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  1. #1

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    Help with Converting iTunes File Formats

    Today I bought some songs on iTunes and want to put them on my MP3 player, which is not an Apple product.

    The songs are in MPEG4 format, which can be converted to AAC format, and all I know about both of these is that neither will play on my MP3 player. iTunes used to have a "Convert to MP3" command, but this appears to have been removed in Apple's bid to dominate the earth with proprietary formats

    I downloaded a free MP3 converter application from the CNET website, but for some reason it won't recognize the iTunes files in either format, even though it lists AAC as one of the formats it will convert.

    I suspect this horrible problem may be G-d's punishment for compromising my indie/alternative tastes with a Taylor Swift song , but does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can accomplish this conversion? Many thanks.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  2. #2
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    Songs purchased on iTunes are copy-protected/locked MP4. The "easiest" way to do this is to burn the songs to a CD, then rip the CD back into iTunes as MP3.

  3. #3
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    And that is the easiest?

    I have a related question: What's the difference between variable bit and average bit rate?

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    Sometimes this is the another reason to illegally download music, at least that way it will be in mp3 format and I can put it on my mp3 player or burn it onto a CD in mp3 format which my CD player in my car can read and even display song titles. If I do it legally through iTunes I can only burn it as a regular audio CD and it wont display the text in my car plus you can fit way more mp3 files on a CD than regular files. I am not condoning illegal downloading, just admitting that I do it from time to time and it isn't always because I want the music for free, sometimes I just want the music on more than just my computer!
    -Brian
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    And that is the easiest?

    I have a related question: What's the difference between variable bit and average bit rate?
    If you have a audio editor like Audacity, you can play the song while recording it at the same time, then you can save the recording as an mp3. Can't say if it'll be the same quality though. And it was a pretty complicated affair on my Mac (I needed another program to be able to record the computer's own sound), but I got it done.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    Sometimes this is the another reason to illegally download music, at least that way it will be in mp3 format and I can put it on my mp3 player or burn it onto a CD in mp3 format which my CD player in my car can read and even display song titles. If I do it legally through iTunes I can only burn it as a regular audio CD and it wont display the text in my car plus you can fit way more mp3 files on a CD than regular files. I am not condoning illegal downloading, just admitting that I do it from time to time and it isn't always because I want the music for free, sometimes I just want the music on more than just my computer!
    http://xkcd.com/488/

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    And that is the easiest?
    At least you'll have a backup copy. I lost some music when my computer crashed last year because I hadn't back up some of my more recent purchases.

    But, really, I've found that the easiest (legal) way to get MP3s is through Amazon. I find downloading from Amazon so easy and I have no problem immediately loading the songs onto my mp3 player. Amazon often is less expensive than ITunes, too.

  8. #8
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    This has been my go-to page for years:
    http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/mac/FORMAT_CONVERTERS/

    This was when I was converting files to sheet music and experimenting with bit rates and all sorts of stuff. I based my downloading decisions on a.) Have I heard of it before? b.) How popular is it? c.) How does the interface look?

    It's always worked for me.

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    I buy the music of artists that I want to support from services other than Itunes, but if I end up getting music with DRM locks on it, or it's in a format I don't like, I then illegally download it. It's much easier and quicker than trying to convert formats.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    But, really, I've found that the easiest (legal) way to get MP3s is through Amazon. I find downloading from Amazon so easy and I have no problem immediately loading the songs onto my mp3 player. Amazon often is less expensive than ITunes, too.
    Alas, not an option outside the US. Amazon.ca doesn't sell MP3s, and Amazon.com won't sell most of its stuff -- including MP3s -- to Canadians.

    Puretracks.ca is an option for popular tunes, but their selection isn't nearly as good.

  11. #11

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    There is a way to do it which I discovered through help option of the Itunes website and you can convert them to a regular mp3. However I can't remember how I did it at the moment. But it can be done. It might be through File and then a convert function
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    Songs purchased on iTunes are copy-protected/locked MP4. The "easiest" way to do this is to burn the songs to a CD, then rip the CD back into iTunes as MP3.
    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    iTunes used to have a "Convert to MP3" command, but this appears to have been removed in Apple's bid to dominate the earth with proprietary formats
    I'm using iTunes 10.4.1 (10).

    It's not all songs. I bought the opera "Nixon in China" from iTunes yesterday, and when I highlight any of the tracks on that or Sondra Radvanovsky's "Verdi Arias" and click "Advanced", the "Create MP3 Version" is enabled. For Kathy Mattea's "Coal", for example, the option is grayed out.

    However, when I right-clicked on the Mattea tracks, I was given the MP3 option, and the converted files are on my hard drive. However, once you start the MP3 conversion, the option will not appear while you're in the process of converting. Only when the conversion is done will the option appear again.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    It's not all songs. I bought the opera "Nixon in China" from iTunes yesterday, and when I highlight any of the tracks on that or Sondra Radvanovsky's "Verdi Arias" and click "Advanced", the "Create MP3 Version" is enabled. For Kathy Mattea's "Coal", for example, the option is grayed out.
    It may be that "Nixon in China" is not copyrighted/public domain, especially if it was produced by the government (which is automatically public domain). Just a guess, though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    It may be that "Nixon in China" is not copyrighted/public domain, especially if it was produced by the government (which is automatically public domain). ...


    I'm assuming this particular "Nixon in China" is the opera, not a speech given by President Nixon.

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