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Archived - iTunes: About third-party music players and AAC file support

The iTunes Store offers two types of downloads: iTunes Plus songs and videos without DRM, and songs and videos with digital rights management (DRM). iTunes Plus content, the new standard for iTunes, will play on many third-party music players.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

iTunes Plus is the new standard on iTunes. iTunes Plus downloads are songs and music videos available in our highest quality 256 kbps AAC audio encoding (twice the audio quality of protected music purchases), and without digital rights management (DRM). iTunes Plus music can be burned to CD as many times as you need, synced to any AAC-enabled device (such as iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV), and played on any Mac or Windows computers you own.

You may also play iTunes Plus songs on third-party digital music players. Check the documentation that came with your digital music player to see if MPEG-4 AAC files are supported. If MPEG-4 AAC is not supported, you can also convert iTunes Plus songs to another format that may be supported by your player.

To convert iTunes Plus music purchases to another format, such as MP3:

  1. On Windows, choose Edit > Preferences, or choose iTunes > Preferences on a Mac.
  2. Select General and then click Import Settings. Change the Import Using preference to MP3 Encoder.
  3. Close Preferences and then select the iTunes Plus song you wish to convert and choose Advanced > Create MP3 Version.

Some third-party applications also encode AAC files using other codecs. AAC files created by these applications may not play in iTunes.

Some music purchased from the iTunes Store may still be downloaded to your computer in a protected form of MPEG-4 AAC with digital rights management (DRM). These purchases can be played on up to 5 computers (Mac or PC) and synced to any iPod or iPhone you own. Any iTunes playlists containing these purchases can also be burned to a CD up to 7 times for use in the same manner as any purchased CD. See this article for information on upgrading these protected songs to iTunes Plus.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jan 7, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Jan 7, 2013
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