Batch Changing iTunes BitRate for Existing Songs W/O Making Copy
January 17, 2013 7:53 AM   Subscribe

So, I definitely want to convert all my high bit rate mp3 songs in iTunes to a lower bitrate of 190. I have the bit rate setting changed in iTunes, and I know when I right click and choose "make mp3 copy" it does exactly that. BUT, I don't want the original around anymore in iTunes and don't want to manually go through and delete them or go into the folder to do that. The threads I have looked at tell me how to do the first but don't address the issue that I still have the higher bit-rate copy in iTunes. I have a lot of music, I don't want the higher copies cluttering it. (I have a backup of the originals anyway). Is there something I am missing so it just lowers bitrate but doesn't make it a copy?
posted by snap_dragon to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Show duplicates. Sort by bitrate (add it in the "coluimn browser"). Delete things that are of the higher bitate.

There are also tools you can use to write a script, but you have to reimport everything (and still delete them), so this is the easiest solution.

Hard drives bits are cheap and this seems like a bad idea to me (most people I know wish they had gone higher!) What is your motivation for this?
posted by bensherman at 7:59 AM on January 17, 2013

iTunes Match "matches" are 192kbps. If your music is matched with the service you can then delete all the local copies that are matched, and then instruct iTunes to download the cloud versions at 192. I've done this to upgrade my rips, there's no reason you can't do it to downgrade.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:04 AM on January 17, 2013

iTunes matched files are actually AAC, 256kbps.
posted by steinwald at 8:39 AM on January 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

FYI: Transcoding to MP3 from MP3 is going to make certain resulting MP3s sound like ass, especially if the originals had MP3 encoding artifacts that are audible or contain complex audio. Lossy to lossy transcoding is generally a bad idea, and especially a bad idea when going to a bitrate that is the approximate acceptable lower bound for aural transparency to most of the population.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:19 AM on January 17, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yes, add a column to view bit rate, sort by bit rate, batch delete all the songs you don't want. You can do the same thing by sorting by kind if some of your songs are of a different type (AAC vs. MP3, for instance).

But, keep in mind that unless your source files are lossless, you will end up with sound quality below a well-ripped 192kbps file. This is because you are "transcoding" an already lossy file into another lossy file. Think of it as making a xerox copy of an already fuzzy xerox copy rather than a crisp original.

You really may want to rethink this.
posted by OmieWise at 9:20 AM on January 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks...I figured out an easy way. I should mention I have it all saved in FLAC in 3 places, discs/cloud/drives so will convert a copy from FLAC source.
posted by snap_dragon at 12:52 PM on January 17, 2013

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