iTunes/iPod bit rate conversion

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by HappySnail, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. HappySnail macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    I recently moved from my ipod classic to getting a 32GB iphone. At the moment it fits 264 albums, just. Pretty much all of the music is at 320kb/s MP3. I downconverted all of the stuff I had in lossless to save space already. Now with only 32GB the problem of space arises again.

    iTunes offers me the ability to convert all of my music to 128kb/s AAC but unhelpfully not any higher. I didn't consider this until i checked to see how much space it would save (Pretty much 15GB). As nice as halving the space/doubling the amount of music sounds 128 is just too low.
    Are there any 3rd party apps, scripts or the suchlike to make it 256AAC or something similar.
    The other option is converting my library all to 320 AAC as it's a smaller format to squeeze the extra space out of it, but lossy to lossy conversion is apparently not a good idea and doing this in itunes will be permanent rather than just copying converted files to the ipod.

    I assume other people may have had this problem (wanting to keep high quality files while saving space on ipods) but I've looked around and can't seem to find any solution.

  2. Ommid macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
  3. HappySnail thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    Use smart playlists how? I can use them to organise my library then sync that but i'm pretty sure i can't convert a smart playlist into a lower bit rate on the iPhone.
    At the moment I have a normal playlist I sync to the phone as I can only get about 1/5th of my library on it's 32GB storage but i'd like to shrink my music only on the iphone to get more of my library on.
  4. Ommid macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2008
    I mean, do you need all that music on your device? I wouldnt start shrinking your collection because as time goes by Apple will simply release bigger capacity devices
  5. HappySnail thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    I know, that's why i'm trying to only shrink it on the device and keep the original big files for when i want the high quality files on bigger devices.

    Apple will release bigger capacity devices but at the moment I don't have one of those. For now I'd like to get as much stuff as I can on my phone, iTunes has a solution but it's only 128kb/s for some reason, just wondering if there was another way of doing the same/a similar thing at a higher bitrate.
  6. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    You could use iTunes or Max to make a lower bitrate duplicate for syncing (say, 192k), then makes a smart playlist which would only contain 192k or lower, then sync the iPhone with that.

    Two problems though:
    1) Encoding lossy to lossy is a bad idea, period.
    2) You can't hide the duplicates in iTunes, so in the main music section you'd see both versions of the song.
  7. HappySnail thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    Yeah, lossy to lossy is unavoidable if i was to compress my library. I've heard bad things about doing it but i've also heard that starting with a 320kb/s file will give transparent compression (no discernable difference). I've also found that you can have multiple itunes libraries too, so I can hide my 256kb/s or whatever files in another library and sync that whole library with my iphone.

    The only problem is space on the computer as i need a whole new set of files and to see if there is any difference if I do go for lossy to lossy conversion. I'm not really sure how any of it works but it looks like i'm coming up with a solution albiet a difficult and long way round.

    Cheers for the help, if you or anyone else has any details on conversion or any way to avoid degradation of quality. (is it best to keep to the same file type or the same bit rate and a different file type?)
  8. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Yeah, to be honest that shouldn't be too bad.

    I was going to suggest that, but in practicality it is *extremely* tedious, especially if you're constantly adding media.

    Keeping the same bitrate wouldn't reduce the size, just reduce the quality :p
    Any difference between encoding as AAC or MP3 would be minimal, don't worry too much.
  9. HappySnail thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    Yeah it turns out starting a new library is a nightmare on an iphone, as you have to delete everything and start again. I converted it all to 220kb/s AAC saved almost 4GB but couldn't do much with it.
    I've given up and just converted it all into 128kb/s AAC in the hope that i can't actually notice the bit rate change anyway. I can always go back if it is noticeable and i've saved 14GB. Shame itunes/apple don't offer more options to this, they only just made it possible for non ipod shuffle users to access this option so i hope more options become available soon. Cheers for the help.
  10. Foxer macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I'm with you on this one, but I don't know of anything that will allow on-the-fly down conversion for syncing, apart from iTunes itself.

    This feature was available on the Shuffle since 2005, and I was very glad to see them expand it to all players. My library is lossless and clocks in at 350GB on my HD. I wanted the whole library in my car, and this is the only way it is going to happen. I figure that 128Kbs is poor, but there is so much ambient noise while driving, I'll accept the compromise.

    All I can suggest is sending comments to Apple through iTunes. I did that every few months until they added this feature, now I'm doing it to get them to allow me to adjust the rate. Ideally, there would be a box that you could check which would simply downconvert your tracks to the best rate possible whle still syncing all your tracks.

    I doubt that pestering Apple actually had any actual effect, but it couldn't have hurt.
  11. rovex macrumors 65816

    Feb 22, 2011
    How and where can I obtain lossless/FLAC and 320kbs files? Only from CD's?
  12. HappySnail thread starter macrumors regular

    May 26, 2008
    You can rip 320kb/s MP3 or ALAC from CD's straight into iTunes easily or download them, the official band website or downloads from record labels are more likely to be 320 or offer a lossless if they sell stuff but it's strangely hard to find legal high quality files unless you get the CD.

    I listen to my ipod with average to decent headphones after i lost my £200 shure headphones somewhere. I gave up on 128kb/s after 2 days and went back to a much smaller amount of 320.
    I'll be sure to send iTunes a grumpy comment to apple.
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    here is how to get mostly what you want, all in one iTunes library....

    1) Assume you have 250+ GB of Apple Lossless files in your iTunes librery

    2) Go to "Preferences" where you get the specify what format CDs are to be ripping into. Set that to "256K AAC" (or whatever else you like, but 256K AAC beats any MP3.)

    3) Select part of yuor library, say mayb e 100 tracks or all of one artist. This is for a test run. The right click and one option is "convert selected tracks to "256K AAC" (or whatever you specified in #2 above) This is a misnomer. It will NOT convert them but COPY them and then you will have both the Lossless and the AAC version of all the 100 tracks.

    4) the above creates much clutter with over track in two formats so create two Smart play lists. One has the search criteric set the "kind=aac" and the other "kind=lossless".

    5) from now on you deal with smart play list like the above and you'd only fill the iPod with the songs from the "kind=aac" list. Once you get used to smart lists you will use them for "everything"

    6) Make a smart playlist called "My iPod" and then set your iPod to sync only from this list. set up the list to grabe the AAC256 tracks you want.

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