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Apple Posts Kbase Docs for iPod 2.0 and iTunes 4

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2003
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Apple has posted several KnowledgeBase Documents for new iPods (iPod Software version 2.0) and iTunes 4. We have a list of links appearing on our Links page.

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Comments

1

I found out something very interesting with iTunes4 last night that I thought others could benefit from.

If you want to rip your CDs to AAC and you already have ripped them to MP3 in your library, iTunes4 will replace them for you.  The best part is that it will put the replaced files into the same playlists, keep the original “date added”, keep any comments, keep the play count, and I am sure keep the song rating (I just haven’t done that). 

I don’t know what else it does, but I was amazed when I found that it did this.  So, feel free to re-rip your music collection to AAC with no additional work required.

Posted by Eric on April 29, 2003 at 1:27 AM (PDT)

2

Yes, but does it add copyright protection?
The CD’s ripped in MP3 format have no protection, I wouldn’t want to trade them off with Fairplay-protected files.

Posted by GanzoLoco in x. on April 29, 2003 at 10:11 AM (PDT)

3

I don’t know, how do I check that?

Posted by Eric on April 29, 2003 at 10:13 AM (PDT)

4

If you have access to several macs, (more than three), try converting a CD track to AAC, then send it to the other macs (or to PC’s for that matter)... If they play it fine, then they’re not protected.

Posted by GanzoLoco in x. on April 29, 2003 at 3:11 PM (PDT)

5

Converting directly from MP3 to AAC is not recommended. You get no space spavings, and yet you will likely lose audio quality. (both are “lossy” file formats). It’s best to re-rip the files from its original format to ACC.

Posted by www.samsartinc.com in LA on April 29, 2003 at 7:49 PM (PDT)

6

samsartinc,

I don’t know where you got the idea that I was converting from MP3 to AAC.  I am re-ripping from the CD and iTunes4 does all the replacement steps for me.

GanzoLoco,

AAC encoding has been out since last July.  I have not heard any complaints about DRM with AAC files up until Monday when Apple intro’d the new music service.  I would like to believe that the music you buy from Apple has the DRM in it, but music you rip from your own CDs does not.  I don’t really know the answer, but I would think somebody here would.  Unfortunately I don’t have access to that many computers and even if I did, would you accept my answer?  There must be some way to check for this?

Posted by Eric on April 30, 2003 at 1:07 AM (PDT)

7

Well, AAC and DRM (“Fairplay”, in Apple’s lingo) are not directly related, but one could imagine that iTunes 4 includes a fairplay protection to the tunes you rip from CD’s (unlikely, but still a possibility). Tracks bought on the iTunes Music Store are most definitely DRM’ed. (copy to three macs maximum, rendezvous playlists broadcast to 2 other macs, 10 CD backup maximum). My question is therefore: does iTunes 4 include the same protection to the CD’s you rip (in MP3 or in AAC)? I would accept your answer of course… if you gave one at all.

I might try it soon. I’ll rip some CD’s and send the files to friends with PC and/or macs. I’ll tell you what results I get.

Posted by GanzoLoco in x. on April 30, 2003 at 5:08 AM (PDT)

8

Here is some information I found on the Apple discussion board.


http://discussions.info.apple.com/WebX?13@108.gaQ2aEVTkb5.2@.3bc217fc/5

It appears that there are two types of AAC files.  Ones that you buy from Apple are “Protected AAC” and ones you rip from CD are just “AAC”.  There are no restrictions on “AAC” files that you rip.  At least from the link above!

I looked, but cannot find anything on the Apple site regarding DRM of AAC files.

Posted by Eric on April 30, 2003 at 5:14 AM (PDT)

9

I am at work, so I can’t check this, but I guess the extension is different for the two AAC files.  “.M4A” for a file you have ripped and “.M4P” for a file you have purchased.

Posted by Eric on April 30, 2003 at 6:07 AM (PDT)

10

Files ripped in ACC from CD are NOT protected! only the one purchased on the Music Store are.

Posted by frederic bonn in NYC on May 1, 2003 at 11:03 AM (PDT)

11

iTunes 4 WILL allow you to convert existing MP3 files to AAC, the file size WILL be reduced (if you’re converting from 192Kbps MP3 to 128Kbps for example), and the quality is excellent.

For example, I convert a 3.4 MB 192Kbps MP3 to 128Kbps AAC and the resulting file was 2.4 MB and sounded identical to the MP3.

Craig

Posted by Craig in San Diego, CA on May 5, 2003 at 8:43 AM (PDT)

12

I concur with Craig. Over the past weekend, I backed up all my 2300 MP3 files created from CDs (that I own, Feds!), and after some hi fidelity compaprisons, was convinced that the MP3-to-AAC via iTunes 4 was truly excellent. I then set up iTunes to convert ALL my higher-end MP3s to AAC. It is necessary to make the conversions from MP3s with 192 bitrate or better. Most of mine were 192.

During an MP3 conversion, iTunes 4 will not replace the MP3s it converts, but as they are still selected in your songlist window, it’s easy to hit DELETE on all of them once conversion has completed. You may have to update your songlists manually. I didn’t check to find an automatic way to do this, as I had few songlisits, so does anyone have any suggestions on this?

Posted by David Julian in Seattle on May 5, 2003 at 8:56 PM (PDT)

13

There is a script on the malcomadams.com/itunes site called “Playlist Names to Comments”.  If you run this script before deleting the MP3 files, it would show you the which playlists the files are used in.  You could then cut and paste that from each MP3 file into each AAC file (I know tedious).  There is another script for restoring playlists from the information placed in the comments field.  You could then run that script and it would rebuild your playlists by placing the AAC files in the playlists that are listed in the comment fields.

I would suggest running the “Playlist Names to Comments” first, then create a playlist that has all of the files you want to convert in it (maybe start with 20 files or so), then convert those files to AAC and add the AAC files to that playlist, then you would need to cut and paste the comments from the MP3 to the AAC, delete all the MP3 files, and finally run the script to rebuild all the playlists.  That sounds like a lot of work, but the only hard part is the cut and paste step.

Posted by Eric on May 6, 2003 at 9:14 AM (PDT)

14

Thanks, Eric.

You’re bolder than I.  grin

The cut and paste thing would be killer on hundreds of files… sort of going back into the dark ages or reverse-engineering for me.

Even easier “might” be to Export the Playlists prior to conversion and Re-import after. Perhaps (and i haven’t tested this i work too many hours as it is) the import feature will ask where the MP3s are, and can be re-pointed to the AAC files instead.

Anyone want to try this heroic move?

Posted by David Julian in Seattle on May 6, 2003 at 9:35 AM (PDT)

15

The bad news about this Julian is that you will have to find each file, so you are back to the tedious task of replacing them.  I am not sure it will keep playlist data either.

Posted by Eric on May 6, 2003 at 10:59 AM (PDT)

16

Took the plunge and converted 13+ Gigs of MP3 192kbs to AAC 128kbs. 68% space saving and no discernable quality loss (after painstaking listening through hi fi on many different tracks btw MP3 orig and AAC convert) Re -ripping 2500+ tracks was not an option in one sitting! Will consider re ripping if I see hard eveidence for quality loss. Just happy all tracks now fit on my 10 Gig iPod!!

Used the apple script at this link for cleaning up old MP3’s. No probs but did lose ratings/playlists…(!!) So proceed only if you don’t mind re-rating/listing!

http://thkohn.bei.t-online.de/applescript/

Posted by Nigel on May 6, 2003 at 3:02 PM (PDT)

17

p.s.forgot tomention the AAC conversion by iTunes took over ten hours on a g4 tibook with a gig of ram so allow plenty of time!!

Posted by Nigel on May 6, 2003 at 3:08 PM (PDT)

18

p.s.forgot tomention the AAC conversion by iTunes took over ten hours on a g4 tibook with a gig of ram so allow plenty of time!!

Posted by Nigel on May 6, 2003 at 3:08 PM (PDT)

19

Thanks, Nigel. You da man.

BTW isn’t it Apple-sweet (and a minor sales blunder?) that iTunes offers this excellent space-saving non-DRM AAC conversion, just in time to allow tens of thousands of us to happily keep our toaster 10gb iPods rather than upgrade to a 30gb as we all pined for a few months ago!

I also pre-ordered a Griffin iTrip for the office and car…. and if my memory serves me, it may not work on the new iPods, as the iTrip uses the FW port on top for power. Maybe that’s why they aren’t shipping yet. (?) Anyone have non-spepcculative news on that?

Posted by David Julian in Seattle on May 6, 2003 at 3:32 PM (PDT)

20

Sorry about that last query the iTrip has been announced as being revised for the new Pods.

Posted by David Julian in Seattle on May 6, 2003 at 3:34 PM (PDT)

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