mp3 and m4a

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Avatarshark, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Avatarshark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    The Digital Frontier
    #1
    I have a quick question and no idea where to put this, there isn't an iTunes section or if there I am probably too burned out to find it. I have a music collection that is so large right now, roughly 1500 songs. And I have been thinking about converting all of my mp3 to m4a.

    1. Is it worth the disk space to do so?
    2. I understand that any new songs I get, it would have to be m4as, but what do I do with the existing songs?
    3. Whether finding software online I can download YouTube videos into m4a or should I convert straight from mp3 to m4a within iTunes?
     
  2. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #2
    Why bother converting them? You'll gain nothing.

    You can have mixed and matched formats, so just leave them alone and do new ones as m4a's if that interests you.

    You can convert within iTunes I believe.
     
  3. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #3
    1500 songs isn't really that many (I consider my library relatively small, and I have about 6400). Converting from MP3 to M4A (AAC) isn't a worthwhile consideration unless you have a specific need for M4A files, because you'd be converting from one lossy format to another. The right way to do it would be to re-rip the files from a high quality source (the original CD if you have it) into M4A files, but I wouldn't bother converting your MP3's.

    jW
     
  4. Avatarshark thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    The Digital Frontier
  5. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #5
    I saw a survey a few days ago which put the US average at I think 1300 songs. Obviously that data is limited to the people surveyed, but the average could be lower than you think.
     
  6. TomCat, Oct 16, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012

    TomCat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    #6
    You will have more of a problem beyond "gaining nothing". Both AAC and MP3 are severely-compressed, and one of the first rules of compression is that if the original is already highly-compressed and the target secondary compression is also extensive what you will end up with is mush. So I would caution against that.

    A better way to go would be iTunes Match. If you have a healthy internet connection, that is probably the way to go. The cost is $25 a year, but if you don't re-up you still own the rerplaced songs, so you can consider that a one-time cost. iTunes Match will replace any commercially-recognized mp3 or AAC down to 64 kbps in your personal library, regardless of what nefarious source you may have obtained it from, with pristine 256 kbps AAC copies. It does not use your files except to identify the songs; the copies you will get will be from iTunes original source.

    If we assume the general file size of your mp3's averages 128, this would double the size of your media, so do the math first and see if it makes sense for you.

    Once you verify the versions you get, make a couple local backups, and then you can trash the originals.

    PS: please don't then share those files, as they will have your Apple ID stamped into the metadata.
     
  7. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #7
    Interesting. My sample set is basically the few friends that I know the sizes of their libraries (mostly really large), and the others on this board. Perhaps you're right, I just passed that up when I still felt like I had a small library, but I know my taste in music is different from many.

    That's a good plan, and I didn't think to mention it despite that being what I did myself. I had a number of commercial MP3's that were lower quality, along with CD rips of various quality and some iTunes AAC's. iTunes Match matched most of my library, and I think (in batches) deleted the originals and downloaded the matched versions. Really works very well for that purpose.

    jW
     
  8. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #8
    Large iTunes libraries are probably a dying race, with Spotify and others comming up.. I'll keep my 18k library for a long time though *sniff*.

    The loss of quality by doing a MP3 to MP4 convertion is not worth it. Just keep them, or do an iTunes Match sync. Speaking of which, if you only pay for iTunes Match for one month, do you get to keep the updated files?
     
  9. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    #9
    Yes, you can keep files obtained by iTunes Match for ever even if you don't renew your subscription, but you subscribe for a whole year and I know Apple were not keen on doing partial refunds for cancellations.

    However, I'm not sure whether it will be the solution here, as the OP talks about converting files from Youtube videos. I would be very surprised if iTunes Match would match files like that, so he would be unable to get updated versions of those songs. It does depend a bit on the quality of the originals.

    As for whether, a library of 1,500 is large, it is quite possibly above average (I wouldn't doubt the findings quoted), but it is by no means a large library. Libraries with ten times the number of songs are pretty common (and I'm not sure I would even think of them as being particularly large), but that's a different subject.
     
  10. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #10
    iTunes match is $25 for a YEAR. And you only 'need' it once.
     

Share This Page