Hi Gang – I still see this question being asked in a lot of music and audiophile forums I visit, so I wanted to make a reference post about it here.  Hope you find this breakdown straightforward and please link to it if you think it will be helpful to others!

Converting songs from one format to another – either to make them more compatible with your audio library or to make them available on all of your playback hardware – is a relatively simple and straightforward process these days (at least compared to how things were a few years ago).


At the same time, it’s not quite as intuitive as simply dragging an audio file, dropping it in a piece of software like iTunes, and then watching as the magic of technology takes over.


Thankfully, with the step by step tips highlighted below, you’re going to be able to hit the ground running with this conversion process from here on out. You’ll be able to throw all of your audio files into a single library, converting one file to another for more seamless integration, all without the headache and hassle that a lot of people associate with this kind of project.


Check out the insider information below for step by step info to convert audio files in iTunes!


Converting songs to other formats from right inside of iTunes


iTunes is a pretty amazing piece of software and probably the most commonly used music management tool on the planet.  Simple, straightforward, and elegant to use – as well as beautifully designed (like most things from Apple) – once you master the process with iTunes as your conversion tool it becomes second nature rather quickly.


There’s just one hurdle that needs to be cleared before you dive in. You need to make sure your music doesn’t contain ANY DRM before you get started. iTunes makes it easy to convert DRM free files from one type to another, but anything with DRM will cause the conversion to fail right away.


As long as you have no DRM, however, you’re good to go – and here’s how to get the job done in just a couple of minutes.


First you’ll want to select the audio format you want your files to be converted into to begin with. Click the EDIT option (or PREFERENCES on a Mac), slide into the ADVANCED tab, and then go to IMPORTING. From there, you’ll want change the dropdown menu to the file type you’re looking for (MP3, for example), and then click the OK button to save the new formats going forward.


From there you’ll want to simply drag and drop music into your iTunes library and it will become available to convert. Highlight the songs you’d like to convert, right click, select CONVERT SELECTION TO MP3, and then sit back while the software handles the heavy lifting!


The process should take about 30 seconds per song to knock out (though it may take longer when converting from certain file formats, like AAC or FLAC) and once you set things up properly you’re off to the races. It really doesn’t get much easier than this!


So all things considered iTunes is a great platform for organizing all your music, podcasts and more.  The days of having to store your library across multiple sites and devices (with passwords and logins to remember) are officially over – start converting now!



Who got vinyl for Christmas?  This guy right here, and no I’m not wearing a fedora as I type this.  Music junkies will agree with me that there really is something special about “record albums” – but with the caveat that they are expertly maintained.  All the pops, scratches and skips that novices complain about (yeah I just went there) are usually the result of haphazard handling, storage and playing records on second-rate equipment.


With the proper attention invested in routine cleaning and maintenance, vinyl records can last for decades while still producing the highest quality of sound possible – giving you that warm, authentic, “real” sound quality that only vinyl can produce.

vinyl record

At the same time, the right way of cleaning records may not be exactly intuitive. Specific cleaners can actually chew through the vinyl material, destroy the recordings over longer amounts of time, and degrade the records themselves to the point where they aren’t worth playing any longer.


Take advantage of the tips below to help you figure out how to best clean your vinyl records moving forward and these babies will sound just as great years from now as they did on Christmas morning!  Best part: you can do this at home and avoid the expensive shops that offer record cleaning services.


Gently clean your record every time before you play it


If you listen to your albums on a regular basis, it’s probably a good idea to get your hands on a vinyl record carbon fiber brush that allows you to gently clean the vinyl without distorting or degrading surface. Gently clean the record every time you play it (before you throw it on your record player) and you won’t have to worry about the record breaking down over time.


Always use distilled and deionized water


As I highlighted above, you have to be very careful about the kind of cleaners that you use to keep your vinyl record collection better than brand-new. But you also want to make sure that you aren’t using regular old-fashioned tap water that may be high in chemicals and minerals –  they won’t hurt us when we consume them but will wreak havoc on the surface of our vinyl albums. Always use distilled and deionized water when you are deep cleaning your records and you’ll avoid the mistakes so many others have fallen into.


Don’t push your carbon fiber brush into the grooves


A quality carbon fiber record brush is going to be designed specifically to clean the surface of the records themselves and should not be forced into the grooves of the record. Carbon fiber is still hard enough to do a bit of damage to the grooves of a vinyl record, and if this happens your sound is going to be distorted heavily.


Specialty vinyl record vacuum cleaners work wonders


If you are very serious about your collection, and want to take cleaning and maintaining your vinyl to the max, you need to make sure that you get your hands on a specialty designed vinyl record vacuum cleaner. These vacuum cleaners do a great job at pulling up dust, dirt, and debris that would have otherwise been left behind in the grooves of records, tearing up the grooves and destroying the quality of sound these records are capable of producing. Don’t ever use a traditional vacuum cleaner when you get ready to clean your vinyl records, as the suction is far too powerful and may crack or destroy the vinyl records that are even just a few years old, plus we don’t know what damage the bristles on the vacuum attachment could do once dragged along the surface.


Save yourself a trip to a professional record cleaning shop and try these tips at home first.  If you’ve already got some damage you can prevent your albums from degrading further, and if your vinyl is new, these methods should help to keep them sounding just a sweet for a long time to come.