Sometimes the iTunes Guy gets questions where the only answer is, "sorry, you can't". This week's column covers a couple of questions with no solutions, along with some that do have answers. Learn about finding missing podcast playlists, replacing converted songs in their playlists, and more.
Q: I have a lot of songs in MP3 format, and have started converting them to AAC format to save space on my computer. When doing so, iTunes creates a duplicate version of the song in AAC format, leaving behind the MP3 file. When I delete the MP3 from within iTunes, it removes the songs from all my playlists. I would like to simply convert the song to AAC format, replacing the old MP3 format so that the playlists now reference the AAC version of the song and not the MP3. Is this possible?
Putting aside the fact that I don't usually suggest converting from one lossy audio file type to another, no, iTunes considers each file to be unique. When you convert a file, you then have two files, and it wouldn't make sense to add the new files to a playlist, in case you wanted to keep them both. (Because you most likely wouldn't want two copies of the songs in the playlists.)
This can be a problem, especially if you've created playlists with lots of songs. What I would do is this: Select all the songs in a playlist then, in the Comments field, enter the name of the playlist. Convert the songs, and delete the originals. Next, create a new smart playlist, where Comments is (playlist name), or the name of the playlist you just added. Copy the songs from the smart playlist to the original playlist, then delete the smart playlist.
Q: Is there a way to create song "aliases" (multiple entries in the library that point to the same file)? I have duplicates in my library because I want them associated with multiple albums (such as soundtracks or compilations). If I could simply point to the same file, just allow for different metadata, then I could truly delete all of my duplicates.
Unfortunately, you can't do this. It would be practical, as you say, because you may have the same songs in multiple albums. In addition, if you use iTunes Match, these songs will show as duplicates, and only one of them will be uploaded, and this can be confusing.
Q: I'm jumping through hoops to import songs from a music CD onto my new iMac--the new model that no longer sports an internal CD drive. I thought I could use Apple's Remote Disc feature, but found out that music CDs aren't supported by Remote Disc. Eventually, I solved the problem by importing the music CD on an older laptop. But what are folks with only one computer to do if they want to rip CDs?
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