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Speed up iTunes format conversions in large collections Apps
I had to convert about 20,000 songs to AAC format. When I tried to do this in iTunes, this operation took forever -- the more songs it had converted, the slower it got, and it was already down to three to four seconds per song, although a single conversion would have taken a fraction of a second.

The reason for the slowness appears to be that, after each change, the iTunes User Interface wants to get updated, which takes its time for such a large library.

But then I found a workaround: If you open the Preferences dialog, and keep it open, the conversion goes fast, without the slowdown due to the library size.

[robg adds: Occasional macosxhints.com editor Kirk McElhearn tested this for me on his large library, and found that this trick does, in fact, appear to work as described. He also told me he usually uses X Lossless Decoder when he needs to do a large number of file conversions, instead of doing them in iTunes.]
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Speed up iTunes format conversions in large collections
Authored by: ajlevine on Feb 23, '09 08:37:28AM

One thing that can also help speed up updates to large libraries is to minimize the number of Smart Playlists set to automatically update. I had a large library that was incredibly slow to update, but when I got rid of 10 or so Smart Playlists, it came back fast.



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Speed up iTunes format conversions in large collections
Authored by: CJYetman on Feb 23, '09 09:26:21AM

If the problem is the user interface, does it help to just close the iTunes main window while the conversions are running?



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Speed up iTunes format conversions in large collections
Authored by: Lou Kash on Feb 23, '09 02:36:57PM

No, closing the window doesn't help.
The slowness problem is particularly apparent if you have a lot of smart playlists with automatic updating active. (Being a DJ and producer, I have actually HUNDREDS of smart playlists active, performing all kinds of automatic sorting of tracks based on my complex keyword system.) Then, once a converted track is being added to the Library, iTunes always wants to check EVERY smart playlist for its criteria.

Since the iTunes Preferences is a modal window, it will then successfully block such iTunes background activities when open.

(As a side note, I'm using this trick for many years now, but somehow I never made it to post it here as a hint myself. :) Probably because I usually never was online while working with audio...)



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Speed up iTunes format conversions in large collections
Authored by: kaih on Feb 23, '09 01:42:45PM
For converting to/from different audio formats, try Max from sbooth.org
It converts between MP3 (using LAME) AAC and Apple Lossless (using CoreAudio), FLAC, OGG etc.
It can rip from CD, convert files to multiple formats at once, is multi-processor aware (it will use one core per conversion, so can do multiple at once) and is generally a great all-round ripping and converting utility that's not just limited to lossless formats.

---
k:.

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