iTunes Music Library To A Mobile-Friendly Format.
Convert iTunes Music Library To A Mobile-Friendly
Audience: For iPod / Windows PC owners with a “smart”
mobile (with MMC/SD slot).
This is a guide on how to convert your existing (and
probably extensive) iTunes music library into a format
that you can play from your mobile.
iPod* owners everywhere have probably spent many long
laborious hours importing all the albums from their CD
collections into the iTunes* music library on their
This is not something you will readily want to repeat
from scratch with the Nokia Audio Manager (or equiv.)
to get your music accessible from your mobile.
Fortunately, there is an alternative offered through
the many different music file conversion utilities
available on the 3rd party software market. For the
purposes of this guide, we will be using the range of
utilties available from dbPowerAMP.com .
First of all, you have to find out what the Target
format is for the music files you want to convert.
This willdepend on the type of mobile you own.
.MP3 file format is appropriate for the following
Siemens SX1, Siemens SL45, Sharp GX-30, Nokia 6600
(with 3rd party MP3 player), motorola A920/925..
.AAC file format is the preference for the following
(although they can all play .MP3 as well):
Nokia 6230, Nokia n-Gage, Nokia 7610, Nokia 3650,
.WMA file format is the preference for any of the
available windows-based smartphones:
Orange SPV / E200, Motorola mpx200, O2 XDAII..
There are other alternatives like .AMR, and .OGG
format (Ogg Vorbis standard), but are less common. (Ogg
players are available for the symbian-based mobiles
like Nokia 6600, Siemens SX1, Nokia n-Gage ). AMR is a
lower quality encoding standard, not likely to satisfy
all but the least demanding of music listeners (but it
is useful for providing short mono voice recordings on
Some mobiles are capable of playing a variety of
different music file formats (Nokia 6230 can play .aac,
In this case, if you are not too bothered about the
portability aspect of your music, then descending
order of preference is probably:
AAC -> WMA -> MP3 -> AMR.
This is because AAC and WMA are both newer compression
standards, and so employ a more efficient compression
algorithm than MP3, making for smaller files (which
means more music on your memory card!). However, if
you also want to play your digital music in your car
stereo (MP3-CD), in your old MP3 player, and any
number of other players, then portability may be more
important to you than file size. Then, MP3 may still
be the best format for you to convert to.
Fortunately dbPowerAMP Music Converter is capable of
converting music files to any of these formats, when
combined with the available codecs.
Open up the iTunes application on your Windows PC.
Select [Edit] - [Preferences] option in iTunes menu.
From the dialog, select the [Importing] tab to verify
what standard your iTunes has been encoding with in
its music library. The default here is displayed
below: (namely AAC to 128kbps). Write down these
details somewhere (you will need them later).
Now select the [Advanced] tab and note where the music
library is stored on your PCs hard drive. Again, note
down these details.
Now, if you haven’t already, download and install the
following components from dbPowerAMP.com. dBpowerAMP
Music Convertor (dMC) - http://www.dbpoweramp.com/dmc.htm
Various Codecs - http://www.dbpoweramp.com/codec-central.htm
(depending on which standard you are converting from
to which target format)
Check out the list of Codecs at:
For converting from MP4 AAC (which is the iTunes
default), you need the following [AAC to Mp4 & Mp4 to
AAC] codec: Click to download.
This will enable you to convert an .M4A file (used in
iTunes, iPod, Nero) into a standard .AAC file that can
be played by your mobile player (for Nokia 6230, Nokia
n-Gage, Nokia 3650 / 3300 )
If you want to convert to .WMA (for a Windows
smartphone), then download the .WMA codecs:
For conversion to MP3, dBpowerAMP already comes
supplied with the best MP3 encoder (LAME). Once the
dBpowerAMP Music Convertor and all the necessary
codecs have been installed, open it up. You will be
asked to browse to the music files you would like to
convert. Multiple selections can be made here.
In the main application dialog, you get the option of
which format you would like to convert to from the
drop-down box at the top.
Make your selection according to your type of mobile.
Then you will have the choice of some advanced options
( click the [Advanced] button) to set things like the
quality of encoding ).
As a rule, for most people, the following bit rates
can be regarded as a good quality:
.AAC - 64kbps encoding
.WMA – 96kbps (or 64kbps)
.MP3 - 128kbps CBR
(and if VBR – variable bit rate – encoding is used,
96kbps is acceptable.
NB. Please note that not all MP3 players in mobiles
can play the full range of encoding options, from
48kbps up to 320kbps, and CBR ,to VBR).
Once the options are set, then click the [Convert]
dBpowerAMP will display a progress bar, and start to
work its way through the selected files, writing them
to the selected destination folder.
When complete, those compatible music files (whether .aac
for your Nokia 6230, .MP3 for your Siemens SX1 etc)
can be transferred to your MobyMemory MMC card
(preferably via a memory card reader).
All you have to do now is load the MMC card into your
mobile and you can take part of your iTunes music
library with you if you leave your iPod behind!
For more information on the complicated and technical
arena of digital music, check out this excellent
series of articles from Spoon of dBpowerAMP: http://www.dbpoweramp.com/spoons-audio-guide.htm
NB. This guide has been written to help those with
music stored in their iTunes music library. With
little alteration, it should also be useful for people
looking to convert digital music files from different
source formats, as a similar process takes place. The
range of conversion possibilities in dBpowerAMP alone
are pretty extensive.
But remember to try and use as a good a quality source
as possible for conversion (either the original CD, or
a high bit-rate encoding of your CD such as that
provided in iTunes music library by default). You can
convert down in bit-rate, but if you try and convert
up, you will be making a larger file for no quality
benefit in sound at all (because with lossy
compression, the information has already been lost
from the original encoding of the source file).
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