1240 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2007 10:27 AM by John Lockwood
What format is the music in on your iTunes library? If it is already in MP3 format, you can simply burn them to an MP3 CD (see the burning preferences of iTunes) and all the info will be retained.
If they are not in MP3 format and are not purchased from the iTunes music store (iTMS), then you can set iTunes import preference to MP3, then go back into your library, pick the songs you need to convert, right click on them and pick "Convert to MP3". iTunes will then make a new copy of them in MP3 format which can be added to a playlist and again burned to an MP3 CD. You can delete those tracks later if you want.
This won't work on iTMS purchased stuff since they are protected and won't convert directly. In that case, you would have to burn them to an audio CD then reimport them as MP3s off that Audio CD, which you can do in iTunes if you want. If you don't remove the CD from the drive (e.g. burn to a blank, then the burned version mounts in iTunes) all the info should be there and when you then reimport as MP3s, that info should come in on the MP3 files. If you eject the CD then reinsert, you may lose that info.
You can probably just right click on a song and do a Get Info and check the format. But you can also check your import preference and see which encoding method you are using. If you never changed it from the default, then you are importing as AAC files.
By the library I am talking about within iTunes itself.
If the music in iTunes is unprotected (not bought from the iTunes Store) and is in MP3, or AAC, or Apple Lossless format then it can be simply added to WMP without you have to convert it, or burn it first to CD.
For AAC and Apple Lossless, you will need to make sure you have the WMPTSE plugin for WMP (to let it read MPEG4 meta tags), and also a suitable directshow filter (there are ones for both now available).
You also need to make sure you have used iTunes 7 to fill in the Album Artist tag for all the tracks.
If the music is in AIFF, or WAV then you can use iTunes to convert it to MP3, or AAC, or Apple Lossless by going to preferences, setting the Import format to one of these three formats, then selecting the tracks and in the Advanced menu telling it to convert the tracks, this will preserve all the tags during the conversion.
If the music in questions was purchased from the iTunes Store then you need to first burn it to an Audio CD. Unfortunately unless you have bought an entire album from the iTunes store doing this is almost certainly going to loose the tags. Normal Audio CDs do not store track/artist information, and even if you do burn an Audio CD with the "CD Text" option enabled, neither iTunes or WMP actually reads back this information from an Audio CD.
I have no iTunes Store purchased tracks but have imported dozens of CDs in to iTunes in Apple Lossless format, and share them all with WMP 10 (i.e. there is only a single copy of each file).
Apple lossless is a different type of compression.
When a song is compressed into an mp3 or AAC file, it uses "lossy" compression, meaning that information is taken out or lost in getting the file to a certain size. To an average user on an average sound system, a moderate bitrate of either of these will sound fine.
But it's not CD quality.
"Lossless" compression does not discard any of teh info in the original when compressing it. Ever single bit that was in the original version is still there. Folks with a more discerning ear are more likely to want a library built of this type of file. In particular, music genre that are a bit more demanding that pop, rock, etc. suffer in quality when compressed into an mp3 or AAC file. These would include things like Classical or JAzz (most of my jazz is in a lossless format). Simialarly, folks with higher end equipment prefer these formats, as the lossy versions can sound a bit off on expensive equipment.
The tradeoff for the better sound quality is a much bigger file.
Which should you use? That's up to you. I have a mix of several formats in my collection, based roughtly on genre lines. Try this: take some music you really, really like. MAke an mp3 or aac out of it. Then make an Apple Lossless file out of it. Compare the sound quality and look at the file size. Decide if the tradeoff of quality for size is worth it, or if you prefer the bigger files with better sound.
Stupid question but how do you "add to WMP" from I
You need to do some groundwork first to prepare the way.
1. The music in iTunes must a) be unprotected [not bought from the iTunes Store], and b) in either MP3, AAC, or Apple Lossless format (or theoretically any mixture of these three formats).
2. All tracks in iTunes must have the "Album Artist" tag filled in.
3. If you are using either AAC or Apple Lossless then you need to install some additional software for Windows Media Player, this being a directshow filter for WMP to be able to play AAC and/or Apple Lossless, and a plugin to let WMP read the meta tags in MPEG4 style audio files (both AAC and Apple Lossless use the same MPEG4 file and tag formats). In terms of an AAC directshow filter the one here http://www.orban.com/plugin/ will do the job, for Apple Lossless you need the one here http://www.dsp-worx.de/ which as you will see was my idea . For the MPEG4 tag support you will need WMPTSE which is available here http://wmptagext.sourceforge.net/
4. You need to configure WMP to not manage files (i.e. to not copy or move them), and to not replace existing meta data (tags).
5. You then either tell WMP to watch the iTunes library folders (in which case it will in theory automatically add all the tracks, or you can manually select and add folders full of music (its in the bottom left of WMP).
Once you have set things up like above, if you set WMP to 'watch' for new music in the iTunes library folder, the rest will proceed automatically. I prefer to manually add to WMP, this also prevents 'advanced' podcasts being automatically added to WMP, which WMP is not capable of playing.