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Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 29, 2008 11:56AM
I'm downloading a history lecture series for a long road trip...
I can download as Mp4 (a "Protected" file), or as Mp3.

Trouble is, the Mp3 won't download... it tries to play the damn thing in the browser (both Safari and Firefox), and doesn't have a regular download link.. it has a javascript.

Is there an easy way that doesn't involve burning 19 hours of lecture to CD, then re-ripping them, to convert from Mp4 "protected" to Mp3 so I can burn an MP3 CD full of lectures for my car stereo?

I'll keep messing with the download to see if I can make it work... but I'm guessing I'm only going to get so many shots at downloading the files before the system says "you've downloaded your purchased content too many times!".

By the way, this is through the Great Courses Teaching Company, not iTunes...

Suggestions welcome!



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 29, 2008 12:06PM
OK.. think I found an alternate download link for a .zip of the Mp3's...

Still curious if there's a way to convert them.. but think I have the immediate problem solved (as long as the .zip will uncompress normally...)



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: July 29, 2008 12:24PM
M4P Converter:

[www.ahamediasoft.com]

Well worth the money, especially if you have a large library of protected files that you'd like to convert for whatever reason.



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Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 29, 2008 12:34PM
Looks like a handy tool to have!
Unfortunately, I've just spend more than twice that on the lectures...

I was hoping for a free solution (but then, aren't we always? LOL).


The first .zip worked fine...so I'm on to the other 3.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: July 29, 2008 12:34PM
I'm curious how the Teaching Company generated "protected" .mp4 content. I presume you mean protected AAC since AAC is the standard format for the MP4 audio track.

iTunes' Fair Play protection is only available via iTunes. Since Fair Play is simply a wrapper around the AAC audio file, anybody is free to make their own "protected" wrapper around an AAC file, but like any DRM you would be limited in what players would be able to play the content. As far as I know, iTunes (without a plugin) is only able to handle Fair Play DRM.

I think that the MP4 files you get from the Teaching Company website are only labeled as "protected" because they are named with the .m4b extension. This helps to guide iTunes treat the files as audio books instead of music files. I don't think these files are protected at all.

These downloaded files should perform the same as the .m4a files that you rip youself from audio CDs. You may need to rename them with .m4a instead of .m4b so that iTunes will let you convert them in batch directly from AAC to MP3.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2008 12:36PM by TheTominator.
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Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 29, 2008 12:40PM
Tominator;

You may be exactly correct.. I was jumping to conclusions based on what I saw in the download window ("Mp4 Protected"), not on use....

I'm leaving in a week for 14 days on the road... I got over-anxious :-)

I have the option, later, to download the whole lecture as Mp4 later, to experiment with.

The lectures are a little spendy, but I liked what I heard on their sample CD... and a couple titles I was looking at went on sale this month (from ridiculously expensive, down to "a little spendy".... $39-$49 for 10-12 hours of lecture).



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: July 29, 2008 12:43PM
My brother is a big fan of that company.

I'm curious...what lectures are you getting?
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Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: volcs0
Date: July 29, 2008 12:44PM
So, back when I was a big audible user (I was a subscriber - 2 titles a month - for about two years), I wanted to convert all my content to MP3 so I could scatter it across my different devices. It was not easy to do.

I finally found a PC-only solution that turned out to be rather easy. It exploited something in an old version of Audible Manager, and it allowed you to convert to MP3 in another program. I never found a mac solution.

Except, I did use Audio Hijack several times. I would set up AH to record and let the books go in iTunes overnight. In the morning - or many hours later, I would have an MP3 version. This real-time solution was not idea, but it worked well enough.
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Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: what4
Date: July 29, 2008 12:49PM
Running only on a PC, SoundTaxi converts protected files to regular mp3s -- essential for getting certain things (such as wma drm files) onto an iPod.

I don't think Mac MP4 Converter handles WMA files.
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Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 29, 2008 12:54PM
pinkoos;

The Early Middle Ages, and the Age of the Vikings.

Figured I'd start closer to the "beginning" than to the "end" :-)

That, and I have a few ancestors who were modestly prominent in the latter part of the early middle ages....



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Converting "Protected MP4" to MP3 without burning to CD?
Posted by: TheTominator
Date: July 29, 2008 01:13PM
Quote
TheTominator
I think that the MP4 files you get from the Teaching Company website are only labeled as "protected" because they are named with the .m4b extension. This helps to guide iTunes treat the files as audio books instead of music files. I don't think these files are protected at all.

These downloaded files should perform the same as the .m4a files that you rip youself from audio CDs. You may need to rename them with .m4a instead of .m4b so that iTunes will let you convert them in batch directly from AAC to MP3.

I downloaded the test MP4 file available at their website. It confirmed my guess. After I set my importing preferences to MP3 instead of AAC, iTunes happily converted it to MP3 by choosing "Convert Selection to MP3" on the Advanced menu. If you have many files selected, it would convert them all in sequence automatically.
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