Convert Existing AAC to MP3s to use in iTunes and beyond

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bmccall17, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. bmccall17 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    #1
    I am facing the fact that if I want the most versatile for my music library it is MP3. Now I have more than 200gb of AAC formated music that I want to convert to MP3 and maintain the best quality sound I can.
    Older version of iTunes (pre v8) I could go to Advanced > Importing > Convert Selection to ___

    Now I cannot find the Convert Selection to ___ option anywhere. In fact when I look at the help file, it refers to the same location as I was used to going to... but the import tab is no longer a tab.. its a button on the General Tab.

    Anyone know how to use the Convert Selection to function/or what the best method for making this conversion is!?

    I will be moving the files from a network drive to the local machine, should I copy first, then convert?


    !!!OOPS, actually the files are M4A, not aac.!!!

    Please advise,
    bam
     
  2. bmccall17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2008
    #2
    I found that if I right click on a M4A file I can "Create MP3 Version". This might do the trick, but WHOA that is going to take some patience!!! Anyone know a better way?!

    The file went from being a 4.4mb M4A to a 6.5mb MP3

    b




     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #3
    it is still pretty much the same thing, go into your preferences & choose the mp3 bitrate that you want.. then select all you songs and hit the "advanced" menu, "create mp3 version".
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #4
    yea im not that fond of mp3
     
  5. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #5
    Why are you converting them? Aac is very common nowadays. Converting from aac to mp3 is going to make horrible sounding files.
     
  6. synagence macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Most decent modern players from Apple, Sandisk, Creative and Microsoft all support AAC files

    Don't transcode them into MP3 they'll sound worse
     
  7. Redline13 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Ditto. I would just leave them.
     
  8. bmccall17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2008
    #8
    First, I was wrong about the format they are currently in... they are NOT AAC but M4A which is not-as-universal as AAC and of course MP3.

    Given they are in M4A, what file type should I convert them to when I make the transfer from old network drive to new sata drive on board my new macPro?!
    Its a 1T sata and I plan to dedicate it as a media drive for my entire network. I would like to be able to import audio files into Final Cut Pro for movie making... if AAC can do that, then I am set. I know M4A will not.


    Thanks for the comments.
    bam
     
  9. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #9
    .m4a is the file extension of AAC. Most players support this format, and I'd be amazed if Final Cut can't use them.
     
  10. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    #10
    m4a files are AAC.

    Edit: drats, foiled again by Nermal
     
  11. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #11
    For all intents and purposes, M4A == AAC. Think of it as MP4.

    Edit: Double drat, scooped by Nermal and plinden!
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #12
    dont make him think like that!! he will start thinking mp4 files are audio files :eek: :rolleyes:
     
  13. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #13
    My advice is to leave your library as it is until you run into a possible compatibility issue. AAC is just that much better than mp3 in my opinion.
     
  14. Jolly Jimmy macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

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    #14
    As other people have said, don't convert anything unless you really need to. Converting one lossy format into another will only result in even worse quality.
     
  15. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #15
    .m4a is the file extension for AAC.
     
  16. H$R macrumors 6502

    H$R

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    #16
    Just leave them how they are. The quality would only get worse and given the fact that you use the Mac for working with them, there's no reason for you that everything needs to be in mp3. And even most PC applications have no problems with AAC anymore.

    EDIT: there aren't DRM protected, are they?
     
  17. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #17
    If they had the old iTunes DRM mojo hex on them, they would have the m4p extension instead of m4a.
     
  18. H$R macrumors 6502

    H$R

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    #18
    Oh yeah, silly me. I forgot about that.

    When I posted, it just came to my mind that if it would have DRM, he probably would run into more problems. So I just edited without noticing that in this case if would have another file extension.
     
  19. bmccall17 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 27, 2008
    #19
    ok, um.. I got it M4A == AAC... keep the files as is!

    Thanks for all the replies.
    I got the message M4A is a good format to keep everything.
    Ill do it.

    Now, when I am importing new CDs into my library I am stuck with the question (that I thought I had already answered) which format should I import as?!

    I have been importing as MP3 192kbps. The quality seems to sound good. but I am curious if anyone has suggestions about the most efficient format that keeps the best quality sound. Basically, Im looking for the best sound for the storage space I have.

    bam
     
  20. H$R macrumors 6502

    H$R

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    #20
    Yes that's another big (and good!) question. I've been asking this one myself some time ago. I took the decision to rip in mp3 192kbps VBR. (variable bit rate gives you at least the same quality as standard but saves some space)

    For me personal, 192kpbs is a good balance between sound quality and taken space. But all the things I have ripped 5 years ago are still in the 128 bit normal mp3 or AAC. And I surely won't rip them again. The quality is still good (in my ears at least). There are people who say that they don't want anything under 256 or even 320. But you have do decide yourself in the end. And it will depend on your headphones/sound system.
     
  21. john2006wright macrumors regular

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    UK
    #21
    What if I create an AAC version from an MP3? Do you loose/gain anything? I have tried it and the file size and bit rate increased? original mp3 was 5.4Mb and 205kbps (VBR). When I created AAC version it became 6.6Mb and 256 kbps. I can't tell the difference in sound on my macbook.
     
  22. synagence macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2008
    #22
    While you can tell iTunes to re-encode to 256kbps the source file of 192kbps cannot magically have the extra 60kbps added to it

    By transcoding you are infact making things worse not better.... leave the files as they are or re-rip from CD.... making one format become another won't make things any better ... ever.... its technologically impossible
     
  23. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #23
    yes good point, lets say you have a 256kbps MP3 and want to make a 256kbps AAC file. converting will do the whole thing again, its not simply going to say "ok well its already at the right bitrate, so ill just change it to AAC". its going to re-encode all over again, samples will be taken again and so will everything else. it will end up sounding worse even though its the same bitrate.
     

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