How can I edit iTunes (mpeg-4) songs?

I want to take bits of several songs I have downloaded from iTunes and concatenate them into one. I have Roxio which will allow me to do this sort of thing, but not with the songs from iTunes. If I could convert the format to something supported by Roxio, that would be ideal. I can burn a CD from iTunes then copy them back again, which works but is slow and wasteful. I got an evaluation version of Easy CD-DA extractor, but that does not recognize the iTunes files.

Does anyone know of a way either to edit the mpeg-4 format, or to convert the mpeg-4 to something editable, without going via a CD?

There are ways to convert the files to regular mp3 or wav, but defeating the DRM (digital rights management) falls into a legal grey area. I don’t think we can tell you how on this board.

When you say “several files”, do you mean like less than 20? I would just go the CD route.

Interesting - I would never have guessed that this might not be legitimate, given that I have bought the songs and there is a path (via CD) to convert the format. If what I am asking for is indeed illegal, then a mod. should close this thread.

Yes. But I have also wanted to put songs unmodified into other applications and would prefer to avoid the CD route. For example, to put a song as a background to a picture show in Roxio, I currently have to burn a CD then copy the file back again, which is irritating.

Blame the record labels for forcing DRMs that prevent you from exercising your Fair Use rights.

There might be something out there will let you edit mp4 files directly (probably for Mac OS), but I imagine it won’t let you edit “copy protected” files.

Wikipedia has a nice article on Apple’s DRM scheme.

If this were true, iTunes would not have imposed the restriction that you may play your downloaded songs on a maximum of five computers.

Given that iTunes provides a way to strip the DRM via burning to CD, I seriously doubt that burning to CD is illegal.

Other methods, though, probably are in the US

That restriction has nothing to do with legality.

The only illegal thing about converting an .m4p file to an editable format is that you have to break Apple’s DRM to do it, which violates the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If you burn the song to a CD and then rip it back, you’re in the clear. Common sense dictates that you should be able to legally remove the DRM without burning a CD, since the result is the same… but common sense in this field died the minute Clinton signed the DMCA.