Digital rights management (DRM) is a technology used to protect digital content, including songs, from unauthorized copying and distribution. Here are some ways to determine if a song is protected by DRM:

  1. Check the File Format:
    • DRM-protected songs are often distributed in specific file formats that support DRM. Common DRM-protected audio file formats include AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) with Apple’s FairPlay DRM, WMA (Windows Media Audio) with Microsoft’s PlayReady DRM, and others. If the song is in one of these formats, it might be DRM-protected.
Check Which Songs Are DRM Protected
Check Which Songs Are DRM Protected
  1. Read the Metadata:
    • DRM-protected songs may contain metadata information that indicates the presence of DRM. Check the song’s metadata using media player software or metadata editors. Look for terms like “protected,” “DRM,” or the specific DRM technology used (e.g., “FairPlay” or “PlayReady”).
  2. Attempt to Copy or Share:
    • DRM restricts users from making unauthorized copies or sharing protected content. If you try to copy the song to another device, burn it to a CD, or share it with others, you may encounter restrictions or error messages indicating DRM protection.
  3. Check the Source:
    • Consider where you obtained the song. Legitimate digital music stores like iTunes, Microsoft Store, and others used to sell DRM-protected songs. If you purchased the song from such a store, it may have DRM. However, many stores have transitioned to selling DRM-free music in recent years.
  4. Online Streaming Services:
    • Songs streamed from subscription-based online music services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music are generally not DRM-protected for offline listening within the app. However, they may use encryption to protect the downloaded files, but this is different from traditional DRM.
  5. Licensing Terms:
    • Review the licensing terms and terms of use associated with the song or the service from which you acquired it. These documents may mention DRM protection and usage restrictions.

Please note that the landscape of DRM and digital media has evolved, and the prevalence of DRM protection has decreased for music files due to consumer demand for DRM-free content. Major music platforms like iTunes have removed DRM from their music offerings.