Friday, July 16, 2010

iTunes tip

iTunes now has an option (in the Summary tab)  to convert higher bit rate files to 128 kbs before transferring to an iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) and iPods. Since many files these days use a higher bit rate*, and since it's hard to hear a difference, expecially on earphones, this is a good space saver.
It takes a long time to recompress many files though. I think I had my iPod plugged in well over an hour. I saved around 6GB on about 1400 files which were bigger. (I forget how many files my sound library is? 20,000?) On my iPhone I saved about the same, which is not far from a fourth of the space available on the biggest current iPhone (32GB minus overhead), so well worth it I think.

*iTunes file are now 256 kbs, which I think is a rather dubious choice. I saw a test from a pro, and even in careful testing, he had real trouble finding any real difference in sound quality. But file size is double.
... But then Apple will sell more iPods as people need more space on them...


Bruce said...

I think the option for compressing songs before transferring to iPad/iPod has been around a while. I used it on my iPad before the recent OS update. I agree that it's a great feature. If space is very limited, you can combine this with a smart playlist which keeps recently played music off of the iPod/iPad.

As far as the size of retail song downloads goes, Apple does have to compete with Amazon and others. 256k is similar to what others offer. Generally I have found 192k music to perform well. There are many variables though. Getting a 256k download is reassuring to me.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Yeah, fair points.