How to Convert Audio to M4A with OS X Lion’s Built-In Encoder

One of the many understated features in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion is the ability to natively convert audio to m4a directly in OS X Lion’s Finder – without any additional downloads or add-ons. Yes, an MPEG audio encoder is built directly into Mac OS X 10.7, meaning you can convert audio directly on your desktop without using any other apps, and it’s really fast too.

How to Convert Audio to M4A with OS X Lion’s Built-In Encoder

OS X Lion’s audio encoder is confirmed to support AIFF, AIFC, Sd2f, CAFF and WAV files, but other formats are likely supported for m4a conversion as well. Here’s how to use it:

a. Locate the source audio file(s) that you want to convert
b. Right-click on the audio input file and choose “Encode Selected Audio Files”

Convert Audio to M4A in OS X Lion

c. Select the Encoder Quality you wish to use, the menu translates as follows:

  • High-Quality is 128 kbps
  • iTunes Plus is 256 kbps
  • Apple Lossless is lossless
  • Spoken Podcast is 64 kbps

d. Specify the Destination, otherwise it will default to the same location as the source file
e. Click on “Continue” to start the conversion

The audio encoder is very fast and within just a few seconds you will have an m4a file ready to import into iTunes or elsewhere. You can also batch process a group of audio files to convert them to m4a using this tool, just select a group of files instead of one.

The same encoder in OS X Lion also includes the ability to encode and convert video files directly in the Finder too, making this utility even more powerful. By selecting a movie file, you can also choose to strip the video and directly encode the audio track, which is another nice touch.

Source from osxdaily.com

You may also have interest in:

How to Convert M4A to MP3 on Mac OS X
How to Convert iTunes M4A to MP3

TuneClone Audio Converter for Mac V2.1.0 Released

TuneClone Audio Converter for Mac V2.1.0 was released!

You may go to http://mac.tuneclone.com to download the latest version.

Before version 2.0.0, TuneClone Audio Converter for Mac can only be run on 32-bit Mac OS X. If your Mac boots into 64-bit kernal, you have to switch the 64-bit mode to 32-bit mode in order to get TuneClone Audio Converter for Mac to work.

The good news is that TuneClone Audio Converter for Mac V2.1.0 now supports both 32-bit and 64-bit Mac OS X. Learn more

Another big update in V2.1.0 is that it has added preference settings for output file path and filenames format just like the Windows version.

TuneClone for Mac

Middleman Syncs Virtually Any Device with iTunes on a Mac

Middleman Syncs Virtually Any Device with iTunes on a MacMac only: With platforms like Google Android becoming more popular, lots of Mac owners have opted for non-Apple mobile devices, leaving them without a good way to sync their music. Middleman is a free app that syncs any USB mass-storage with iTunes.

We’ve featured a few apps that sync non-iPod devices with iTunes on Windows, but the Mac scene is pretty bare. Lots of users don’t particularly like doubleTwist, Songbird is still as buggy as a warm June evening, Salling Sync costs a whopping $20, and iTuneMyWalkman, arguably the best of the lot, takes 30+ minutes to sync every time (and has pretty much ceased development). Middleman hopes to add another free option to the slim selection out there. It may not be nearly as feature-filled or customizable as iTuneMyWalkman, but it’s much faster, and will certainly get the job done without too much hassle.

Middleman: Sync Any USB Mass-Storage Device with iTunes
Version: 0.1
Released: March 31, 2010
Creator: Whitson Gordon
License: GNU Public License

What it does: Lets you select any playlist from iTunes and sync the tracks contained within to any desired folder on your USB mass-storage device.

Installation: Middleman is a Service that can be launched straight from iTunes. UPDATE: Middleman is now also available as a standalone app as well as a Service. To install, just mount the DMG and double-click the installer package of the version you would like to install. Note that you do not need one to run the other—you can install one, the other, or both if you prefer, just be sure to use the installer packages.

Usage: Middleman requires a bit of initial setup. Due to the nature of iTunes and Middleman, you can only sync one playlist to your device at any given time. Syncing one playlist and then another will delete the songs from the first playlist and replace them with the second—thus, you need to put all the tracks you want to sync into one “master” playlist (note that if you prefer to sync your entire library, you can skip this step). My preferred way of creating the master playlist is to create a smart playlist that includes all the playlists I want to sync, but you can do this any way you want.

Middleman Syncs Virtually Any Device with iTunes on a Mac

To sync, mount your device and select your master playlist in iTunes (or, if you’re syncing your whole library, just select “Music”). In the menu bar, go to iTunes -> Services -> Sync Selected Playlist with Middleman or launch the standalone app from your /Applications folder. Middleman will prompt you for the folder on your device in which you want to sync your music. You can select any folder you want, including the root folder of your device—it will not delete the contents of the folder you choose; it will put the music in another folder named “Middleman” inside of it (your music will also be organized by folder the same way it is on your hard drive for the last two folders—if you have iTunes set to keep your music organized, this will be by artist and album. If not, it will just copy the last two folder names—this is just to ensure that duplicates aren’t overwritten).

Middleman will show a dialog that says it is gathering information, which may take a few minutes depending on the size of the playlist you’re syncing (the spinning gear in the menu bar shows that it’s working). When it’s done, your device will begin syncing (you’ll see it all happening in a Terminal window), showing you the progress track-by-track. As always, the first sync takes a while, but subsequent syncs will only transfer new or changed songs (and will remove from the device songs no longer on the master playlist). When it finishes syncing, you may close or quit Terminal and unmount your device.

Note that Middleman doesn’t sync any playlists in .M3U format or anything, just the tracks contained within—I couldn’t find an easy way, with my knowledge and skill set, to sync the playlists themselves too. For now, you’re best off using something like iTunes Export, which will convert any number of playlists from iTunes to .M3U format and put them on your device if you so choose. Keep in mind you’ll need the tracks on those playlists synced to your device for them to work.

Middleman is a free download, Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard only. Middleman was made in Automator, using a number of Applescripts, and relies heavily on rsync, which is built into OS X. If you would like to view or edit the workflow in Automator, just navigate to ~/Library/Services and double click on the Sync Selected Playlist with Middleman workflow (or open the standalone application in Automator).

Download Middleman

Source from: http://lifehacker.com/5501992/middleman-syncs-virtually-any-device-with-itunes-on-a-mac

How to transfer WMAs and iTunes 8 library from Windows to Mac

“My laptop HDD recently failed, so I replaced it with an iMac. Fortunately, my iTunes library was on an external HDD, so I have copied it across to the iMac. However, the songs that I have purchased from iTunes do not seem to be available. They have copied across, but are ‘greyed out’. I have authorised my new computer to play purchases. Is there anything else I am forgetting?”

It is relatively painless to switch over from Windows to Mac as Mac has support for a lot of commonly used files like Microsoft Word documents, Powerpoint slideshows and Adobe PDF files. So, compatibility is hardly an issue. What you do have to take note of however while switching over to Mac are your iTunes library and WMAs. Note: This tutorial was written under the assumption that you are running the latest version of iTunes ( iTunes 8 ) on both your Windows and Mac.

1. Add WMAs to iTunes on Windows

iTunes for Windows is built with Windows Media Audio (WMA) support – it is able to play and convert WMAs. However, because WMA is a proprietary codec, it isn’t available in iTunes for Mac. If you’re not careful, you’ll be left with a lot of WMAs which will be unplayable on your Mac.

The easiest way to dodge this problem is to convert all the WMAs you have while you’re still on your Windows machine. In your iTunes General preferences, under ‘Import settings’, make sure to have AAC or MP3 selected. Configure the bit rate if you like but because you will be converting from one lossy codec to another, there’s bound to be a profound loss in quality.

iTunes 8 and WMAs Windows to Mac

However, if the WMAs are DRM protected, it will be a little bit difficult. One method of dealing with the DRM protected WMAs is to get an audio converter. Make a simple Google search and you will get a lot of converters that can convert WMA to MP3. However, those that can convert DRM protected WMA to MP3 are rather limited. The one that attracts my attention is TuneClone Audio Converter (fow Windows only), which isn’t free but very well worth a shot if you have lots of DRM protected WMAs ready to be switched to Mac. TuneClone Audio Converter is capable of removing DRM protection from WMA files and convert WMA to iTunes (both Windows and Mac) compatible MP3 format by installing a virtual CD burner. Click here to read the guide.

Apart from that, TuneClone Audio Converter can also be used to convert iTunes M4P (protected AAC) to MP3 for non-Apple MP3 devices. Click here to read the guide.

After getting the protected WMAs converted to MP3, add to your iTunes library the MP3 files, which will be transferred to Mac along with all the music in iTunes library.

2. Backup iTunes library on Windows

In Windows, open iTunes. Consolidate your library from the ‘File -> Library’ menu.

iTunes 8 and WMAs Windows to Mac

This will move all the music files into the iTunes Music folder and sort them by artist and album.

Navigate to your My Music folder. It’s typically found at C:\Documents and Settings\~username~\My Documents\My Music.

Copy the iTunes folder to the Desktop of your new Mac. Depending on the size of your library and the method of transfer, this could take a while.

3. Organize iTunes on Mac

If you are running iTunes on your Mac for the first time, you’ll be prompted with the initial welcome setup procedure. When it asks to search your drive for music files, make sure to decline. At the end, you’ll be presented with a fresh, empty iTunes library. Now, quit iTunes. By default, it would have already set up its own iTunes Music folder located in ~/Music. Go over to this location and delete the iTunes folder then copy and paste your iTunes Music folder from the desktop into it (the one which you have just brought over from your Windows computer). After all this is done, launch iTunes and you’ll be rewarded with your old, personalized iTunes library.

Switch iTunes and WMAs from Windows to Mac

Source from www.makeuseof.com  by Jackson Chung

Switching over from Windows to Mac is relatively painless because Mac has support for a lot of commonly used files like Microsoft Word documents, Powerpoint slideshows and Adobe PDF files. So, compatibility is hardly an issue. One thing which you do have to take note of however while switching over to Mac is your iTunes library.

iTunes for Windows is built with Windows Media Audio (WMA) support – it is able to play and convert WMAs. However, because WMA is a proprietary codec, it isn’t available in iTunes for Mac. If you’re not careful, you’ll be left with a lot of WMAs which will be unplayable on your Mac.

Before we start, I would like to mention that this tutorial was written under the assumption that you are running the latest version of iTunes ( iTunes 8 ) on both your Windows and Mac. Please update before proceeding to avoid any complications which may arise.

The easiest way to dodge this problem is to convert all the WMAs you have while you’re still on your Windows machine. In your iTunes General preferences, under ‘Import settings’, make sure to have AAC or MP3 selected. Configure the bit rate if you like but because you will be converting from one lossy codec to another, there’s bound to be a profound loss in quality.

While you’re still in Preferences, go over to ‘Advanced settings’ and check “Keep iTunes Music folder organized”.

Now you’re ready to convert all of your WMAs into the codec you’ve just selected. To do this, control-select your WMAs, right-click on one and choose “Convert Selection to xxx” (Where xxx is either AAC or MP3). After the conversion is complete, you may choose to delete the WMA copies if you like. Then, consolidate your library from the ‘File>Library’ menu. This will ensure that all the songs in your library are copied and organized into the iTunes Music folder. Normally, it’s located in “My Documents/Music”.

Now, you’re ready to bring that iTunes Music folder over to your Mac. Place it on your Mac desktop.

If you haven’t already, run iTunes on your Mac for the first time. You’ll be prompted with the initial welcome setup procedure. When it asks to search your drive for music files, make sure to decline. At the end, you’ll be presented with a fresh, empty iTunes library. Now, quit iTunes. By default, it would have already set up its own iTunes Music folder located in ~/Music. Go over to this location and delete the iTunes folder then copy and paste your iTunes Music folder from the desktop into it (the one which you have just brought over from your Windows computer). After all this is done, launch iTunes and you’ll be rewarded with your old, personalized iTunes library.

Another method of dealing with the whole WMA malarky is to get an audio converter. The first one which comes to mind is EasyWMA which isn’t free but very popular. A little hidden gem is Switch for Mac. It is capable of converting WMA to many other audio formats compatible with iTunes.

Switch is also available for Windows so you’ll have the convenience of converting your songs before making the switch over to Mac, if you prefer.

And here, I would also recommend using TuneClone Audio Converter, which can be used to either convert M4P(protected AAC), M4B and M4A music songs to MP3, WAV, unprotected WMA or convert both protected and unprotected WMAs to MP3. Not free, but well worth a shot if you have lots of WMAs ready to be switched to Mac.