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Removing DRM (aka “Copy Protection”) From Ruckus Music Downloads

Ruckus is a free music download service offered by several universities and colleges. The service requires you two sign up with an approved .edu email address. After signing up, you can download their proprietary music player (“Ruckus Player”) and use it to download music and videos from the Ruckus website. The idea is that by providing students with a place to legally download music for free, piracy rates can be wained.

The problem: music downloaded from Ruckus can only be played with the Ruckus Player. This means you can only listen to music on your PC (no Macs, no Ipods, no PSPs, etc.)

The solution: The Ruckus music files are really just DRM protected Windows Media Audio (WMA) files. There are programs available which will allow you to remove the DRM protection from the downloaded files. Once the DRM is gone, you can easily convert the files to play on any device.

Due to current legal standards, you can’t remove the copy protection (DRM) from files. However, I can tell you how you hypothetically could. But remember, the following is for informational purposes only. Actually doing any of this may be illegal.

You would need the appropriate tools. Primarily the program “FairUse4WM.exe” Because FairUse4WM is no longer being developed, you would need a program called “mirakagi.exe” to get the latest encryption keys being used for DRM. You can download everything you need in a zip file here [1].

  1. Unzip the downloaded files to a folder.
  2. Download new Ruckus music which will be saved as WMA files.
  3. Be sure to play the newly downloaded music (or at least the first 20 seconds or so).
  4. Open the folder you extracted from the zip file earlier and run “mirakagi.exe” which will find the DRM encryption key and save it on your computer. Run the program, click “Start,” wait until it says it has finished, and then press “Exit.”
  5. Once the DRM key has been found with mirakagi, run “FairUse4Wm.exe” and add the downloaded (and still DRM protected) WMA files. Once the files are added, click next and wait for the process to finish.
  6. The new files will be named the same as the original files, but with “[NoDRM]” appended. That’s it. You would then be able to play and manipulate your new DRM free music.

The new files will still be in WMA (Windows Media Audio) format. If you want to play them on an Ipod or any other device that doesn’t support the WMA format, you will need to use a converter program like “dBpoweramp [2]” to convert the song files to MP3 format.

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If the above method fails, see this post: //blog.ryantadams.com/2008/02/25/why-cant-i-get-fairuse4wm-or-mirakagi-to-work/ [3]