Playing AAC files in Windows Media Player
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 have a fifth generation iPod classic. I was wondering it there was a way to convert the MP4 files that iTunes uses for its songs to MP3 for Windows Media Player. Can this be done or do I have to rip all of my CDs again?
A: There are several tools available that will convert the MPEG-4 AAC format tracks that iTunes uses into other formats, including iTunes itself. However, you may want to consider whether you actually want or need to do this.
The first consideration is that both AAC and MP3 are “lossy” formats. This means that when you encode your music into one of these formats, audio information is discarded (“lost”) to produce a smaller file. In most cases, this is information that the average human ear cannot hear anyway, so it is usually not noticeable. Unfortunately, however, when converting from one lossy format to another, you will lose additional audio fidelity, and the diminished quality will likely start to become noticeable. Essentially, you are “throwing away” audio information twice by converting the files a second time.
Therefore, while it may not be necessary to re-rip your tracks from their original CDs, you may prefer to do so to ensure that you get the best quality files possible for whatever format and bit-rate you are using.
The second consideration is the reason why you may need to convert these files. If this is simply a matter of being able to listen to them in Windows Media Player, then an easier solution may be to simply get an additional codec plug-in for Windows Media Player that will allow it to play back your AAC tracks directly in Windows Media Player without having to convert them. Windows Media Player is highly extensible, and there are many plug-ins available that provide support for additional features and audio/video formats.
Several free codecs are available to support the AAC format in Windows Media Player, although we have had limited success with most of these, and they can often be complicated to install and get working properly. If you don’t mind paying a few dollars for a plug-in, the 3ivx MPEG-4 5.0.2 Decoder (www.3ivx.com, $6.95) is our recommended solution for this, and the price is very reasonable compared to the effort that you would put in converting or re-ripping all of your existing files.
Keep in mind, however, that this will only allow playback of these files within Windows Media Player itself. If you are looking to load your tracks onto a non-iPod player that does not support the AAC format directly, you will still need to either convert or re-rip them into MP3 format for that particular player.
- 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 recruits two Google Satellite Executives
- Nike unveils new Nike-exclusive ‘Apple Watch NikeLab’
- Prince single ‘Deliverance’ disappears from Apple Music
- Apple releases 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report
- Condé Nast Traveler reveals cover photo shot with iPhone 7 Plus
- Facebook integrating Apple Music into Messenger app
- China meeting with Apple to discuss concerns over live streaming apps
- New Prince single available on iTunes, Apple Music; EP available for pre-order
- Apple makes iWork apps, iMovie and GarageBand free to download
- iDevices Wall Outlet
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartSocket for Apple HomeKit
- Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
- FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter
- Blue Ella Headphones
- Apple iPad (Fifth-Generation)
- AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon Headphones
- ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS Wide-Angle Lens Kit
- Blue Sadie Headphones
- Circle with Disney Parental Control and Internet Filtering System
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10