How to Convert WAV to MP3 in iTunes’ recent update
I use the desktop version of iTunes to convert my finished, exported WAV files to MP3. iTunes uses a codec that is superior to LAME (the plugin available to Audacity). If you want to learn more about the difference in codecs, click here.
However, the process changed on May 17, 2016 in their most recent update (v18.104.22.168).
It used to be super-easy:
- Drag & drop the WAV into iTunes (appears in the Music listings)
- Right-click to open the additional menu (aka context menu)
- Scroll down and click on “Convert to MP3”
The update took away the third step, “Convert to MP3”, in the context menu.
The new process in iTunes 22.214.171.124:
After importing our WAV into iTunes, we need to:
- Go to File in the menu bar
- Drop down to Create New Version
- Click on Create MP3 Version
This is not a huge change, but I spent five minutes trying to find it. I hope this tip saved you some time.
How to adjust Import/Convert settings in iTunes
Remember, you can always adjust your settings in iTunes by going to:
- PC: Click on Edit in the menu bar, then Properties (MAC: Click on iTunes in the menu bar, then Preferences)
- In the General tab, click on “Import Settings“
- Set the “Import using…” option to the format you want (MP3 Encoder)
- Adjust the Setting to what you want
I convert my WAV files to a standard MP3, 192 kbps at 44.100 kHz Mono. This creates a smaller file than the Stereo option and still sounds great for spoken word content (aka: Podcasts).
To get the best sound out of SPREAKER
If you host on Spreaker, you can create your MP3s in the following manner so Spreaker won’t convert your file a second time:
- Properties/Preferences > Import Settings > Custom (same as above)
- Stereo Bit Rate: 128 kbps
- Sample Rate: 44.100 kHz
- Channels: Stereo
- Stereo Mode: Normal
- Pay attention to this last step: iTunes will warn you that the “settings are different from the recommended settings. Would you like to change to the recommended settings?” CLICK “DON’T CHANGE”
If you click “Change”, as I have a million times because I don’t read the warning box correctly, then it will create a Stereo > Joint Stereo file. Then Spreaker will convert your MP3 one more time – which may degrade the audio one more time (and we don’t want that).
I hope this helped you. Please send it on to a friend!