A couple of Q's from an I-tunes newbie

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Dale124, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Dale124 macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Hi, folks. I have just jumped on the i-tunes bandwagon and, so far so good. I just have a couple of questions.
    1. when I import music from a cd, does it convert it to MP3 format, or is it something else (if so, do i need to select something in the menu to have them changed to mp3?)
    2. is there a way to check how many GB's my i-tunes library is? I've looked, but don't see anything that seems to be related to that.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    1. iTunes->Preferences->General->Import Settings
    2. Should say the library size at the bottom of the iTunes window.
  3. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    Also, I'd take some time reading around the web and reading up on iTunes before you go through the work of importing your media. Choose what audio type (mp3 or AAC) is best for you. Make sure you have a tagging system set up. Make sure you know whether you want your media in one main folder or scattered about your computer in different spots. iTunes gives you a lot of control, but its best to know how to use it first.
  4. Dale124 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Thanks, guys. I found the settings you mention. Which is better between AAC and MP3? is there a size and or quality difference?
  5. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
  6. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    Apple Lossless is great for archiving, but AAC or mp3 is best for everyday listening and portability, and most won't ever know the difference.

    As for AAC or mp3, that's up to you. I personally go with LAME mp3 because it's pretty much universal. AAC isn't far behind these days, but since I started with mp3, I like to keep things the same. If you go with mp3, don't use iTunes' encoder. Use the LAME encoder. If that's too much trouble for you, just go with AAC. I think the iTunes Plus settings are overkill, but you should do a blind test and go with what suits you the most.
  7. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    Apple Lossless only if you have the space and if you can hear the difference.
  8. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Or if you have the space even if you can't tell the difference, but you only ever want to rip everything once, and want to future-proof your collection ;) You can make any other format once you have a lossless version. I can tell the difference as I use lossless through a high end audio system, but on the other hand, as others have rightly said, compressed formats are a good compromise and perfectly adequate for iPod use where the audio output isn't that great anyway, relatively speaking.

    If you have the disk space, you can have both formats in the same iTunes library - iTunes makes it quite easy to do that. First you rip everything in Apple lossless format, then change the preference to something else, e.g. iTunes Plus. Select all tracks, right click and select "Make AAC version", and it will create a second copy of everything from the lossless format in iTunes Plus format. Then you can create a smart playlist just to select all of the iTunes Plus format files, and sync that playlist with your iPod/iPhone. That's what I do, and I have a second smart playlist which selects just the lossless version which syncs with Apple TV and goes via an external DAC into the audio system.

    In terms of compressed formats, iTunes Plus is extremely good IMO.
  9. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    For me, it's the only way to go where classical music is concerned. For more pop oriented music, it's a toss-up. But I gots plenty of space, so I go Apple Lossless with everything for archival purposes. I don't want carry all my library around on my iPod either. Choose the format that best fits your needs. :)
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    AAC > mp3

    AAC is MP4, over a decade newer than mp3.
  11. vollspacken macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2002
    Boogie-Down Berlintown
    I would go with LAME-encoded MP3s as that is the most common format used...

    There is a small app for that that works well with iTunes: http://blacktree.com/?itunes-lame

    You can choose from default settings or customize your own... I prefer the settings for "highest", giving you an excellent size/quality ratio... (you could also go for "extreme" if size does not matter...)

  12. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    LAME mp3 is kept up to date. AAC may be marginally better at lower bitrates (128 - 160), but again, it takes a trained ear to hear a difference and at 192 and above, LAME mp3 is probably every bit as good as AAC.

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