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Chris help!! - iTunes conversion


Paul Held

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Chris/folks - you'll know this one blindfolded but I can't seem to get it right without messing something up.

 

Simple objective: Copy and Convert my ALAC library to a new AAC 320 library for one of my smaller 4Gen iPods.

 

I have everything in a single master music folder on my Vista PC in Music/iTunes/ITunes Music/....ArtistAlbum x350. I have all of the cover art in the Album Art folder right beside the iTunes Music folder (Music/iTunes/Album Artwork)

 

I want to set up a separate physical location for the converted files, and obviously I don't want to affect the original ALAC files in any way.

 

What is the right way to do with minimum fuss - please?

 

thanks in advance, Paul

 

 

 

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I toughed it out last night - it's running now. I had a couple of errors in my approach that I had to figure out and did. Here goes.

 

Main problems:

1. I was copying my music folder to a new location on the drive. Not necessary. You use your existing lossless folder but create a new lossy library to point to it.

2. iTunes was crapping out when it got to any DRM file and stopping, not just not converting it. A problem I needed to get around

 

The specific steps (Vista obviously):

 

1. Start iTunes in choose library mode (hold down shift key when starting).

2. Create a new library. I chose to put this new library in a separate physical location to keep it clean from the folder which contains my ALAC library, music and cover art. At this point, it's just the library file, not any music files

3. A new clean iTunes gui opens - there is nothing in the new library you just created.

4. In "Preferences/Advanced/General" - you make sure the folder location for music the one you want for your conversion that's about to happen. iTunes will have created a subfolder structure when it set up your new library a moment ago. I just used it.

4a. Make sure in General - you do NOT have "Copy iTunes files to music folder when adding" - that will create a copy of all of your ALAC files and is not what you want or need.

5. You go to "Importing" preferences as well and change it from ALAC to (in my case) AAC 320. This is the basis for the conversion you are about to do.

6. Then, "Add" your lossless music folder to your library. In my case, I added my entire existing ALAC folder. This sets a pointer to your existing lossless (or whatever) library. The original library will not be affected in any way by what you are about to do.

7. The cover art will come as well if you Add the folder which includes both your music and the cover art folder. Careful with this one or the system will go out to the net and try to recreate the cover art. I have a lot of custom cover art that wasn't found when I did my original ripping.

8. Now, here was a tricky part. I needed to exclude any DRMd AAC files at 128. I don't have many but there are some. I want them to get to the iPod, but they were knocking out the conversion at a dead stop. The way around this was to create a smart playlist, with the simple rule only include files above 128kbps. That playlist now appears on your main iTunes window.

9. Go to list view or whichever is easiest for you to work in and select all the music.

10. Go to "Advanced" on the main menu bar. Select "Convert to AAC, custom/320 or whatever you prefer"

11. Go for it - convert

12. I have about 12 days of music and coversion is happening at 25x speed. So done in about 12 hours (very soon as I write this)

13. I've checked my folders and files in explorer - everything is happening correctly.

14. When it is done (I'll back it up and then...), I will have both the ALAC and AAC files in this library. To transfer just the AAC 320 and assorted other

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Hey Paul - Thanks a lot for laying the whole thing out for everyone. That took some time and it's much appreciated.

 

If I follow you correctly you have one library with just you ALAC files and they are in one music folder/location. Then you have the other library with the freshly converted AAC 320 files in one music folder, in addition this library points to the ALAC files in the original ALAC folder location.

 

If this is the case make sure you don't consolidate your library on the newly created AAC 320 library.

 

Let me know of I have it down or if I just made up something in my head :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Hey Paul - Thanks a lot for laying the whole thing out for everyone. That took some time and it's much appreciated.

 

If I follow you correctly you have one library with just you ALAC files and they are in one music folder/location. Then you have the other library with the freshly converted AAC 320 files in one music folder, in addition this library points to the ALAC files in the original ALAC folder location.

 

If this is the case make sure you don't consolidate your library on the newly created AAC 320 library.

 

Let me know of I have it down or if I just made up something in my head :-)

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

UPDATED: My Audio Systems -> https://audiophile.style/system

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Yes, you have that exactly right. New lossy files in the new physical folder and library, with the libray also pointing to the original ALAC files. Use the smart playlist feature to distinguish them (easy by bit rate) and download just what you want to the iPod. Original ALAC files totally unaffected.

 

It's good stuff and keeps everything consistent and making sense in the iTunes framework

 

Paul

 

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