iTunes – convert songs to MP3 (or another format)

Itunes is in many ways a truly great product.  It does it’s job, it’s got the iTunes Store hooked onto it to allow you to easily buy songs (which you then play in itunes, obviously); it’s got Genius that will try to match songs that “belong together”; it makes adding songs to your iPod as simple as connecting a cable…

But I still have to spent half an hour to find out how to convert their damn songs to a format I can actually use.  I had the following problem: Yes, I do own an iMac AND an iPod; so there’s no problem with downloading songs and syncing them with the ‘Pod.  But I also own another piece of tech I grew fond of; being my new car radio.  It can play songs from USB Sticks (and SD cards, but I don’t have any spare ones).  The downside is that it can only handle MP3 and WMA.  (the version that supported AAC ended up costing 50 euro’s more.  Which is… well, more than 50 dollars more).  So, I needed to purchase my songs I bought to a format my car radion could handle.  And, in addition, that any non-Itunes media player could handle.  (Or so I thought, until I realized that winamp can play m4a just fine).

Either way, all that doesn’t matter.  I wanted to convert some of the songs I bought to MP3 so I could put them on my USB stick.  However, when clicking the files I was only given the option to convert them to AAC – not something I could use.  Little did I know that I could only change that by changing the IMPORT SETTINGS; of itunes; which handle in which format a cd is imported.  Well, it did the trick and now I can convert all I want.  A little too late, since I already burned the songs to cd’s and imported them on my windows machine.

Patience is a blessing, Toretto, patience… Here’s how you can change this setting for yourself:

Go to Settings > import settings (something along these lines, my iTunes is in dutch) > choose the format you want to convert your songs to. You can’t really do anything wrong there, because iTunes will just make a copy of your existing songs; and every format offered is iTunes compatible.