IMPORTANT NOTE: hymn, which I use with
the below script for unlocking protected music, is no longer being
updated. The new version,
JHymn, is a Java-based GUI app
that performs the same function and handles the iTunes 4.7.1 issues. It
also provides the ability to back up your music (when you unlock it) to
a new location. As it does not have a command-line interface, it is not
usable with this script. If a command-line interface comes, I’ll update
this script. Until then, use JHymn. I’ve posted my JHymn settings
I’m a user of iTunes, and I have
purchased music through the iTunes Music
Store. I’m also a big believer in
fair use, and while I don’t condone anything illegal, I’m irritated by
the FairPlay DRM system,
particularly the five-computer authorization limit. I’m not spreading my
purchased music around, but the need to remember what’s been authorized
and what hasn’t, to authorize and deauthorize machines… it’s a pain.
I got hymn and
FairKeys to download a copy of my
FairPlay authorization keys and then un-DRM my purchased music. Then I
made backups of both the protected and unprotected versions of the
The problem then ended up being that I didn’t want to have to manually
do that every time I bought something on iTunes. As such, I figured I
needed a script that would do exactly that: Make a backup copy of the
protected (*.m4p) files, decrypt any that didn’t have a corresponding
decrypted version (*.m4a), and then make backup copies of the decrypted
versions. “M4P Backup.vbs” was born.
The script will, for each *.m4p file found in your music library:
- XCopy the file into a backup folder for you. (By using XCopy, you
get a folder tree for your protected music files mimicked from your
original music library folder.)
- Check for a corresponding .m4a file in the same library folder.
- If a .m4a isn’t found, the script calls “hymn.exe” to create one.
- The decrypted .m4a file is backed up alongside the corresponding
Below is a sample console session of the “M4P Backup.vbs” script. Click
the image to enlarge it.
- Download hymn at
http://hymn-project.org/. Get that
working - I cannot offer technical support on hymn. You may also
need to get FairKeys from
if hymn is unable to find your FairPlay keys. Check the hymn
forums for information on using
FairKeys with hymn.
- Download “M4P Backup.vbs,” below. Unzip the script into a known
location (i.e., your desktop).
- Open your unzipped “M4P Backup.vbs” file in a text editor. At the
top of the script, in a section marked “CONFIGURATION,” set the
configuration variables as specified. Examples are provided in the
That’s it! Once you’re set, you can either double-click the script to
execute it, or you can explicitly call the console script host to run
the backup script in console mode (as shown in the screen shot):
cscript "M4P Backup.vbs"
1.0: First release. Tested with hymn 0.7.1.