Sometimes you need a piece of software to do one simple thing, and you need it to do it well. That’s exactly what M4VGear does. It simply takes DRM videos downloaded from iTunes and makes them DRM-free. This applies to rentals and purchases, so if you are having a problem playing any DRM content for one reason or another, M4VGear can make it DRM free without any loss in quality.
Note: You are personally responsible for removing DRM from video files. MakeUseOf does not condone piracy.
Why Would You Remove The DRM?
Quite simply, iTunes movies cannot be played everywhere. Even after purchasing movies from the iTunes Store, you are limited in the ways in which you can enjoy them. Apple keeps their media locked down, but if you remove the DRM, you can play the video files on any device, even those not supported by Apple, and you can also copy them onto multiple devices.
Perhaps you have a Samsung Galaxy S5 on which you want to watch a movie purchased from iTunes. What can you do? Simply use software like M4VGear to remove the DRM. You are left with an MP4 file that you can use however you see fit.
There’s also some more illicit means you can use this software for, but we don’t condone them. However, it’s worth mentioning that you can remove the DRM from rentals, which would allow you to keep them beyond the rental period. The software supports this should you be interested in using it, but again, you are violating iTunes terms of service, and could face repercussions if caught.
Installing the application is super easy. You simply head to M4VGear’s website, download the software, and run through a very standard installation process. If you’ve purchased a license, which can be done for $44.95, you will enter it in the options menu after the installation is complete. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
M4VGear works on both Mac and PC. For Mac users, OS X 10.8, 10.9, and even the upcoming 10.10 are compatible. Over on Windows, you’ll find support for XP, Vista, 7 and 8, so you can get your conversions going on almost any PC.
Using the Software
The actual process of converting your DRM-restricted files is incredibly easy, and even if you aren’t super computer-savvy, you will be able to figure it out. To start with, quit iTunes if you have it open already, but make sure you have already downloaded the files you want to convert. When you open M4VGear, iTunes will open with it, but for whatever reason, you will not be able to log in to your iTunes account to download files while M4VGear is running.
To start, click the big “Add Movie” button.
From there, choose the file from which you want to strip the DRM. You’ll be able to see all movies and TV shows from your iTunes Library automatically, and if your collection is quite large, you can use the search tools to drill down and find the specific file you want to convert. This means you don’t have to do anything, the software will scan and detect movies and TV shows automatically.
If you have a bunch of videos files with DRM that you want to remove, don’t worry — M4VGear will allow you to batch convert a whole list of files. This way you can set up a batch process, walk away, and come back to entirely DRM-free library.
Once you’ve selected a file, choose where you would to save it via the box on the bottom left of the main screen. By default, converted files will be saved in your Documents folder under a new M4VGear subfolder.
The creators promise extremely fast conversions, and I must say, the process was impressively quick, taking just a few minutes to work through a 45-minute television show. If you’re impatient, you’ll definitely love the speed this software can run through an entire library of iTunes movies and TV shows.
Once your file is converted, you’ll be able to watch it anywhere, and on any device that supports MP4 playback. Also, the program maintains your files’ high definition audio and video quality. In fact, M4VGear promises lossless conversions, which means that your 1080p videos will look just as good as the original iTunes versions. It even keeps subtitles and AC3 5.1 audio if they are present in the original iTunes file.
From the numbers, the DRM-stripped video is exactly the same as the iTunes file. And just from watching it, I certainly can’t tell the difference between the two, which is really all you can ask for from a file conversion.
Free vs. Paid
Like most software, you can get a free version of M4VGear, which will allow you to take it for a spin and see what it’s all about before you take the plunge. However, the free version is really just a way to test it, because it limits your conversions to just the first five minutes of the file. Obviously, you’re not going to find a show or movie on iTunes that is five minutes long, so you’re really only going to use the free version just as a trial to gauge whether M4VGear is worth purchasing.
If you need to remove DRM from your iTunes movies and TV shows, M4VGear gets the job done. It processes the conversions quickly, and it doesn’t diminish the quality of the video. Of course, you need to be careful with violating iTunes TOS. But if you just looking to use the DRM-free video files judiciously, you should definitely give M4VGear a try.
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