Sound formats


Sound formats
Mac Tip #181/02-Feb-2005

Over the last few decades we’ve been able to listen to recorded music — whether we played records (LP or 45), reel to reel tapes, cassette tapes, CDs or DVDs.

Convert a track to another format from the Advanced menu in iTunes.

Convert a track to another format from the Advanced menu in iTunes.

In the old days though we had to choose between all those physical formats, and then of course, we couldn’t play an LP on a CD player; we couldn’t put a reel-to-reel tape in the cassette deck.

Nowadays we can also use iPods and the like to play digital files, and the problems haven’t gone away. Various file formats and encodings are available for music, including, but not by any means limited to, AIFF, MP3, Real Audio, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, Midi, .au, .wav.

The good news is that Apple’s iTunes will play many of these formats, and will allow you to convert many to other formats.

If you have an iPod it will play MP3, AAC and Apple Lossless format files.

Choose the encoder from iTunes Importing preferences.

Choose the encoder from iTunes Importing preferences.

If you have a file already in iTunes which is in the wrong format, click on it to select it and choose Convert Selection To from the Advanced menu.

iTunes will use whatever you have set under Preferences — Importing, so if it’s not showing the correct conversion format then visit the Preferences first to change it.

Future Tips will explore this subject further, but in the meantime the W3Schools site has excellent information on sound formats.

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