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View Full Version : Does "Convert higher bitrate songs to 128 kbps AAC for this iPod" option exist?




kavika411
May 11, 2007, 09:29 AM
Thank you for reading this. It is my understanding that there was once a method - in iTunes - for downsizing higher bitrate songs when synching. Apparently, it was an option that read "Convert higher bitrate songs to 128 kbps AAC for this iPod," and that option was available for the shuffle and/or that iTunes-friendly phone that came out a while ago.

Is that option still around? If so, is it not available for all model iPods? If it is not available for all model iPods, does anyone know why it is not? Thanks.



Blue Velvet
May 11, 2007, 09:35 AM
Still only for Shuffles, I think. Possibly Nanos, although having never owned a Nano, I'm guessing here...

You can either use an AppleScript to do this (see link), or keep two separate libraries (like I used to) or keep them altogether (lossless and AAC) in the same library and manage the iPod with a smart playlist that selects only the AACs.

Lossless to AAC Workflow v1.4
http://dougscripts.com/itunes/scripts/scripts07.php?page=1#losslessaccworkflow

pacohaas
Aug 7, 2009, 09:54 AM
It's so annoying that Apple hasn't opened this option up on all iPod's/iPhones. It worked on the iPhone 0.5 (ROKR), can't they just enable the option for all iPods? I want to keep my lossless songs on my hard drive and play the AAC version on my iPhone like I could with my ROKR. I upgraded to an iPhone and took a step back in functionality...two copies of songs is not a solution either as the playcounts won't be in sync.

BENI
Mar 31, 2010, 05:41 PM
It also works for my 80gb ipod classic so i reckon it's just a new feature for all ipods. anyway its silly to think it would only work for some ipods as it is clearly a new itunes feature not a new ipod feature. What would be the point in not making it available to anybody running out of space (even if it is more applicable to the shuffle with less space)? even i don't sync my whole library to my 80gb cos i run out of space.

if my old 80gb classic supports it i would assume it works for any other model.
Only the touch and the iphone have different firmware & software so if any were unsupported it would be them, but i doubt it.

quite a nice little feature for the average (less discerning) listener. And frankly even with very good headphones you would have to listen very hard to spot a lack of quality even compared to the original CD. So don't worry about experimenting (though it does take AGES! to sync the first time) cos it leaves the originals in the library intact so u can always return to the better quality should it bother u. also you can listen to the higher quality on your computer.

PS this option has only been available to me in the latest update, so maybe it was limited to shuffles previously. i don't know about that but it is here for me now (since yesterdays update - itunes version 9.1)

good luck

Julien
Mar 31, 2010, 06:10 PM
9.1 added it for all devices, though you can only select 128Kbps and no other.

chrisworld
Apr 6, 2010, 01:28 PM
9.1 added it for all devices, though you can only select 128Kbps and no other.

I noticed this for my iPod touch as well. Doesn't this count as transcoding though? I know dropping a 320 or 256 kbps Mp3 or AAC down to 128 is a loss (but not by much with AAC being so good, IMO) but with transcoding comes even more loss? Is the AAC Codec so advanced by now that loss from transcoding is a thing of the past or does it still exist with this option?

manselnott
Apr 17, 2010, 06:02 AM
I have this option for my wife's Nano. We don't have enough space and I am thinking clicking on the "convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kps AAC" in the iPods summary screen when plugged in.

The trouble is will it create a duplicate file on my hard drive, taking up unnecessary space or does it convert my higher bit rate songs?

Or does do what i am hoping it will do, keep my higher bit rate songs as they are, not create duplicates on my Mac and just create 128 kps files on my ipod?

Cheers if someone can clarify.

Galley
Apr 17, 2010, 08:28 PM
I have this option for my wife's Nano. We don't have enough space and I am thinking clicking on the "convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kps AAC" in the iPods summary screen when plugged in.

The trouble is will it create a duplicate file on my hard drive, taking up unnecessary space or does it convert my higher bit rate songs?

Or does do what i am hoping it will do, keep my higher bit rate songs as they are, not create duplicates on my Mac and just create 128 kps files on my ipod?

Cheers if someone can clarify.

iTunes will not create any duplicates in your library.

NewGenAdam
Apr 19, 2010, 11:07 AM
I noticed this for my iPod touch as well. Doesn't this count as transcoding though? I know dropping a 320 or 256 kbps Mp3 or AAC down to 128 is a loss (but not by much with AAC being so good, IMO) but with transcoding comes even more loss? Is the AAC Codec so advanced by now that loss from transcoding is a thing of the past or does it still exist with this option?

What a pain that only 128 can be selected - I'd rather have the choice of several. Anyone know a get-around? I like to store in Apple lossless and this is troublesome. But if iTunes could convert to decent rates on-the-fly it'd be a solution.

chrisworld
Apr 20, 2010, 07:03 PM
What a pain that only 128 can be selected - I'd rather have the choice of several. Anyone know a get-around? I like to store in Apple lossless and this is troublesome. But if iTunes could convert to decent rates on-the-fly it'd be a solution.

I thought about the same thing. If 256 was available rather then 128, I'd keep everything that I own in ALAC in my iTunes library instead, so it just gets compressed for the ipod on the go. Of course some of my over 256 mp3's would be affected, but bearing AAC in mind it's not a terrible quality loss.

Nermal
Apr 20, 2010, 07:40 PM
In my opinion, two variables are required. I agree that the "target rate" should be configurable (I'd use 256), but also the definition of "higher bitrate"; I'd probably set this so that anything exceeding 320 kb/s (ie. lossless files) would be compressed. That way, my handful of 320 kb/s AACs would not be downconverted.

Consultant
Apr 20, 2010, 11:56 PM
In my opinion, two variables are required. I agree that the "target rate" should be configurable (I'd use 256), but also the definition of "higher bitrate"; I'd probably set this so that anything exceeding 320 kb/s (ie. lossless files) would be compressed. That way, my handful of 320 kb/s AACs would not be downconverted.

Good idea. I was thinking of 2 and 3. But your 1 seems useful too.

Time to write to http://www.apple.com/feedback/ unless someone has more ideas?
1) Target bit rate in addition to 128, such as 256
2) Option for what to convert: such as, anything above 320 kb/s
3) Option for cached folder for converted files (good for those with loseless library, and multiple iPhone / iPad)

michael31986
Apr 22, 2010, 09:55 PM
i plugged in my nano and i check off the convert to 128kbps but its not doing anything and i hit apply. i have songs that are 256. how can i get this to do this. btw i have my songs manually added on the nano.

TheMacBookPro
Apr 24, 2010, 10:16 AM
My iPad has this option too.

michael31986
Apr 26, 2010, 04:18 PM
still can't get this to work :(

Wolfpup
Apr 26, 2010, 11:13 PM
Micheal, are you looking under the main entry for your iPod? It should be a check box. I've never used it, but it's actually a pretty cool feature. Yeah, having it selectable would be cool, but 128Kb/s MPEG4 seems like a good level if you're low on space.

michael31986
Apr 27, 2010, 05:29 PM
I did check off that box and I click apply nothing happens.

Wolfpup
Apr 27, 2010, 09:29 PM
Weird. I've never actually done it so I'm not sure what's supposed to happen. Maybe it only does it when you actually copy audio over? But doesn't touch the audio already on the iPod? :confused:

chrisworld
Apr 29, 2010, 11:21 PM
Weird. I've never actually done it so I'm not sure what's supposed to happen. Maybe it only does it when you actually copy audio over? But doesn't touch the audio already on the iPod? :confused:

I've just been fooling around with it on my ipod touch. It does convert only when you copy over audio AFTER it's been checked, I think audio on the device before its been checked is grandfathered into it at it's original bitrate unless removed and re added. I guess this feature is useful if you manually manage your music on your iPod. I still wish there was an advanced option for this feature like 256kbps/vbr options, only convert lossless formats..etc..

Do you guys think there is a way to go into itunes source code and change the option from 128 CBR (HQ) to 256 VBR (iTunes Plus). Given that these two options are easy drop down options from the import settings, the ipod option has to basically mirror the 128 import option, making it maybe easier to find, and then replace it with the iTunes plus option.

afd
Apr 30, 2010, 01:58 AM
I enabled this on my 3G iPhone and got an extra 1 1/2 GB. But every time I sync it seems to update about 200 songs on the iPhone, which takes forever on my G5 iMac. This happens without any change to selected playlists. Anyone else found this happens? Might not be such a problem on a more modern computer.

duncyboy
Apr 30, 2010, 01:34 PM
I enabled this on my 3G iPhone and got an extra 1 1/2 GB. But every time I sync it seems to update about 200 songs on the iPhone, which takes forever on my G5 iMac. This happens without any change to selected playlists. Anyone else found this happens? Might not be such a problem on a more modern computer.

It happens on my late '07 iMac too if that's any consolation. I've also tried it with a 2G iPod Touch and a brand new iPod Nano. It'll convert and sync the whole library fine but when I reconnect the iPod it'll choose anything from 300 to 4 tracks to re-sync :confused:

I'm guessing it's still bust despite the recent iTunes update and I'm not so fussed about it that I'm gonna start re-building my iTunes library or anything.

Wolfpup
Apr 30, 2010, 02:13 PM
Could they be ones you've since listened to on either the PC or iPod? Like maybe since the file is changed (the play count is updated), it decides it needs to resync the file?

If that's it, it sort of makes sense. Otherwise that seems super annoying.

I *think* that enabling encryption for my iPod backups makes things take a lot longer too. That process pegs one of my CPUs at 100% for quite a while. I haven't turned it on yet for my new iPod. Honestly I'm not sure there's a point, given that all the info on my iPod is already on my PC too, so having it encrypted in the backup doesn't seem to really help anything. Now if all the data stored in flash on the iPod were encrypted, THAT would be cool, to hopefully prevent anyone from recovering anything if you lose it.

afd
Apr 30, 2010, 02:51 PM
Could they be ones you've since listened to on either the PC or iPod? Like maybe since the file is changed (the play count is updated), it decides it needs to resync the file?

I wondered that too, so after syncing for a few hours last night ( it was almost finished then someone called me...) I pulled it out the dock and put it back in, it then "updated" 209 songs. I hadn't touched iTunes all night.

Duncyboy- I'm not going to rebuild my library either, that tick in the checkbox is gone, at least till the next iTunes upgrade, or iMac upgrade....

Wolfpup
Apr 30, 2010, 03:09 PM
Oookay, that's officially weird then :-D Probably broken.

I wish they'd fix smart playlists on the touch again, but at least they fixed the playback location problem, which was a MUCH bigger deal to me :)

afd
Apr 30, 2010, 03:19 PM
currently syncing without the tick. I's now "copying" 206 songs (I think now it was 206 last night too the same songs are appearing) looks like this is not necessarily a new problem, I just never noticed before because it was copying and not converting. Can't see a connection with what it's copying though. It's a mixture of MP3s, songs I have ripped with iTunes from CDs(aac), iTunes purchases and amazon purchases. A few whole albums of various types too.
Weird, like you said.

duncyboy
Apr 30, 2010, 03:47 PM
Wolfpup: it's funny you should mention the 'Last Played' thing 'cause I've had that in the past also. Tracks played in iTunes since the last sync updating all over again, possibly just to add +1 to the Play Count.

afd: yeah, it's a forgotten option for me until it's fixed :) I will definitely use it in future when it works. I got back about 3+ GB of space on my iPod and the sound wasn't VASTLY downgraded for me. I have a decent set of earbuds (Sennheisers) and the small (to my ears) loss of quality was worth it for the space saved*. Having read your last post it never happens to me when the 128 AAC box is unticked- iTunes works fine then. It's only when the AAC is on it goes pear-shaped.

Oh, well. It wouldn't be interesting if everything really did just work now would it? ;) :p

* Notice how diplomatically I worded that to avoid the inevitable wrath of the Audiophiles?

chrisworld
Apr 30, 2010, 10:22 PM
Well, for me, I think this is official. Checking the 128 option does NOT update/compress songs already on your iPod as long as the "Manually Manage" option is checked, which kinda makes sense. So now I can sync mp3's and purchsed aac's at their higher-than-128 bitrates, not worry about them, and have the 128 option checked when I sync my apple lossless songs to the ipod. All CD rips i've done has been in apple lossless - I like the security of having them in lossless, can always transcode down properly.

I've checked the option, with 256kbps AAC's sitting on the iPod (manually managed music), synced it, unplugged, replugged, synced it. The 256kbps AAC's remain unchanged.

This is what I've seen so far and it has sold me on the idea that they will not be changed if manually manage - is selected.

But whos to say during a period of AFK, the thing will fire up and start converting, plugged in or not, even running off battery sitting overnight.

We'll see I guess.

duncyboy
May 7, 2010, 10:37 AM
TUAW/MacOSXHints have posted a solution: http://www.tuaw.com/2010/05/07/how-to-squash-a-syncing-bug-in-itunes-9-1-1/

Apparently there are two builds of 9.1.1. - (11) and (12)- if you've got 11, redownload from the Apple website. This won't show up in Software Update, you have to do it manually. Will give it a crack when I get home and let you know how I get on :)

Wolfpup
May 7, 2010, 12:38 PM
Yay! I just checked, and I have 12. Thanks for posting that info!

duncyboy
May 7, 2010, 01:02 PM
Yay! I just checked, and I have 12. Thanks for posting that info!

You're welcome, let us know if it works better :)

I had build-11 so I've got 12 and am re-syncing now. Will let you know how I get on although it can take a while for my stuff to sync :o

EDIT: OK, so the morning after the night before and everything seems fine. I've got back a good few gigs of space and all my stuff's synced fine. I tried to listen to a few tunes and reconnect- no problems. Fingers crossed!

Nairmb
May 13, 2010, 09:46 PM
Just to make things clear, does this feature keep my original Lossless files intact and only keeps the 128 AACs on my 30 GB 5.5? How exactly does it "convert" the files. It's very important that I still have only Lossless files in my library.

Wolfpup
May 14, 2010, 12:51 AM
Yeah, it would keep the originals in tact. It would be transcoding them to a lower bit rate file during the process of copying it to the iPod (which would make the process take longer, I assume).

It's a pretty cool feature, though I agree with whoever said it ought to let you select your own bit rate and settings to use. If you had a ton of hard drive space the idea of using loseless and then converting down for your iPod sounds pretty reasonable.

chrisworld
May 15, 2010, 03:59 AM
Just to make things clear, does this feature keep my original Lossless files intact and only keeps the 128 AACs on my 30 GB 5.5? How exactly does it "convert" the files. It's very important that I still have only Lossless files in my library.

Yeah, it keeps your files intact, only converts them as they are put on the ipod. Actually, I think one by one they are put into ram, converted then dropped on the ipod, so none of your originals are replaced at all. I was using the 128 option for a while but I did kinda notice how less "vibrant" they sounded so decided to up it and create some 256 AAC's from my losslesses then put them on the ipod manually, then delete the 256 AAC's. Lossless's still stay in library.