If you have ever purchased music from the iTunes store, you must have noticed that the files are in M4P format (with an extension of .m4p). These files are protected using the “Fairplay” DRM protection developed by Apple Computers, Inc. You cannot play these files using any other player, like mp3 players or any other portable players which were not made by Apple. You cannot even transfer the files to Windows Media Player.

However, if you do wish to play your M4P files in unprotected mode on your Windows Media Player, there are two ways of doing that. The first one involves ripping of the tracks in a slightly complex manner, while the second one involves the usage of third party software utility, named TuneClone.

If you are planning to rip the tracks, then do the following:

  1. Put a blank CD/DVD in the CD/DVD Writer in your PC.
  2. Burn the iTunes playlist onto the CD/DVD to make an Audio CD/DVD. Do not attempt to create an MP3 CD/DVD. You cannot directly create an MP3 disk using M4P files.
  3. When the burning is complete, take the disk out of your drive and then re-insert it into the drive.
  4. Use Windows Media Player or the iTunes software to import the tracks you burned on the disk as WMA or MP3 files.

In this way, you can get DRM-free MP3 or WMA tracks on your PC from your iTunes player. However, if you have purchased a great deal of music from the iTunes store, then this process may be quite time consuming. In that case, you can use the TuneClone software to directly convert your collections of M4P files to MP3 format. TuneClone M4p to MP3 converter is a software utility that creates a virtual CD-ROM drive on your computer. This virtual drive allows you to remove the DRM protection from M4P audio files without wasting actual CD/DVD disks. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Create a playlist in iTunes with the tracks you wish to extract.
  2. Launch TuneClone and click on the tab “Settings”. Specify the output folder, format of the output file (WMA or MP3), for the output files.
  3. Now in iTunes, click on the button “Burn Disk”.
  4. In the window “Burn Settings”, Select the setting “TuneClone Virtual CD-RW” from the drop down menu called “CD Burner”. Select the option “Audio CD”, and check the option “Include CD Text”.
  5. Click “Burn”.
  6. Once the burning is complete, click on the “Folder” tab on the TuneClone manager screen to locate the outputs folder.

That’s it. You’re done and your M4P collection is all ready for you to listen to on your Windows Media Player without the hassles of copy protection.

If you still need more info, you can learn how to convert m4p to mp3.