How to Remove DRM from WMA - Is it Legal and Worth the Effort?
Technically, it's illegal to remove DRM from WMA protected
music. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is part of the music
industry's effort to curb piracy. There are legitimate reasons
for removing it, but first understand DRM can not be removed
from file sharing network downloads. Most tracks can be legally
copied 3 to 5 times, and this has been exceeded long before they
appear on a peer-to-peer network. You must have either purchased
the music or have unrestricted free music downloads.
There is no easy way to remove DRM, but it can be removed with
some effort and know-how. The best advice is to only download
music in the format you need, and that you have the right to
copy to an mp3 player, CD or other device. It's also important
to determine that the player will recognize and play the DRM
protected WMA track.
What if I Really Like the songs and Want to convert them?
Let's say you've already downloaded music and need to convert to
another audio codec. The common conversion method is to burn the
tracks on a CD, then rip them in the desired codec's format.
Even this requires special ripping software and numerous steps
because the DRM is still embedded in the tracks. And because
codecs like WMA, mp3, OGG, AAC, etc. are lossy formats, the
sound quality will be degraded.
Lossy formats selectively discard sounds the human ear can't
hear to make the file smaller. But each format removes slightly
different sounds. For example, converting a track using a WMA to
mp3 converter is now missing the sounds that both codecs have
There are other ways to remove DRM and convert WMA to mp3, but
they require numerous steps and more software - and they're not
for the technically challenged. Free WMA to mp3 conversion
software and detailed instructions are available on the