Q: I downloaded a song from iTunes and when I try and transfer it over to an MP3 player it is protected. How do I unprotect this song?
A: Songs purchased from the iTunes Store are protected with digital rights management, and cannot be played on a digital audio player other than an iPod. You cannot specifically unprotect these tracks, but can only transfer them to an iPod or other authorized device or burn them to an audio CD.
If you are having difficulties transferring purchased songs to an iPod, you will want to ensure that your computer is “authorized” to play that content. To do this, you can either simply playback one of your purchased tracks, at which point iTunes will prompt you to enter your iTunes Store user name and password, or you can manually authorize your computer in iTunes 7 by selecting the Store, Authorize Computer menu option.
Although it is not possible to transfer your purchased tracks to a non-iPod player, iTunes does allow you to burn any purchased tracks to an audio CD. Once a track is burned to a standard audio CD format, it can be reimported into iTunes (or any other music management application) in the same way that any purchased audio CD can be. In this case, it can then be ripped to an unprotected MP3 format that can then be transferred to another digital audio playback device.