Originally Posted by danander11
You can, but it's a bit of a convoluted process...
First, you have to convert all of your itunes downloads, (and the song you rip from cd), to MP3.. To do this, Start Itunes, Click -Edit- on your Itunes menu bar, select -Preferences-, select the -Advanced- tab, then select the -Importing- tab. You will see a window that says -Import Using- and you can select from a few different files types to import as, for this you would select the MP3 option. Save and close the preferences window and you are back at your library.
From here on out you can right click on any song in your library and select -Convert to MP3- Once that is done, you can manually copy the MP3's to another directory for later use, or directly into your MP3 player using Windows Explorer..
HOWEVER!!! When you convert your files, you will lose some of the sound quality.. I prefer to use Apple Lossless so that I get all of the nuance and hi-fidelity of the song.. It doesn't make much of a difference on an Ipod, but on a large sound system it can..
Actually, that doesn't work for songs you bought on iTunes (they thought of that). Apple currently uses m4p (an Apple m4a format) files for its store downloads, which require access to a license in order to play. Apple doesn't let other mp3 players have that (or even some software players, eg Foobar which I use). The low tech way to bypass this (which in my opinion is moral if you're only doing it for personal use) is to, as aforementioned, burn the tracks to a disc and rip them back to the computer. Unfortunately that loses quality. What you can do instead is find a program that will convert from m4p to mp4 for you. I shouldn't link to one but they're not hard to find. As far as I know that's the only way.
Sidenote: the iTunes store has now started selling some "iTunes Plus" songs, which means DRM free tracks. Finally! With those you are free to do whatever you please. But that's only some albums. If you see "iTunes Plus" under the buy button, you're already good to go.