We've Got A Brand New Dance: Punch GarageBand Right in the Dick...
September 18, 2008 2:45 PM   Subscribe

Egads-I-Want-To-Punch-GarageBand-In-The-Dick Filter: Why can't I import AIFF or mp3 files into GarageBand?

I'm running Mac OS X 10.3 on an ibook G4 (a little old school, I know). I've recorded some audio using WireTap, which automatically saves everything as an AIFF. When I tried importing the audio into GarageBand using the drag-n-drop system (drag the audio file from Finder into a Real Instrument track), I got this error message:

"Filename.aiff" What kind of file is this?" "Abort?" was the only option.

So I tried to convert the aiff file to an mp3 in two different ways:
1) importing the file to ITunes
2) manually changing the extension from .aiff to .mp3

When I tried to drag-n-drop these new files into GarageBand, the message "Importing files" appeared and then disappeared, without the files being added.

(I looked on the GarageBand Forum for help, but the only advice they gave was changing the extension from MP3 to mp3, but the file extension was .mp3 in the first place)

No joy.

I tested other audio files. Some mp3s & wavs work, others don't. There didn't appear to be any noticeable difference between the two when I viewed their information.

What the balls is going on?!
posted by chara to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Once the file is in iTunes, are you using the 'Create AAC version' from the Advanced menu? There used to be a similarly named MP3 option but this seems to have gone in the latest iTunes. AAC should work though, I'd have thought.

Do not change the extension. AIFFs are just not MP3s or AACs.
posted by edd at 3:02 PM on September 18, 2008

I may be wrong here but it could be that Garageband has a requirement in terms of the bitrate of the file - it may need to be a 44.4 stereo aiff for example.
posted by skylar at 3:07 PM on September 18, 2008

I do this for work. You should burn a copy from iTunes and then import it back in. Silly, but it should work....
posted by melodykramer at 3:10 PM on September 18, 2008

Garage Band only handles 16-bit, 44.1 kHz files from AAC, MP3, AIFF and WAV.

Chances are your files are either 48kHz or 22.05kHz, depending on the quality of your recording equipment - 22.05kHz monophonic files are pretty common. Try opening the files in iTunes and converting to 16 bit, 44.1 kHz AIFF files.

Note that bit rate - either in skylar's confusion of the term with sampling rate or in terms of actual bit rate - is unlikely to be your problem, as AIFF is uncompressed. Similarly, unless you used high-quality 24-bit audio equiopment, bit depth is unlikely to be your problem.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:20 PM on September 18, 2008

edd, you can still do "Create MP3 version" in iTunes, if your default Importing option in the preferences is set to MP3 instead of AAC.
posted by shinynewnick at 3:39 PM on September 18, 2008

There's some good information about importing audio and creating your own loops here. Scroll down to "Soundtrack Loop Utility." It's mostly (as you might imagine) about creating loops, but it has info on supported formats as well.
posted by lekvar at 4:04 PM on September 18, 2008

edd, I love you! Thank you! It was a little bit of a hassle, but it worked perfectly! Woohoo!
posted by chara at 8:25 PM on September 18, 2008

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