How to Convert AAC Songs to MP3s in iTunes

itunes aac to mp3 If you want to play those AAC songs you purchased in iTunes on another media player that doesn’t support AAC or if you need an MP3 version of an AAC song for other uses, such as with Animoto, fear not, its easy to convert an AAC song in iTunes to MP3 format.

Here’s how to do this on a PC:

  • open iTunes
  • click on the ‘Edit’ menu
  • click ‘Preferences
  • click the ‘General’ tab
  • click the ‘Import Settings’ button
  • click ‘MP3 Encoder’ on the ‘Import Using’ pull-down menu
  • Select the desired quality level on the ‘Setting’ pull-down menu

how to convert aac songs to mp3s in itunes - import settings dialogue box 
I suggest using the highest possible ‘Higher Quality (192 kbps)’ option. This will take more time but encodes the best quality MP3.

  • click ‘OK’ twice to close both dialogue boxes
  • select the AAC track you want to convert in the iTunes window
    (you can click and convert more than one at a time if you wish)
  • right-click on it;
  • choose "Create MP3 version" from the popup menu.

The AAC file will then be converted into an MP3 file. It will automatically be added to iTunes. It will appear above or below the AAC track in your library as it is being created. To locate the underlying MP3 file on your hard drive:

  • right click on the newly created MP3 version in your iTunes library
  • click on the ‘summary’ tab

At the bottom of the the open dialogue box you’ll see the ‘Where:’ field telling you exactly where the song is on your hard drive.

How to Convert AAC Songs to MP3s in iTunes - get info dialogue box

Note: AAC and MP3 are both ‘lossy’ formats. The quality of the MP3 will be lower than the original AAC quality. This is why I suggested the highest encoding level above. For most, the quality will be just fine.



3 Replies to “How to Convert AAC Songs to MP3s in iTunes”

  1. Thanks for the great tip cous. This is awesome. Can I play the .mp3 version on my ipod or does it only accept the aac format?

  2. Indeed, MP3 files can be played on iPods and iPhones. My entire music library is in MP3 format and I”ve been happily using iPods and my iPhone for about five years now.

  3. I don't know, nor do I know why you would want to Erik. AAC is a higher quality codec. But you can't get more out of it than you put into it. Any MP3 file, by defiintion, will have lost fidelity in the first conversion form its source to MP3. Converting again to AAC would result in even more fidelity loss. Since every music-play back device on the planet can play MP3, I suggest leaving your MP3s in MP3 format. Converting to AAC gets you no benefit other than a lower quality audio file.

  4. I don’t know off hand because I’d never want to do that. There’s no point. Every player will play .mp3 files and converting them just ads one more lossy conversion. But if you want to do it there are a gazillion free tools to do this erik. Search on Google and you’ll find’m.

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