In recent times, I made the decision to buy an iPod (in retrospect - a mistake), and then made the further mistake of signing up to Apple's iTunes Music Store, and worse still - actually bought some DRM encumbered music ... including some encrypted music videos. As you might have guessed, the novelty has well and truly worn off now.
Tunebite is essentially a loopback recorder, that bypasses the whole DRM problem by simply re-recording the multimedia, as it is decrypted and played by its associated application.
More recently of course, tools such as FairUse4WM and QTFairUse6 have allowed people to directly decrypt DRM encumbered audio files, without re-recording, but this facility does not extend to video ... yet, and so loopback recorders like Tunebite are still necessary.
Update 12th May 2015. For updated information about the current state of DRM removal tools, please see the following Wikipedia artilces:
Now Tunebite supports two different target video formats; Windows Media and MP4 ( the latter requiring another download of software called 3ivx). Of the two formats, I'd much prefer MP4 (of course) but unfortunately Tunebite in combination with 3ivx simply does not work, and just crashes every time, so I was forced to transcode to WMV, much to my dismay. I wish so much that the author of Tunebite would support using all suitable codecs available to the system.
It was at this point that I started looking for reliable ways of converting the resulting videos to another format. I'd already settled on MP4 XviD with AAC audio, and certainly had more than my fair share of tools to do the transcoding with, but the results were invariably less than appealing.
The encrypted iTunes videos are all 320x240 is size, progressive video, 29.97 fps (American standard), AAC MP4 with FairPlay encryption. Tunebite managed to rerecord these to exactly the same specs, but in unencrypted WMV format. Now since I'm in the UK, and like to have the option of piping video to my various TV sets (none of which are NTSC compatible), as a matter of habit, I always perform framerate conversion on any NTSC video to bring it back down to 25 fps. However, subsequently attempting to convert these files to 25 fps XviD resulted in a loss of audio sync, and considerable loss of quality too (blockyness, artifacts, and choppy playback). I've been working (not professionally) with various transcoders for a couple of years now, and I've never had much trouble with framerate conversion before, but working with Windows Media files is a royal pain in the neck, and I can rarely achieve satisfactory conversions.
Enter eRightSoft SUPER:
SUPER is indeed ... super!
SUPER is essentially a GUI frontend to FOSS transcoding tools such as ffmpeg and mencoder, which presumably builds all the correct command line arguments for you, then uses those settings with the aforementioned tools to do the actual transcoding. It all sounds very simple and not at all impressive, but I can assure you that the results are ... very much so.
I selected all the required settings in the main window, queued up all my rerecorded iTunes videos, then hit "Encode" ... and off it went. At first, I selected a target framerate of 29.97 fps (not believing that it was capable of doing framerate conversion, like say Canopus Procoder). After it had finished transcoding, I played the resulting files, and was immediately impressed, but things were about to get even more impressive.
On a whim, I changed the setting to 25 fps, and set it off transcoding again, not seriously expecting acceptable results. To my utter amazement the results were A1 perfect, and most incredibly, the audio sync was frame perfect too. The test file was "Sinéad O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U", and as anyone who's seen the video will know, it comprises a close-up of her face while she sings, for pretty much the entire duration of the song. Any audio sync problems would have been glaringly obvious, but as I said, it was frame perfect. I'm simply stunned. Even the almighty Procoder b0rked at that task, insisting on producing files of the wrong scale, and with audio that was horrendously out of sync.
I couldn't be happier with the results, however, SUPER does seem to have at least 4 problems, as you can see from this video.
So overall, I am very satisfied with the results of my endeavour to free my legally purchased music videos, but the ordeal has not been an easy one. Of course, I'd much rather do all this under Linux, but DRM encumbered multimedia is typically only available for the Windows or Mac platforms, so producing Linux versions of tools like FairUse4WM, QTFairUse6 and Tunebite, probably seems a bit moot. I could have performed the final transcoding stage using the same tools under Linux (ffmpeg, mencoder) but whatever magic our friend (the author of SUPER) is passing to ffmpeg to produce such perfect results, has completely escaped me. I bow to his superior wisdom, and congratulate him on a truly SUPER application.