How to convert an iTunes song to MP3

Some older music players do not sync with itunes but require you to manually copy an mp3 file onto them. Here is how to convert a song that you have in iTunes into an MP3 file so you can copy it to your mp3 player.

  1. Go to the iTunes  menu and select preferences,  go to the tab called General  and click the button called Import Settings
  2. Select mp3 encoder,  and choose a bit rate. (128kbps is the minimum for reasonable audio, above 192 the average listener won’t tell the difference, 320kbps is insanely good)

    choose the mp3 encoder
  3. Now go back to your iTunes music list, right click on any song, and there will be an option called ‘Create mp3 Version’. Click this and it will create an MP3 version of the song and add it to your library.

    Create mp3 Version option appears
  4. Now you need to find the mp3 file that was just made!  Go back into your iTunes library and sort by date added.  The new MP3 file will be at the top of the list!  right click on this song and drag it to your desktop and the MP3 file will now be on your desktop.

    Sort by date added to find the new mp3 file


5 responses to “How to convert an iTunes song to MP3”

  1. Paul

    Thanks Wayne

    How do you think the new iTunes importer rates against the iTunes-Lame importer recommended elsewhere on this site.
    Particularly if it was set on the mp3 encoder 192 or 320?

  2. Personally I can’t tell the difference between iTunes and LAME at 320kbps. Not on any of the gear that I listen to it on and not with my 39 year old ears!
    There are still people in the forums who hold that LAME is better. I just use the iTunes importer on AAC 320kbps at the moment. As hard disks expand there could be a case for using AIFF lossless for all your music!

    This post is more about getting your AAC files exported to mp3, which if you do, is bad for audio – once you recompress audio (eg from AAC to mp3) you lose a lot of quality.

    So for example 320kbps mp3 recompressed down to 128kbps mp3 is worse than straight compression to 128kbps mp3.

  3. Joe

    Thank you so much – this is awesome and I really am thankful for the helpful instructions :)

  4. Bill

    Is this method usable for music obtained from the iTunes store ? If so, is that music in the referenced AAC format after it’s purchsed and accessible to one via their iTunes account purchases ?

    1. You really only want to convert from full quality to MP3 or else it won’t be as good as it can be.
      You don’t want to go from AAC to mp3.

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