e., stored in memory) after iTunes/QuickTime decodes the file.
According to Ars, "QTFairUse6 looks at AAC frames in memory after they've been decrypted, but before the decoding step, and dumps the data into a file. It currently only runs under Windows, and relies on iTunes for the actual decryption work as well as FAAD for making the dumped data into playable AAC files. Unlike earlier tools like Hymn/JHymn and the original QTFairUse, this program can handle streams from iTunes 6.0.4 and later."
Previous projects have garnered negative attention from Apple--sometimes resulting in legal action. These attempts to outwit Apple have often had marginal success and have been usually hindered or side-stepped by Apple when the company issues updates to iTunes/QuickTime to counter any circulating DRM hacks or fix/update decoding issues.