Playing iTunes on My Zune. Hands-on With Double Twist. How Is This Legal?

itunes zuneI took the Subway to work this morning, and like every morning I listened to my Zune and paged through the week’s New York Magazine. I will admit that I was looking at Lindsey Lohan’s bare chest on the crowded 7 train. But that is not what made this morning different. I was able to listen to Iron and Wine’s “Live Session EP” an iTunes Exclusive on my 80 GB Zune. I bought this album a year ago in iTunes, before they offered DRM-free content. So how did I get all my DRM protected iTunes (AAC files) onto my Zune and converted to MP3 format for free? I have to thank DoubleTwist — a free piece of software that allows people to share music, photo, or video files with portable media players and through social networks. Amongst other things, the program aims to liberate your iTunes files. Instead of iTunes songs or videos being locked to Apple devices, the program breaks Apple’s FairPlay copy-protection encryption. According to Times Online article on DoubleTwist:

The program gets around Apple’s DRM software by replaying a song in fast-forward and making a copy of the audio track using a process similar to that by which each track on a CD — actually a data file itself — is “ripped” or converted into an MP3 or AAC file.

It is more than awesome. I downloaded the program to my Sony VAIO running Vista (it works on XP, too, and a Mac version is in the works) and within a few minutes I received a prompt (see below) asking me if I wanted to “liberate” my iTunes. Heck Yes!

doubletwist 1

The program then scans your hard drive for media, including your iTunes library, photos and videos. It begins immediately liberating your tunes. I heard lots of music tracks playing over one another when the process first started. I don’t know exactly how long it took to liberate my 108 songs since I fell asleep. I assume it was close to an hour or so. When I woke up this morning all my ACC files had been saved as MP3 files.


DoubleTwist’s program is also designed to sync media with specific devices (there is a sync tab in the interface which allows for simple drag and dropping). It currently supports syncing media to Nokia N Series phones, Sony Ericsson Walkman & Cybershot phones, LG View phones, phones using the Windows Mobile 5.0/6.0 platform (e.g. Treo, HTC, Palm), the Sony PSP, and the Amazon Kindle. The Zune isn’t one the list but I simply launched my Zune software, imported the new MP3s and synced them with my device.

doubletwist 1 DoubleTwist does more than just sync your media with devices. Its built-in Facebook platform lets you share your media with Facebook friends that also have the desktop software. I just have to get some friends to jump on the bandwagon and try it out. Who knows if DoubleTwist can escape the legal ramifications of its cracking DRM and the long arm of the RIAA and MPAA . But until then, I will be liberating my tunes like its World War III.

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  1. Cat Says:

    I have this program, but I was wondering if you can help me with something..

    I took files I downloaded from zune and put them in doubletwist (So that i could transfer them onto my boyfriend’s ipod as well as keep them on my zune after my subscription expires).

    Can you help me put these new versions or the original drm files back into zune software?
    I can’t seem to figure it out…

  2. Dog Says:

    Got my hopes up too high; I’d hoped they’d figured out how to transcode videos purchased from iTMS. That’d really be handy for videos that iTunes no longer sells.

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