How to Convert Music without Reducing Quality

Sometimes audio comes in a format that might not play on your iPhone/iPod/iPad. For example, you may have downloaded songs from the Internet, and then find that they won’t work on your iPhone or on iTunes. In cases like these, you might find that you need to convert the audio before it is usable. This can be especially true when you’re transferring songs from computer to iPhone. That’s what iTunes converter can help you.

What Audio Formats Does iTunes Support?

iTunes converter supports various audio formats, including:

-- MP3. This is one of the more common types of audio formats, and most songs that you download online come in this format. For example, you can buy music on Amazon in MP3 format, and it is often DRM free. Most audio players can play MP3’s. The downside to this format is that the files are compressed, so there can sometimes be loss of quality. It’s the major format that iTunes music converter supports to convert.

-- AIFF. This is a non-lossy (is not compressed) file type that was developed by Apple in the 80’s and is still used today. However, it uses a lot more disk space than MP3 because it is uncompressed. This format is commonly used to capture sound data from CD’s.

-- WAV. WAV is another common audio format. It is not compressed, so it takes up a lot of disk space. However, it is easy to edit and most audio editing programs can output to this format.
-- MPEG-4 (MP4). This is another common format that is often used to store videos, but can be used for audio as well. It is generally higher quality than MP3, and is lossy like MP3.
-- AAC. This stands for Advanced Audio Coding, and is an audio coding standard developed in the 90’s. Like MP3 and MP4, it is compressed, so it is lossy and can lose data if you are converting from a non-lossy format.
-- M4a. This is Apple’s own lossless format for media.
-- All of the QuickTime formats, such as AAC and Audible books.
iTunes supported music formats

Will iTunes Converter Reduce Sound Quality When Converting?

Whether converting will reduce sound quality or not really depends on the situation, no matter you are using iTunes converter or any other third-party converters. Generally, a reduction in sound quality occurs when you lose data, and that can happen for a number of reasons:

  • You convert from an uncompressed format to a format that is compressed. (For example, you convert from MP3 to WAV.)
  • You convert from a compressed format to another compressed format. (For example, from MP3 to AAC.) Think of decades ago when people used to copy from one VHS tape to another, and each time there was a loss of quality (data), until it was unwatchable. This is a similar concept.

However, you will NOT usually lose sound quality if you:

  • Convert from a compressed format to an uncompressed format. (e.g. From WAV to MP3.)
  • Convert from an uncompressed format to another uncompressed format. (e.g. From WAV to AIFF.)

About Compression

It may sound like a bad idea to compress music based on the above information, but that’s not necessarily true. Though it is true that compression can destroy data, the payoff is that you can store a lot more music on your phone or hard drive.

Sometimes if you compress audio too much, you can hear the difference and the file sounds bad. A lot of the time, though, your ears may not notice the difference. The trick is in finding the balance.

iTunes converting

Note also that you can’t “uncompress” a song after you have already compressed it to get the quality back. The data just isn’t there, so you will only succeed in making a bigger file with no added benefits if you, say, convert from MP3 to WAV.


How to Convert a Song to a Different Format Using iTunes Converter

1 Convert Songs That Are in Your iTunes Library

  1. Launch iTunes.
  2. Go to Edit > Preferences (Mac: iTunes > Preferences).
  3. Click General, then go to Import Settings and click it.
  4. You will see a menu beside where it says Import Settings. You can choose the format that you want to convert to here.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Select the song that you want to convert from your library.
  7. Go to File, then Convert, then click where it says “Create [the format you previously chose] Version.”

Now the converted songs will be shown next to the original files in your iTunes library.

iTunes converter

2 Convert Songs That Are in Your iTunes Library

  1. Launch iTunes.
  2. Go to Edit > Preferences (Mac: iTunes > Preferences).
  3. Click General > Import Settings, and then pick which format you want to convert to using the menu.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Hold down SHIFT key (Mac: Option key), then go to File > Convert > Convert to [the format you chose previously].
  6. Browse for the folder that has the song you want to convert, and iTunes will convert all of the songs in that folder.

Note that both the original and the converted songs will be in your library from then on.

iTunes music converter

How to Delete Unconverted Songs from the iTunes Library After Converting

Deleting the original songs is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Select the song that you want to delete from your iTunes library.
  2. Click the icon that looks like a ellipses (…).
  3. Click delete.

You can also go to Edit > Delete, right click and then choose Delete from the menu, or simply hit the Delete key. To select multiple files at once, you can hold down Control while you select.


How to Transfer Converted Songs from iTunes Library to iPhone/iPod

1 Using iTunes

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone/iPod to your computer.
  3. Once iTunes can detect your device, click on the device icon at the top left corner on iTunes.
  4. Double-click on the “Music” option from the left sidebar.
  5. Click on the box next to where it says, “Sync Music.” You can check to transfer “Entire music library” or “Selected playlists, artists, albums, and genres.”
  6. Click on “Sync” button then.
iTunes sync

However, please note that using iTunes sync will also delete the existing music on iPhone. You will lose those songs that were not purchased from iTunes. If you don’t want any song lose when transferring, just follow the next tip.

2 Using An iTunes Alternative

You can also use iMyFone TunesMate, which is a perfect iTunes alternative that can help you transfer files to your iPhone/iPod/iPad easily. It has a lot of advantages:

  • Transfer music to iPhone/iPod without deleting old music from device.
  • Feature in automatic music/video converter for files that need to be converted when transferring.
  • Support to transfer music, movies, playlists, music videos, audiobooks, podcasts, TV shows, photos, etc.
  • Two-way sync that allows you to freely transfer files between iPhone and computer/iTunes.
  • Edit music info & playlists, helping you smartly manage music library.
  • Win thousands of loyal users and receive lots of positive reviews.

Try It FreeTry It Free

sync music to iPhone

How to transfer music from iTunes library to iPhone/iPod?

Step 1: Install the free version of iMyFone TunesMate on your computer and plug in your device.
Step 2: Launch TunesMate. Go to “Transfer iTunes Media to iDevice.”
Step 3: Make sure the box next to “Music” is checked. If not, then tick it. Click “Transfer.” Wait until the process is done, then click “OK.”

sync music to iPhone

Tips

With TunesMate, you don’t need to do the additional work - converting before transferring music to iPhone/iPod. You can directly add music to iPhone from computer, the music formats will be automatically converted when transferring if they are not supported by iPhone/iPod.
iTunes only supports some specific audio formats, while TunesMate supports all audio formats.