12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2007 11:52 AM by Jon Cartledge1
Barry Lee Reynolds Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)
This is a general question of "why isn't this option available?"

Most of my itunes library is in AAC format so I feel very frustrated when I want to burn an MP3 disc for myself to play in my car's stereo or to take to play at work...sure I could take my ipod but sometimes I like the safety of just taking a disc and not needing to worry if it gets "lost."

Anyway, here I am wanting to burn an MP3 disc but I cannot because all the files are in AAC format instead of MP3 format. Why doesn't itunes just convert all the files to MP3 and then burn the disc? I mean, itunes has to do this when a regular CD is burnt from AAC files, right?

iMac G5 17 1.8 bluetooth/airport 512RAM, Mac OS X (10.3.9)
  • 1. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    Fabb Level 2 Level 2 (210 points)
    I don't see where your problem is. when you choose from itunes>preference>advanced from there you have all the possibility for burning, import with MP3 or ACC option. So the choice is there.
    To burn a cd you need to select a playlist then convert the selection in MP3 then press burn disc bottom left.
  • 2. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    Paul Judd Level 6 Level 6 (13,420 points)
    Barry Lee Reynolds wrote:
    I mean, itunes has to do this when a regular CD is burnt from AAC files, right?


    Well the conversion to a MP3 and CD burning are two completely different things. To the user, it is the same, but AUDIO cd's are structured and handled differently.

    Plus you also have to remember, that certain files (protected AAC) cannot be burned to a mp3 CD anyway.
  • 3. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    jere7my Level 4 Level 4 (1,810 points)
    Converting from AAC to MP3 will double-compress the tracks, so you'll take a quality hit. But there's nothing stopping you from converting the tracks yourself and then burning an MP3 disc in iTunes.
  • 4. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    Barry Lee Reynolds Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)
    The problem is with the non-simplicity of burning an MP3 disc in comparison to burning a regular audio CD. Yes, well maybe the structuring is different or whatever but when I consider having to convert all the selections to MP3 and then making a play list and burning the MP3 disc in comparison to just making a play list and burning it to CD format--you can see how much time would be saved.

    Sure, I could have imported all my songs from the beginning as MP3 but then I could have lost sound quality, right? That was one of the reasons for importing in AAC...but doing so doesn't keep me from burning a regular CD audio disc as it does with burning an mp3 disc.
  • 5. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    Barry Lee Reynolds Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)
    Let me rephrase it a bit then.

    When I create a play list and burn an audio format CD iTunes does this for me regardless of what format it is in and the time I need to wait is pretty short.

    When I create a play list and want to burn an mp3 disc then I need to confirm all the files are in mp3 format and if not spend all the time to convert them and then burn the disc and then go back and delete all the duplicate files that are now in my library before I get the disc.

    So the first method takes very little time while as method number two (for mp3) takes me quite a bit longer.

    As I've stated before, I could just import all my music in mp3 in the beginning and then I wouldn't encounter this problem but the point is that I wanted to retain most of the music quality, so that's why I kept importing my songs in AAC. Besides, I just feel that AAC does not equal regular CD audio format--so some process is taking place.

    I just wish there was a feature (maybe someone could write a script I guess) so that I could select a number of songs, have them convert to mp3, placed in a playlist, burnt as an mp3 disc and then those mp3 files would automatically be deleted so I would not have duplicate songs in my library.
  • 6. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    NoName Level 6 Level 6 (12,835 points)
    I've been a strong proponent of MP3 for many years, but have finally yielded at least a bit of ground to the notion that newer "standards" have gained enough of a position in the marketplace to finally concede to the pressure of using AAC for portable use instead of MP3. So, to hang on to old technology, it looks as though many people will continue to have to jump through some extra hoops in order to make and use such outdated things as MP3 CDs. Eventually, I wouldn't be surprised to see fewer and fewer MP3 CD-capable devices and more and more AAC (Nero Digital et al.)-capable devices taking their place.
  • 7. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    ed2345 Level 6 Level 6 (18,890 points)
    Barry,

    Yes it would be technically feasible. It would require an "on-the-fly" format conversion which, as you correctly note, is quite analogous to (and no more complicated than) the on-the-fly conversions done by iTunes as it burns an audio CD from source files in various formats.

    However, iTunes does not have the feature you describe. You may submit your feedback to Apple at the iTunes feedback page.
  • 8. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    jere7my Level 4 Level 4 (1,810 points)
    You'll lose sound quality any time you compress a file. Even if iTunes could automatically burn an MP3 disc from AAC files, you'd still lose quality when it converted the AACs to MP3s — they'd end up double-compressed, like a photocopy of a photocopy. Burning an audio CD doesn't have that problem, because CD audio is uncompressed — you'll end up with a CD that sounds exactly as good as the files in iTunes.
  • 9. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    Barry Lee Reynolds Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)
    Yeah, sure, I understand your point but if I have already placed the songs in iTunes as AAC format but want to create an mp3 disc, I cannot. I totally get your point that I'd lose quality but still, what I'm saying is that I can't simply make a low quality mp3 disc. How about that?
  • 10. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    NoName Level 6 Level 6 (12,835 points)
    You CAN create an MP3 CD from your (unprotected) AAC files. That's the point. I do not see this as a limitation of iTunes at all. No matter what software you would use, on any platform, you'd have to go through the process of transcoding your AACs to MP3 in order to create an MP3 CD. If the software automated this, I would be worried... users ought to have some control over encoding paramters and ID3 tagging. iTunes indeed gives you this control.

    I would suggest you keep this as a feature request, and not a complaint or request for help, since you do not seem to be experiencing a problem with iTunes.

    All the best,

    NoName
  • 11. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    Barry Lee Reynolds Level 2 Level 2 (430 points)
    Thank you.
  • 12. Re: Why can't itunes just burn MP3 discs directly?
    Jon Cartledge1 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I agree with you Barry, regardless of quality loss it would be great to just easily burn an mp3 cd from an aac playlist. The simplest way I found is to use "quick convert". This is an applescript download that does more than the itunes convert. What it does usefully is offer to create a new playlist containing the converted aac files. This is then easily exported to a cd and finally deleted to reduce the duplication of stored tracks. Try this link for the download: http://dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/searchTheScripts.php