Easiest Way to Duplicate iTunes Library from Apple Lossless to AAC?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by 2A Batterie, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. 2A Batterie macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

    Jun 9, 2004
    Out of a Suitcase, USA
    I have an iTunes library that's all in Apple Lossless format and over 10,000 songs deep. I have two copies of my library... one on an external HD and one that I access through my time capsule. I'll be going on the road soon and will be taking my MacBook and no external HD. I want to keep my library in Apple Lossless format, but would like to have a copy of that library in AAC so that I have enough room on my internal HD of my MacBook. IS there an easy way to do this? The only thing I can think of right now is to select ALL of my library, and convert it to AAC and then drag and drop all of the AAC files onto my laptop. There has to be a better way to do this, right?
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I carry all my music on an external Firewire powered drive.
    Now you can have up to 500gb from 1 HD. But 10,000 uncompressed songs probably would need more than 500gb.

    For iPhone, I do have a separate library of compressed music (mostly just new stuff, not full library). I use another app (Ovolab AAChoo) for compression of albums, but the compressed library have minimal playlists, ratings, etc.

    An automated way would be nice (without losing the original files or library tags in the main library).
  3. 2A Batterie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2A Batterie

    Jun 9, 2004
    Out of a Suitcase, USA
    Oh trust me, 10,000 uncompressed songs takes up quite a bit of space. My goal is to keep those uncompressed songs on a separate HD that I would keep at home, and simply make a copy of those songs except that they would be all in AAC so that I could have them on my laptop.
  4. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    I don't know if you've checked, or if a script exists, but you may want to check "Doug's Apple Scripts." Just google that phrase. He has developed an insane number of scripts/workflows for all things iTunes. Good luck.
  5. c-Row macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    This is how I would solve this...

    1. Create a new library (hold down ALT while starting iTunes) on your laptop's HD.
    2. In your new, empty library, go to Preferences -> Advanced
    3. On the "General" page, make sure that "Keep iTunes folder organized" is checked and "Copy files to iTunes Music folder..." is unchecked.
    4. On the "Importing" page, choose the codec you want to use for your converted files - in your case, AAC.
    5. Close the Preferences window, go to your external HD and drag the folder of your current Lossless library into iTunes.
    6. Once iTunes finished "importing" all the tracks (well, the links to them, rather than the actual files themselves), select the complete library, right-click on a song and select "Convert to AAC".

    iTunes will create AAC copies of every song in the library, but rather than saving them on the external HD where they come from, iTunes will store them in your new library's folder on your internal HD. Once the whole converting process is done, just delete the entries for the original files. They should all still be highlighted - if not, open the "Last added" folder, sort by date and set all original files to the same artist or album name, e.g. "DELETE ME" and then select that artist in the standard library view and delete all its entries. Alternatively, there are scripts on Doug's Apple Script page that will automatically delete "dead" entries from your current library - just unplug the external HD first.

    You might want to test the correct settings with a small number of folder first rather than all 10,000 files. ;)
  6. Tilpots macrumors 601


    Apr 19, 2006
    Carolina Beach, NC

    This is how I've done it for my collection of 3,000 songs in Apple lossless.

    Two libraries, one on the external and one for the internal. Just make sure you also change the folder on the import section of your advanced tab to the new folder for the library you've created. You'll have to do this everytime you add new songs to the external, too, and switch the AAC conversion back to Apple lossless. iTunes keeps the same preferences for different libraries.

    There should be a better way to do this, but there isn't... as far as I know.

    The only problem I get is when switching between the two libraries, iTunes will not update the location of the few albums of my mp3 songs. No idea why, I just have to manually relink them during every switch to my internal, everytime. Everything's fine for the external. Good luck.

Share This Page