Exporting to iTunes and iPod
From Audacity Manual
Exporting to iTunes
What format should I export to?
If you want a perfect lossless copy of your audio, or to burn it in iTunes to an audio CD for playing on any CD player, you should choose WAV or AIFF. It is strongly recommended you export a standard "CD quality" 44100 Hz, 16 bit stereo WAV or AIFF to make sure iTunes understands the file. This means:
- Ensure your Project Rate at the bottom left of the Audacity project window is set to "44100" Hz.
- If your Project does not already contain a stereo track, click .
Jump to here if you're only interested in burning a CD.
If you want to distribute your files on the internet (for example as a podcast), you should choose MP3 as the Format in the Export Audio dialog, as this is a space-saving (although slightly lossy) format that anyone should be able to play. To export as MP3 from Audacity you need first to download the LAME encoder and point Audacity to it (see Lame Installation).
If you want to put the files on iPod, or simply store them in iTunes in a compact form, MP3 is also a good choice. However, there are some reports that when run on battery, recent iPods can struggle or crash when playing MP3s created in applications other than iTunes. So you may want to export as WAV or AIFF from Audacity and convert the files to MP3 in iTunes instead. To do this, you set the conversion format in iTunesand set "Import Using" to "MP3 Encoder" . Then you can right-click or control-click over the WAV or AIFF files in iTunes Library and create an MP3 version.
Apple's own size-compressed AAC format is also a good format for iPod or storage in iTunes. Generally, AAC files will give you the same quality as MP3 for a slightly smaller file size. Audacity can export to AAC if you add the optional FFmpeg library to your computer, but you can also export to WAV or AIFF and convert to AAC in iTunes. To do this, in iTunes go to and set "Import Using" to "AAC Encoder". Finally, right-click or control-click over the files in iTunes Library to create an AAC version.
You can also choose "Apple Lossless Encoder" in "Import Using". This is a lossless format of the same quality as the WAV or AIFF you exported from Audacity, but about half the size (though still much larger than MP3 or AAC).
You'll probably know that Audacity supports the Ogg Vorbis format (a lossy compressed format similar to MP3/compressed AAC, but of higher quality for the same file size than either). An iPod cannot play OGG files, but iTunes can with a hack. To play .OGG Files in iTunes or Quick Time , install the OGG codecs for QuickTime. Alternatively you can download and install Oggdrop which as well as allowing you to play OGG files in iTunes or Quick Time functions as a standalone application allowing you to encode CD tracks or audio files in other formats to OGG.
- Peter 22Oct13 later:' fixed the P1 broken link with a steer from Steve. And then updated with link from Brett Stauner.
You can choose any location for the export you like such as a "Music" folder on your Desktop or even the iTunes "Music" folder if you have one. However you must still import this file from the exported location into the iTunes Library (which makes it visible when you viewon the left hand panel of iTunes). There are three ways to import your exported audio files into iTunes.
- Select burning to CD. in iTunes and drag the file from the location you exported it to, into the iTunes window. If you want to burn the files to CD, it's best to drag them directly into an iTunes Playlist in the left-hand panel. See the section below on
- Use the command from within iTunes.
Burning to CD in iTunes
The files also have to be in an iTunes Playlist before they can be burnt to CD. If you did not drag the files into a Playlist when you imported them into iTunes, simply drag them from the iTunes Library window into the playlist you want in the left hand panel. Then click on the playlist in the left hand panel and click on the "Burn CD" button that appears at the lower right of the iTunes window. Select the burner speed, the gap between songs if you are burning multiple files onto the CD, and (most important), make sure "Audio CD" is selected. Unless you choose Audio CD, the CD won't play on standalone CD players.
For more general help on burning to CD, see Burning music files to a CD
Sample workflow for exporting to iTunes
See also this tutorial with a sample workflow giving a set of example steps that can be used to get Audacity Projects (LP and tape transcriptions for example) into iTunes.
Gale 5 Apr 11: The tutorial says "to... iPod". You can link to http://wiki.audacityteam.org/w/index.php?title=Exporting_your_Audacity_Project_into_iTunes_and_iPod#sync if you like. I've spent five minutes trying to figure what this current page is. It doesn't seem to be a tutorial but rather linked indirectly from part of http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/Tutorial_-_Copying_tapes,_LPs_or_minidiscs_to_CD. Why not link to it explicitly on that page, and work "Sample workflow for exporting to iTunes" into it? Then see what it looks like. I think it should have at least a link about syncing to iPod because people ask this frequently on feedback@. Or if there was enough iPod information on this page, we could get rid of the Wiki tutorial after 2.0.