Export ALAC iTunes Library to AAC and Sync

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by dyrmaker83, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. dyrmaker83 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2009
    Hi folks,

    I've searched, and searched, and cannot find a specific answer to my question: can I export my Apple Lossless library from my iMac to a new Macbook as smaller AAC files and then continue to sync both libraries in their respective formats? I love the sound quality of ALAC, but would like to have my library on the laptop and 160GB doesn't go as far as 500GB.

    I've found lots of answers for similar conversion questions on Google.....for iPods, not between two macs. I tried messing around with Automator, but I'm not familiar with it and it didn't appear to be able to do what I want.

    Can I not find an answer because there is none? In other words, does everything have to be done manually? I imagine syncing both libraries in different formats is probably not likely, but what's the easiest way to get a lossloss library to a different computer as AAC files?

  2. dyrmaker83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2009
    Scratch Syncing

    So it really looks like syncing libraries with two different formats is out of the question, although I'd love to be wrong.

    To reiterate, can iTunes convert files to AAC and save them in a different location - in this case a different mac? I'm not even sure how the two macs would be connected.
  3. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Simple answer is that there's no easy way of doing this.

    Complicated answer would be that you could set your import settings to AAC with whatever bitrate you wanted (256 would be pretty good). Go into your library and select all songs, ctrl-click (or right click) and select "Create AAC Version". This will take a while depending on how many songs you have... might be good to let it run overnight.

    Now you have 2 copies of each song: ALAC and AAC. Right click on the columns in iTunes and make sure "Kind" is selected. Then click on the "Kind" column heading to sort by kind. Grab all of the AAC files, and drag them to a folder on your desktop or external drive or something. After all of them have been copied over, delete the AAC versions from your itunes library (don't forget to delete the files too. Grab all of the files from the desktop/external drive and drag them into iTunes on the new computer. If it's a default installation, it will copy them into the new iTunes library location.

    For all new songs, you'll have to convert them twice ALAC/AAC and repeat the procedure. Note though, that your library still will not have playcounts, ratings, skipcounts and last played data in sync with each other.

    This is, unfortunately, one of the more aggravating limitations of itunes.

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