Convert songs to MP3, AAC, M4A, or other formats in iTunes

May 1, 2010 - 15 Comments

convert song format itunes

iTunes 9.1 and forward changed the way it handles song conversions. I’m not quite sure why but Apple made it so converting a song to a different format is no longer just a matter of right-clicking and converting. Instead, with iTunes you’ll have to make an adjustment in iTunes Preferences first.

First, select the conversion format in iTunes:
* Open iTunes Preferences
* Click on “Import Settings”
* Choose the format you want to convert to by using the ‘Import Using’ menu: AAC, AIFF, Apple Lossless Encoder (MP4 or M4A), MP3, WAV
* Click ‘OK’

Now when you want to convert any song to the new format:
* Click on the song you want converted in iTunes
* Click on the ‘Advanced’ menu
* Scroll down to ‘Create MP3 Version’ (or whatever format you selected earlier)

iTunes will then convert the song to the format you selected just as it did in any prior version. If you want to make an iPhone ringtone you’ll want to use the Apple Lossless Encoder or AAC and then rename the .m4a file extension to .m4r just as before.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iTunes, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. tom says:

    didn’t work. missing information.


  2. On new iTunes 11.x Export to MP3 not available anymore… now changed into AAC :(

    How To bring it back?

  3. Moses says:

    My Daughter had a Innotab to listen to her music on an MP3 format,the thing broke and now am bound to use her NDS for her movies and music.
    Thanks for the Help.

  4. thao says:

    I can’t find “Import Settings” in my Preferences.

  5. […] new sound effect must be in AIFF format. You can convert audio files to AIFF with iTunes or use a third party tool if you […]

  6. Adeel says:

    Can it full song to mp3? Because most of the converters convert only 3:00

  7. Spence says:

    Thank you! this helped a lot!

  8. bookmole says:

    Thanks – I have decided to use MediaMonkey for my default player, but needed to convert all tracks to mp3 – I was tearing my hair out at having downloaded iTunes 10 and finding it seemed to no longer have the facility.

    Thanks to the internet and you I am no longer in danger of going bald.

  9. […] you want. Using this method you can also convert a .wav file to M4A, AAC, and AIFF, as we showed in convert songs to other formats using iTunes. The process is […]

  10. […] the MP3 has been trimmed down the section of the song you wanted, but you’ll want to use iTunes to convert the song to MP3 format again from it’s new m4v […]

  11. Dalya says:

    I’d like to say thank you so much for the explaining I was looking for the way to change the MP3 to ACC Format ..

  12. […] you want, you can take this a step further and then select the song and convert it to AAC or MP3 with iTunes from the “Advanced” menu. Likewise you can use a third party utility like All2Mp3 and […]

  13. Randy says:

    u have to highlight the song then go to advance an create aac version it was hell to figure this 1

  14. itunesreallyticksmeoff says:

    Ugh I noticed this immediately. Why would Apple change conversion to such a screwy method? I can’t think of any valid reason except to make it more difficult for people to make alternate versions of a song to share? Maybe with their whole LaLa integration this is a big deal? Otherwise I’d bet that this will be reversed in a future version of iTunes.

  15. […] and you are having problems, you will need to make some changes to the preferences in order to convert songs to m4a ringtone format in iTunes 9.1. Other than the import settings adjustment to iTunes Preferences, the process is practically […]

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