A friend of mine called yesterday asking if there was a way to make his iTunes music files that he had imported from his CD collection smaller. I was pretty sure this was possible but didn’t remember the exact method to accomplish this so I told him I would call him back. I was able to figure out an easy method to convert files located in your iTunes library to make them smaller in size both by modifying the type of file and the bitrate of the music itself. Below I describe how to convert music files already imported into iTunes to a smaller size to conserve space either on your computer or on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
Convert Imported iTunes Music Files To A Smaller Size:
Please note that the below directions can make music files not sound as good so you should play around with different settings (bitrate & file type) to see what sounds good enough before converting all of your iTunes music files.
- Launch iTunes: We will be completing all of this work within iTunes so first open up the iTunes application by double clicking the iTunes shortcut or whatever method you prefer.
- Open iTunes Preferences: From the top navigation menu in iTunes click on Edit and select Preferences from the bottom of the drop down menu to launch the iTunes Preferences as displayed in the below example image.
- Modify Import Settings: Now from the iTunes Preferences window click on the Import Settings button to launch the iTunes Import Settings configuration window as displayed below.
- Modify Encoder Type: Now change the “Import Using” settings from the AAC Encoder to the MP3 encoder as displayed in the below image.
As noted in the beginning of this set of instructions you may find a different encoder such as AAC Encoder, AIFF Encoder, Apple Lossless Encoder, or the WAV Encoder to fit your needs better than the MP3 Encoder so again make sure to play around with the settings here to see which encoder and bitrate do the best job.
- Modify MP3 Encoder Settings: In the second drop down change this setting to “Custom” which will launch a new window titled “MP3 Encoder” as displayed in the below image. The MP3 Encoder settings window will allow you to modify the settings of the MP3 Encoder with the Bitrate being the setting that will change the size of the file the most so try the 128 kbps setting here.
- Open iTunes Music Library: Now click the OK button for each of the three configuration settings windows that popped up during the above process and then click on Music underneath the Library heading in the left navigation. This will display a list of all of the music files in your iTunes library as displayed in the image below.
- Convert File To MP3: Now right click on a file and select “Convert to MP3″ to see the impact of converting one of the iTunes music files from its original format to MP3 with the bitrate we specified earlier. The image below shows the options available on the menu when right clicking a file in your iTunes music library.
After the song finishes converting you will notice that you now have two songs with the same title.
- Verify Size & Quality: After the conversion process is done right click on each of the files and select “Get Info” from the pop up menu to display the iTunes music file details as displayed in the below image.
As you can see the above file size is 2MB and after converting to the MP3 version with 128kbps bitrate the file was only 831KB which is less than half the size of the original. I also feel like the second file sounds just as good as the original so I could now delete the original file. To convert lots of files at once you can highlight them all by holding the shift key when selecting the music files in the iTune library. Be careful though as some music files will be write protected and will not allow you to convert them from their original format.
Hopefully you can save a bunch of room on your iPhone or iPod Touch now by converting larger files to a lower bitrate and to MP3.