Importing

Choosing import settings:

You can choose the encoding format and other settings that iTunes uses to import songs.
Your choices affect the audio quality and size of the song file (the higher the quality, the larger the file size).

AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) encoding is available only if you have QuickTime 6.2 or later installed. (iTunes supports MPEG-4 AAC files, not older versions of AAC.)

To choose import options:

  • Choose iTunes > Preferences and click Import Settings.
  • Choose an encoder from the Import Using pop-up menu.
  • You can listen to songs encoded in AAC or Apple Lossless formats in iTunes and on iPod models that come with a dock connector. If you plan to listen to your music using a different program or MP3 player, choose MP3 Encoder.

If you want to burn high-quality audio CDs with the songs you’re importing, without losing quality, choose Apple Lossless or AIFF. (Keep in mind that songs imported using this format use much more disc space.)

If you’ll be playing your songs on a computer that does not have MP3 software, choose WAV.
Choose a bit rate from the Setting pop-up menu (not available with Apple Lossless Encoder).
In most cases, the default selection works well.

Higher Quality: Choose if you chose MP3 Encoder and plan to create your own audio CDs or listen to your music with high-quality stereo speakers.

High Quality: Choose if you play music in a noisy environment. This setting creates files that are about 1 MB in size per minute of music.

Good Quality: Use to fit more songs on a portable MP3 player with limited storage capacity.

Custom: Choose for greater control over the file size and sound quality.

Importing songs from CDs:

You can import songs from your CDs into your iTunes library.
Imported songs are stored on your hard disk so that you can listen to them without having the original CD in the disc drive.

To import songs from CDs into your iTunes library:

  • Insert an audio CD into your computer’s internal CD or DVD drive.
  • When the list of songs appears in the iTunes window, deselect (remove the checkmark from) any songs you don’t want to import.
  • To add the selected songs to your library, click the Import CD button (at the bottom of the iTunes window).
  • To cancel importing, click the small X next to the progress bar at the top of the iTunes window.
  • When the songs are finished importing, click the Eject symbol to the right of the CD.

You can continue to use iTunes while songs are importing.

Tip: You can also import a song by dragging it to the Music playlist (below Library).
You’ll see a green plus sign when it’s OK to stop dragging.

Importing songs from the Internet:

You can add audio files that you find on the Internet to your iTunes library.

IMPORTANT: Don’t steal music. Some websites require you to register before you can play or download files.

To download a song from a website into iTunes:

  • Open iTunes.
  • When you find an audio file you want on a website, click the file to download it to your computer.
  • Drag the file to the iTunes window.

Some websites permit you to download the actual audio file.
On other websites, the download is a link (the URL) to the audio file; when you play it, iTunes finds the song on the Internet and “streams” it live to your computer.
This kind of file displays a broadcast symbol (shown below) next to the song in iTunes.


When you buy songs from the iTunes Store, the files are downloaded to your hard disk and automatically added to your iTunes library.

Importing music and video already on your computer:

If you have audio or video files on your computer, you can import them into iTunes so that they appear in your iTunes library.

Here are ways to add items to your iTunes library:

  • Drag a file or folder from the Finder to the iTunes window.
  • If you add a folder, all the files it contains are added to your library.
  • In iTunes, choose File > “Add to Library,” locate a file or folder, and then click Choose.

By default, iTunes places a copy of each audio file in the iTunes folder (inside [Home]/Music); the original file remains in the current location.
For information about adding an alias to the file (instead of creating a copy), click the link below.


Importing or playing CDs automatically:

When you insert a CD, you can set iTunes to play it automatically or begin importing the songs into your music library.

To change what happens when you insert a CD:

  • Choose iTunes > Preferences.
  • In the General pane, choose an option from the “When you insert a CD” pop-up menu.

If you plan to import a lot of CDs, choose “Import CD and Eject” to automatically eject each CD after all the songs on it are imported.


Choosing AIFF and WAV custom import settings:

If you use AIFF or WAV encoding, you can use custom settings for greater control over the quality and size of imported files.

To choose AIFF and WAV import settings:

  • Choose iTunes > Preferences and click Import Settings.
  • Choose AIFF Encoder or WAV Encoder from the Import Using pop-up menu.
  • Choose Custom from the Setting pop-up menu.

In the dialog that appears, choose settings:

Sample Rate: The number of times per second the music waveforms are captured digitally.
The higher the sample rate, the higher the quality and the larger the file size.
Don’t choose a sample rate higher than the rate used to store the music originally or you’ll waste space.
CD quality, for example, is 44.100 kHz, so choosing a higher rate when you’re encoding from a CD is unnecessary.
In general, the best choice is Auto, which uses the same rate as the original music.

Sample Size: The number of bits used to store each sample taken as the music is encoded.
The higher the sample size, the better the quality and the larger the file size.

Channels: If you don’t have stereo speakers or if your audio files are monaural (mono files are about half the size of stereo files), choose Mono.
If you’ll be listening through headphones or a stereo system, choose Stereo or Auto.
Auto converts monaural tracks into mono files and stereo tracks into stereo files.

Choosing MP3 custom import settings:

If you use MP3 encoding, you can use custom settings for greater control over the quality and size of imported files.

To use custom settings with MP3 encoding:

  • Choose iTunes > Preferences and click Import Settings.
  • Choose MP3 Encoder from the Import Using pop-up menu.
  • Choose Custom from the Setting pop-up menu.


In the dialog that appears, choose settings:

Stereo Bit Rate: The higher the Mono or Stereo kilobits per second (Kbps), the higher the audio quality and the larger the file size.
The most common bit rate for stereo MP3 files is between 128 Kbps and 192 Kbps.
Lower bit rates are more appropriate for sound files containing voice recordings (as opposed to music).

Variable Bit Rate Encoding (VBR): This setting varies the number of bits used to store the music depending on the complexity of the music.
This can help keep file size to a minimum.

Sample Rate: The number of times per second that the music waveforms are captured digitally.
The higher the sample rate, the higher the quality and the larger the file size.
Don’t choose a sample rate higher than the rate used originally to store the music or you’ll waste space.
CD quality, for example, is 44.100 kHz, so choosing a higher rate when you’re encoding from a CD is unnecessary.
In general, the best choice is Auto, which uses the same rate as the original music.

Channels: If you don’t have stereo speakers or if your audio files are monaural, choose Mono (mono files are about half the size of stereo files).
If you’ll be listening to your MP3 files using your stereo system, choose Stereo or Auto.
Auto converts tracks that are already monaural into mono MP3 files, and stereo tracks into stereo MP3 files.

Stereo Mode: In Normal mode, your MP3 files contain one track for the right stereo channel and one track for the left.
In many cases, the two channels contain related information.
In Joint Stereo mode, one channel carries the information that’s identical on both channels, and the other channel carries the unique information.
At bit rates of 160 Kbps and below, this can improve the sound quality of your converted audio.

Smart Encoding Adjustments: Select to have iTunes analyze your encoding settings and music source, and then adjust settings to maximize quality.

Filter Frequencies Below 10 Hz: Filtering inaudible frequencies results in smaller, more efficient files without perceptible loss of quality.


Choosing AAC custom import settings:

If you use AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) encoding, you can use custom settings for greater control over the quality and size of imported files.

To use custom settings with AAC encoding:

  • Choose iTunes > Preferences and click Import Settings.
  • Choose AAC Encoder from the Import Using pop-up menu.
  • Choose Custom from the Setting pop-up menu.


In the dialog that appears, choose settings:

Stereo Bit Rate: The higher the Mono or Stereo kilobits per second (Kbps), the higher the audio quality and the larger the file size.
The most common bit rate for stereo AAC files is 128 Kbps.
Lower bit rates are more appropriate for sound files containing voice recordings (as opposed to music).

Sample Rate: The number of times per second the music waveforms are captured digitally.
The higher the sample rate, the higher the quality and the larger the file size.
Don’t choose a rate higher than the rate used to store the music originally or you’ll waste space.
CD quality, for example, is 44.100 kHz, so choosing a higher rate when you’re encoding from a CD is unnecessary.
In general, the best choice is Auto, which uses the same rate as the original music.

Channels: If you don’t have stereo speakers or if your audio files are monaural (mono files are about half the size of stereo files), choose Mono.
If you’ll be listening through headphones or a stereo system, choose Stereo or Auto.
Auto converts monaural tracks that into mono files and stereo tracks into stereo files.


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