8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 3, 2005 8:03 PM by Majordadusma
Jason Craft Level 1 Level 1
Is it possible to change the file types of music files already downloaded in iTunes (aac to mp3)
  • Paul M. Level 4 Level 4
    You can convert some filetypes to aac in iTunes, but you cannot convert aac to anything else. Just right click on a file and the option "Convert to AAC" should be in the menu.
  • Jason Craft Level 1 Level 1
  • Majordadusma Level 6 Level 6
    Actually, you can even convert standard AAC files to other formats within iTunes. You just can't convert protected AACs (m4p files) to other formats, unless you first burn them as an audio disk and subsequently reimport them.

    The "Convert to" option in the Advanced pulldown menu of iTunes is linked to whatever you have set as your Importing preference under the Advanced option of iTunes Preferences.

  • Paul M. Level 4 Level 4
    I stand corrected and learned something new! Thanks Gary. Lots of +'s for you.
  • Majordadusma Level 6 Level 6
    Your welcome, Paul; glad I could share the info!

    One thing I neglected (shame) to mention is that when one reencodes from one format to a compressed one, there's a bit of quality lost in the music file. This may or may not be significant to some folks with discriminating ears, unlike mine... Take an AIFF from an original music CD and import it as AIFF into iTunes. Then convert it into various "lossy" formats, convert those formats into other lossy formats, put all of these files on a playlist, and burn them back to CD and listen to them with a good set of earphones (preferably) on a quality stereo system. It's a real learning experience which should help one to make a decision on how to originally import files, when to convert, and what to do with the original imports...

  • Paul M. Level 4 Level 4

    Good point. I've learned this lesson over the years as well. When I first entered the world of digital music, I encoded my CDs at 128kb mp3! Now I can't even imagine something that low. I "re-encoded" those same files to 192 AAC and was shocked at the poor sound quality (it never occured to me that I couldn't re-add lost data!)

    Now, I just rip all my CDs with VBR AAC (and went back and re-ripped all my old ones). I thought about ripping them to a lossless format, but I'm not sensitive enough to hear the difference between flac and VBR AAC.
  • wall Level 1 Level 1
    Hi you seem intelligent, can you help me? I know sod all about computers. I bought the new black ipod & then put about 600 cd's on the itunes not knowing that I was supposed to choose a mode i.e. mp3, it saved them in AAC? Some guy found a programme on the web that kinda changed the AAC's into MP3 but not all of them. Now I've got loads of duplicated tracks, some in AAC & some in MP3. The AAC's won't go onto my ipod & even worse I can't even play them on my computer, I've tried "convert to MP3" but it says the original file can't be found "do you want to locate it?" but there nothing there! Is there a way i can get around this without having to reload all the CD's, its taken a couple of months & I just can't face doing it again, some please help, there just got to be a way round this. Thanks
  • Majordadusma Level 6 Level 6
    Hi Wall!

    Welcome to the Discussions!

    You have a mini-nightmare going on, but nothing that can't be sorted out.

    First, if you have any iTunes Music Store purchased music in your iTunes Library, please insure that you have authorized your computer so that you can play it and can load it on the iPod to play it there. These songs show as "Protected AAC audio files" in your iTunes window under the "Kind" heading.

    If you loaded/imported the CDs as AACs, they should play in that format and should load into your iPod in that format. I suspect that they won't play or load onto the iPod because iTunes can't find them on your hard drive.

    If I were you, I would highlight my Library in the iTunes window, select "Show Duplicates" from the menubar, then sort the files based on "kind" by clicking on the "kind" header on the iTunes window. (If "kind" doesn't show as one of your headers, choose View Options from the menubar and check it so it does appear in the iTunes window.) After sorting by "kind", you should have your duplicate song files grouped together as AACs and MPEG Audio Files (MP3s). I would highlight all of the MP3s that were duplicated by the conversion you did and delete them, thus undoing the conversion and making things a bit simpler to work with. When You're done with this, change the option back to "Show All Songs".

    Now, you're left with the AACs that are not linked with iTunes... Unless you deleted them from your drive, they're still there, but iTunes doesn't know where they are. Go to the Advanced Pane of your iTunes Preferences, click on the "General" tab, then check the boxes to "Keep iTunes Music folder organized" and "Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to Library". Also note the location listed for your iTunes Music folder while you're there. Click "OK'" and these changes will take effect.

    Now, from the iTunes menubar, find and choose "Consolidate Library", which will scour your hard drive for music files and add them to the iTunes Music Folder. Your songs should then be present in the iTunes window. Check to insure that they are, and that they play before proceeding... You may now have duplicates again: the original AACs that weren't linked, as well as the files that were added through the "consolidation" that you just did. If so, you can once again choose to show duplicates in your Library, then sort them based on Date Added, which will separate the old song titles from the new ones. Once you sort them this way, you can then highlight all the old duplicates and delete them. You should be left with a working Library. (Be careful to not mistakenly delete any "Protected AAC audio files" if you have music from the iTunes Music Store.)

    There may be an easier way to do this, but I don't know of one without messing around with the files inside the iTunes folder, which I'm very hesitant to do or to recommend to someone else...

    Wall, just know that the files you imported from those 600 or so CDs should be somewhere on your drive, even though iTunes has "lost" a link to them. If you keep them in your iTunes folder, you'll know where to look for and find them. The preference settings I referenced a couple of paragraphs above should help to keep them organized there.

    You might want to check out the AAC loading/playing before doing any of the above. First, check/change your "General" iTunes preferences as I previously described. Then insure your "Importing" preference is set to AAC. Create a new playlist, load one of the CDs you previously imported, and drag it's icon to the new playlist to add it to the Music folder and Library. Attempt to play the songs from that playlist. They should play just fine. If you want, you can then sort the Library by "Date Added" in the iTunes window and delete the songs from the Library from the CD you just added. If this works for you, then proceed with the consolidation and cleanup as above.


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