I first found Tunebite a few years ago and it was an impressive application back then with a cool function. I only had it installed on my laptop because my desktop had a weak sound card that wouldn’t let it actually work. Essentially what Tunebite does is to convert audio files and circumvent DRM. The legal ramifications are probably on the negative side, but it seems 2008 will be the last year for audio DRM as the last of the major music labels still supporting DRM is considering dropping it from their catalog. Tunebite relies on your computer being legally authorized to play the song in question, so you have most likely purchased it already.
Tunebite plays a song on a computer that is legitimately allowed to play that song. It then records it again while the song is being played as an unrestricted MP3. This, in my experience, has resulted in a file that has the same quality but in a more friendly format. It was capable of doing batch operations, so it was convenient for a first sweep through your library as well as purchasing entire albums.
Not only could you convert audio files from m4p and other annoying audio file formats, but it could be used to rip audio from videos as well. This is quite a nice feature if you want some sound effect or background song (that, for some reason, doesn’t show up on the OST).
It seems a lot has happened since I last looked into Tunebite. The application is now Vista compatible and has a very nice interface. It allows for drag and drop or just point it to a folder and it will search out the DRM-protected (read: restricted) files. The oldest version of Tunebite I had recorded everything in real-time, i.e. for a minute of song to convert, it took a minute of playback/processing. The next version introduced up to 4x speed dubbing. The latest version I have shows 27x digital speed dubbing with up to 9 tracks simultaneously (depending on CPU usage). I haven’t gotten the chance to put that to the test, but it’s just another sign of improvements all around.
Check out Tunebite from here. It’s not free, but it does have a demo so you can check out if it’s worth the cost of admission to you.