Posted by: Debra Alexander / wordmavenmusic | August 13, 2013

How To Convert AIFFs to MP3s in iTunes

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I love technology. I’m the one in the family that helps with internet connection problems and software updates and back-up issues, etc. I used to be the technology liaison for my department when I taught at Proctor Academy. I taught computer music and set up a MIDI recording studio for Dixon Hall Music School.  My record producing and songwriting partners, who are wizards with Logic and Finale, are frequently surprised by my ability to point out a short cut they’d never heard of. Because I’m a geek! I love reading manuals, and messing around with software.

One question that keeps coming up from my students concerns audio formats for their recorded song demos. It’s this: “How do I convert an AIFF file to an MP3 file?” Because we know that trying to send large AIFF files over e-mail is inefficient and frequently unsuccessful, it’s necessary to use the compressed format of the MP3 file to expedite the process. (Of course there are ways to get audio files to people without using e-mail, like Dropbox, Google Drive, Soundcloud, etc…but that’s the topic of another blog.)

Here’s how to convert an AIFF file to an MP3 file in iTunes 11.0.4 on a Mac running System 10.6.8.  (These general principles should apply to different versions of System and Application software. Don’t get me started on the pitfalls of the new version of iTunes):

1. In your iTunes Music Library, click on an AIFF track to highlight it.

iTunesLib

2. In the iTunes main menu bar anchored at the very top of your screen, under “iTunes”, choose “Preferences…”

3. Click on “General” and the “Import Settings” in the ‘When you insert a CD” section

GeneralPrefs

4. In the “Import Using” drop-down menu, choose ‘MP3 Encoder”

ImportSettings

5. Click “OK” twice to exit Preferences.

6. Control-Click on the highlighted track you want to convert, and find “Create MP3 version” in the drop-down list. You should hear the tritone that indicates the process has completed.

You can convert any file to any other type of supported audio file in iTunes, and the key is step number 4. You won’t find the “Create MP3 version” command in the drop-down list unless you’ve first configured your Preferences.

Can’t find that mp3 file you just created? Highlight the “Songs” tab in the iTunes application, and sort by “Date Added” by clicking on that column—your mp3 file should be there at the top.

Let me know if you had any trouble! Good Luck 😉

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