Converting lossless tracks for iPod
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I’d like to rip all my CDs with a lossless compression format, but then upload them to my iPod nano in a compressed format to save space on my iPod. My server is directly connected to a HiFi amplifier and I use my iPod for travelling. Any idea how I can achieve that without ripping all my CDs twice?
A: While this used to be a very cumbersome process requiring two copies of your tracks or even two entire libraries, the good news is that with iTunes 9.1 this is a lot easier than it once was. As of the latest version, iTunes can now automatically convert higher bit-rate tracks such as lossless down to 128kbps AAC during sync to an iPod or iPhone.
To enable this, make sure you’ve updated to iTunes 9.1 and then simply connect your iPod and look for the option in the “Summary” screen for your iPod nano:
Clicking this option and hitting “Apply” will convert all of your lossless tracks to 128kbps during sync to the iPod. Note that this is an all-or-nothing option that will affect all tracks synced to your iPod.
Further, you can’t customize for a specific bit-rate or format—the setting is fixed at 128kbps AAC. If you want to use another format such as MP3, or load a higher bit-rate onto your iPod, then you will need to keep a separate copy of your music in the lower-bitrate format for iPod use. Note that you don’t actually need to rip your CDs twice to accomplish this, however—you can rip to lossless and then have iTunes convert your tracks from there. This does, however, mean that you’ll be maintaining two copies of each track, so it’s probably not worth it unless you really have a problem with the 128kbps AAC format for use on your iPod nano.
Q: I just purchased a fifth-generation iPod nano. After I had imported some songs from my CD collection, I noticed there was an option on iTunes to “convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kpps.” I selected this option, hit “Apply” and my iPod began synching. I soon realized I did not want to do this, and unchecked the box. However, the iPod continued synching and, I believe, has converted the song into 128 kpps. Now that the conversion process is through, is there a way to “unconvert” these files, so they go back to their original, higher bit rate?
A: Just to be clear, this setting only converts the tracks as they are synced to your iPod—your original tracks in iTunes remain in whatever format they were originally imported in. In fact, the process doesn’t even save the new versions on your computer—the tracks are converted in memory and then saved only onto the iPod in the 128kbps AAC format.
That said, if you’ve decided that you’d rather place the original, non-converted versions back onto your iPod, this setting is easily undone. Just uncheck the option and click “Apply” and iTunes will remove all of the converted tracks from your iPod and replace them with the original versions.
Remember that none of this affects the original tracks that are in your iTunes library—these will be in whatever format you imported them in originally. Only tracks placed on your iPod get converted when this setting is enabled.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple’s new ‘Echo rival’ may feature a camera
- Apple ‘working rapidly’ to extend Apple Pay to more countries
- Report: Apple’s Siri-based Amazon Echo competitor will be a new Apple TV
- Report: Apple SVP Eddy Cue proposed bid to buy Time Warner
- Beta testing for Pokémon GO begins in the U.S.
- Apple’s plan to open stores in India hits a snag (Update: India’s finance minister ratifies ruling)
- Apple looking into charging stations for electric cars
- Apple hires hint at improvements in encryption, health monitoring
- Hyundai adds CarPlay support to more vehicles
- Plaintiffs file new motion to keep ‘Error 53’ Touch ID lawsuit alive
- OtterBox Symmetry Series Hybrid Case for 12.9” iPad Pro
- Logitech Logi BASE Charging Stand for iPad Pro
- Twelve South TimePorter for Apple Watch
- August Doorbell Cam
- August Smart Lock HomeKit enabled + Smart Keypad
- ecobee3 HomeKit-enabled smart Wi-Fi thermostat
- Zagg Now Cam
- Yantouch EyE Portable Wireless Speaker
- Netatmo Wind Gauge
- Incipio Stashback for iPhone 6/6s
- Filling the Gap: A look at third-party HomeKit apps
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 9.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.3
- Opinion: Why Apple needs a dedicated HomeKit app
- Inside the betas: What’s new in iOS 9.3 and tvOS 9.2 (Updated)
- Life with HomeKit: Our experiences with Apple’s home automation system
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)