Is it possible to change the file of a song in iTunes?

palmerc2

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 29, 2008
1,616
678
Los Angeles
Situation: I have ripped all my CD's into iTunes, now that I'm becoming a fiend of quality, I'd like to use Apple Lossless Audio Codec (m4a) in order to use Airplay to my Pioneer receiver, and load on my iPhone for the best possible sound with no compression.

My hopeful solution: I'd like to take the CD's I have, rip via FLAC then convert to an Apple Lossless file then drop it into the directory for iTunes (User/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music) and the KEEP all the data in iTunes already. Does that make sense? Within iTunes I'd like to keep all the play counts, ratings, songs in playlists right where they are, etc....the only thing I am doing is deleting the mp3 / aac file and replacing it with lossless. I really don't mind going through all my albums and doing this one album at a time, to me it's worth it. Or is there another way to go about this?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,438
809
If I recall correctly, you can do this if you replace a MP3 file with another MP3 file of the same name, for example. However, I don't think it works if you change the file type, as iTunes sees it as a separate file and a new addition to the library.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
If I recall correctly, you can do this if you replace a MP3 file with another MP3 file of the same name, for example. However, I don't think it works if you change the file type, as iTunes sees it as a separate file and a new addition to the library.
I believe you can do this with a bit of trickery, but I would not suggest this for a large library.

With iTunes not running, delete one of your MP3 files. When you start iTunes it will notice the file is gone. If you try to play it it will actually prompt you to go find the file. At this point you should be able to select the new version.

I haven't tried this since iTunes 4 on Windows, but it did work then.

B
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,322
25
Omaha, NE, USA
You may be able to edit the iTunes library file manually to change the file extensions associated with each song, but you also have a chance of messing something up.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,438
809
I believe you can do this with a bit of trickery, but I would not suggest this for a large library.

With iTunes not running, delete one of your MP3 files. When you start iTunes it will notice the file is gone. If you try to play it it will actually prompt you to go find the file. At this point you should be able to select the new version.
Interesting idea! I wonder if it would treat the file with a different extension as the same file? I may test this later, when I have more time. If it works, maybe a script could automate the process.
 

palmerc2

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 29, 2008
1,616
678
Los Angeles
Interesting idea! I wonder if it would treat the file with a different extension as the same file? I may test this later, when I have more time. If it works, maybe a script could automate the process.
I can tell you already it won't work. I did exactly that, I removed the mp3 file from the directory, then I located the new lossless file for that song, then iTunes created a whole new song in iTunes with the lossless and just leaving the old song within iTunes empty.

I guess I'll just have to do a lot of print screens of my playlists and their star rating and just start my library from scratch....

BEFORE I do, any other suggestions I could try? I can see already I'm not the only one who wants to know!
 

swiftaw

macrumors 603
Jan 31, 2005
6,322
25
Omaha, NE, USA
I can tell you already it won't work. I did exactly that, I removed the mp3 file from the directory, then I located the new lossless file for that song, then iTunes created a whole new song in iTunes with the lossless and just leaving the old song within iTunes empty.

I guess I'll just have to do a lot of print screens of my playlists and their star rating and just start my library from scratch....

BEFORE I do, any other suggestions I could try? I can see already I'm not the only one who wants to know!
Last resort, manually edit the library file.
 

palmerc2

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Feb 29, 2008
1,616
678
Los Angeles
I've already dived into just starting from scratch. I took a bunch of screen shots of my playlists and am slowly deleting my old files, and replacing them with lossless. should keep me busy for the next few weeks :eek:

Just so you know how I am doing this, I found a great little tool called Max. Link: http://sbooth.org/Max/#download

It's pretty cool, I can convert FLAC to m4a or just rip directly to m4a with a CD. It's free and so far works great.

I put in "The Avett Brothers - I and Love and You" and the bit rate (going from top song to bottom in kbps): 706, 790, 872, 859, 719, 754, 951, 835, 806, 914, 1054, 907, 777.

Then I did "Slayer - Reign in Blood" and the bit rate (going from top song to bottom in kbps): 1097, 1098, 1108, 1117, 1093, 1108, 1100, 1102, 1093, 1034.

Then I did "Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare" for my final test, they put a lot of production into their music, so I thought this would be a good final test. Same idea as the above two: 994, 1046, 916, 966, 1049, 1008, 898, 948, 995, 898, 1012.

Playing from my Mac to my Pioneer VSX-1121-K Receiver using Airplay, I compared the Avenged Sevenfold and Slayer album with how it was before, to how it is now and there is an audible difference. Notes are cleaner and I can hear things I didn't hear before.

Definitely worth it to those that want to get the best sound! I've read on here that lossless would be better for metal, which is what I listen to the most of.
 
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