New iTunes Helps Jam More Music Onto Your iPod

I own a 32 GB iTouch, and my iTunes library is my main source of music entertainment around my house, in my car, and even (through headphones, of course) at the grocery store (hey, it beats listening to some marketing researcher’s mixtape and a scraggle of screaming kids; I just have to start remembering that when I sing along with what I’m hearing, people stare).

As an aside, my main source of music entertainment at work is a stack of CDs on which I’ve burned mp3s of every song I’ve liked from 1956-2000 (“All killer, no filler”) and a few GBs of music from Disney parks and movies.

But that’s not why I’ve called you all here today.

One problem I have with my music machine is that it tends to repeat songs. Even with more than 4000 songs onboard, you’d think I’d go for days on “Shuffle” without hearing the same song twice. If I wanted that, I’d go back to listening to regular radio. Well, maybe not, unless I could find a station without Morning Zoos and “Such and Such in the Morning” and Afternoon Drivetimes filled with dj’s who find themselves hilarious as they make humiliating prank calls and host vapid contests between playing songlists manufactured by some research company in the midwest. /rant

Another is that there’s so much music I want to listen to. I have varied tastes; my library includes the Beatles, Jack Johnson, Frank Zappa, Brahms, several different soundtracks from Les Miserables, French chansons, Richard Thompson, zydeco, various collections of world music…you get the idea. And I have several gigs of tunes on an external hard drive that I want to check out: albums that have gotten good reviews, other CDs from my collection that I’ve ripped, others I’ve downloaded.

Basically what I do is sit down every evening and delete the songs I’ve listened to during the day, then every so often load up my Touch with new music. Silly, maybe, but it’s what I do.

So I was interested to read in Chris Pilillo’s Lockergnome newsletter yesterday about a new feature in Tuesday’s iTunes update to version 9.1.0.79.

After the update, when you sync your Apple iPod of choice, you’ll notice a new option on the product tab: “Convert higher bit rate songs to 128 kbps AAC”. Check the box to convert the songs on your device during the sync (the original files in your iTunes library will not be changed).

It takes a while for the conversion; mine took over 10 hours for 2958 files.

When I started the sync, I had about 5.3 GB free on my Touch. When the conversion was done, I had 13.60 GB free for more songs. Quite a difference!

If you have an abundance of songs but a paucity of free space on your Apple device, this is your answer.

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