iTunes Changed the Steps to Convert WAV to MP3

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 (v12.4.0.119).

It used to be super-easy:

  1. Drag & drop the WAV into iTunes (appears in the Music listings)
  2. Right-click to open the additional menu (aka context menu)
  3. 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

After importing our WAV into iTunes, we need to:

  1. Go to File in the menu bar
  2. Drop down to Create New Version
  3. Click on Create MP3 Version


how to create MP3 in iTunes File, Create New Version, 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:

  1. PC: Click on Edit in the menu bar, then Properties (MAC: Click on iTunes in the menu bar, then Preferences)
  2. In the General tab, click on “Import Settings
  3. Set the “Import using…” option to the format you want (MP3 Encoder)
  4. Adjust the Setting to what you want


Preferences, Import Settings, Custom, OK2


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:

  1. Properties/Preferences > Import Settings > Custom (same as above)
  2. Stereo Bit Rate: 128 kbps
  3. Sample Rate: 44.100 kHz
  4. Channels: Stereo
  5. Stereo Mode: Normal
  6. 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”

spreaker settings for mp3 files

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!

About Steve Stewart

Hello! My name is Steve and I started podcasting in 2010 on the MoneyPlan SOS podcast. I love everything about this exciting new medium! I would share my enthusiasm with bloggers who would say "I should start a podcast!" I agree: instead of a cold, faceless logo with no personality - You Should Podcast Too! The purpose of this website it to encourage you to put your image in front of your audience. Let your readers/listeners/fans get to see who you are and identify you as someone they can trust. Maybe you just want to record a YouTube video and embed it on your site or offer an audio version of your Free Report. It has never been cheaper and easier. And Yes, You Can Podcast Too!


iTunes Changed the Steps to Convert WAV to MP3 — 5 Comments

  1. You saved my sanity! I was beating my head against a wall trying to figure out why the conversion thing wasn’t coming up on the right click menu anymore. Thank you!!

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