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      11-01-2019, 04:00 PM   #1
GeorgeR
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Transfer iTunes music to USB drive to listen in a car

I ran out of memory on an old iPhone 3 I was using as an iPod for iTunes Playback and thought I'd share the solution I came up with rather than adding a combox or retrofitting with a Lightning Connector Y-Cable to use my iPhone 11 Pro X, if my car supports that. I have the 30 pin Y-cable but have never used it.

I bought a couple SanDisk Ultra Fit USB 3.1 Flash Dives, 64GB. One for my 2009 335i E92 and one for my Wife’s 2016 X6 XDrive 35i F16. They came already formatted as FAT32 so no external program or command line steps required to utilize the full 64GB.

No real advantage on my Wife’s X6 since she streams Spotify and her car supports iPhone USB connections and Bluetooth Streaming but if she wants, she can now access my iTunes Library when I’m not with her. On the 2009 I use an iPhone 3 with the snap in adapter (84-21-2-158-683) but it doesn’t have enough memory for anything but my Playlist, which is almost always fine.

I haven’t compared audio quality but will, not that I expect to hear much difference. I was just curious to test USB music playback since I never have.

I used MediaHuman Audio Converter to convert my Apple Lossless iTunes Library to MP3 – Stereo, 44100Hz, 320kbps. I didn't look into it but assume the program converts non iTunes music as well.

https://www.mediahuman.com/audio-converter/

I put my entire Album collection, my Standard Playlist and a Christmas Music Playlist on each USB, using 48.5 GB. MediaHuman answered a few questions via email and I now have everything working the way I want. The software is “free” with a request to donate and I happily did based on the simplicity of the program and the support. I have no affiliation whatsoever with them, they just came up in a search for software that converts iTunes Lossless to MP3, WAV, AAC, or most any other possible format.

While my level of CIC without combox doesn’t support Album Art, Album Art works perfectly on my Wife’s X6. Selecting Random playback works the same way my iPhone/iTunes does. It does take a couple minutes for the car to read the USB.

I'm sure there are other programs that do similar conversions.

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      11-02-2019, 04:08 PM   #2
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If you have CIC you can also plug the USB drive into the glove box and copy up to 12gb of files to the internal HDD.... more if you have done the HDD upgrade to SSD.
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      11-06-2019, 12:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opjose View Post
If you have CIC you can also plug the USB drive into the glove box and copy up to 12gb of files to the internal HDD.... more if you have done the HDD upgrade to SSD.
12GB is too small for my music collection and I think it uses more compression than available on USB but I am not sure of the specifications. Regardless, the storage limits won't work for me.

The USB works well but I'm not getting the quality I hear from either my snap in adapter with an iPhone 3, playing Apple Lossless, or my iPhone 11 Pro Max playing lossless with an Oppo HA-2SE DAC connected to the AUX connection.

My limited testing rates the AUX the best with the snap in connector a very close second. The USB is last so far. The USB just doesn't have the same clarity. It may be the conversion program. Now I am looking at alternatives to convert my iTunes library to because my iPhone 3 only has 32GB and the AUX, my favorite so far, loses CIC control.

My first test was converting AAC to MP3, I will test converting Apple Lossless to MP3 and see if that helps, I will also convert some to WAV and try that but maybe it is the program I am using.

Anyone have recommendations of programs that can convert iTunes lossless to MP3 320, WAV or other supported formats?
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      11-06-2019, 12:46 AM   #4
ctuna
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I had to to use itunes itself unfortunatealty ou end up with two
copys or more in the itunes folders
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      11-06-2019, 10:31 AM   #5
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I also use ITunes for the conversion. Then I search for mp3 files only and move those off.

The audio quality is greatly impacted by the source material, and by encoding and compression amounts.

I find that I get good results which to my ears sound equal to the aux in, but it is highly dependent on the original material.
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      11-06-2019, 01:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opjose View Post
I also use ITunes for the conversion. Then I search for mp3 files only and move those off.

The audio quality is greatly impacted by the source material, and by encoding and compression amounts.

I find that I get good results which to my ears sound equal to the aux in, but it is highly dependent on the original material.
Thanks. No problem deleting the lossy converted files from iTunes after copying them to USB? I'd like to keep my library clean.

Not sure the source material comment is relevant. I am using the same lossless saved songs, songs selected for sound system testing, and using them for each source so I can switch back and forth. Obviously the MP3 version is lossy but converted from lossless.

I didn't think I would be able to hear the difference between lossless and MP3 but I can, hence the plan to convert them with another program and see if that is why. It's possible I just have discerning ears.
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      11-06-2019, 04:34 PM   #7
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There is no perfect format.
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      11-08-2019, 03:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeR View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by opjose View Post
I also use ITunes for the conversion. Then I search for mp3 files only and move those off.

The audio quality is greatly impacted by the source material, and by encoding and compression amounts.

I find that I get good results which to my ears sound equal to the aux in, but it is highly dependent on the original material.
Thanks. No problem deleting the lossy converted files from iTunes after copying them to USB? I'd like to keep my library clean.

Not sure the source material comment is relevant. I am using the same lossless saved songs, songs selected for sound system testing, and using them for each source so I can switch back and forth. Obviously the MP3 version is lossy but converted from lossless.

I didn't think I would be able to hear the difference between lossless and MP3 but I can, hence the plan to convert them with another program and see if that is why. It's possible I just have discerning ears.
Nope search by file type and delete the .mp3 files.
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      11-08-2019, 03:26 PM   #9
ctuna
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I haven't found away to be able to segregate the mp3 files
in itunes . The only way to delete them seems to be one at a time.
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      11-08-2019, 07:32 PM   #10
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Bit of a kludge but I use Media Monkey to manage the USB stick content for the car.
Media Monkey has the ability to manage multiple devices, each with its own profile.
I still use iTunes for my iPhone and iPad, with access to the same music directory.
So iTunes and Media Monkey each have their own internal database but access the same music files. They seem to get along well enough.
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      11-09-2019, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
I haven't found away to be able to segregate the mp3 files
in itunes . The only way to delete them seems to be one at a time.
The long way is to go ahead and delete the .mp3 files in file explorer sorting or displaying by file type to make this easy...

Then go back to iTunes and the .mp3 files will be the second duplicated entry.

You can select multiple files at once then delete. You still have to drill down to every folder.

You can also rebuild the iTunes local database and let it rescan your folders to remove the duplicates.

There are also second party utilities that will help too.
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      11-09-2019, 10:08 PM   #12
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I converted my playlist to WAV with MediaHuman Audio Converter and still need to compare but quick first impression is positive. Might not need to worry about the built in iTunes conversion tool.

I needed to go up to a 128GB USB, using 79.8 GB. My 2009 doesn't support Album Art so no loss on the 335i but my Wive's 2016 X6 does. I don't think she cares so may just keep using MP3 files in her car.

While I can store my entire album library and all my Playlist's on a 64GB USB in MP3, I don't know if I could even store the same in WAV on a 256GB stick.
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      11-10-2019, 02:42 AM   #13
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it more wise to convert apple lossless to wav, but for mp3 it is better to keep them in mp3 because they will not become better in WAV and you loose ID info in mp3 container.
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      11-10-2019, 12:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpending View Post
it more wise to convert apple lossless to wav, but for mp3 it is better to keep them in mp3 because they will not become better in WAV and you loose ID info in mp3 container.
Once a track is compressed to mp3 you can't make it better by any means. Converting it to wav would be taking up more space. After 12 years of dj'ing and producing music I've spent way too much time perfecting keeping a well organized iTunes. For years I couldn't figure out why my hd would fill up so fast. It's a struggle, it never helped when I'd update to a new iTunes and trying to adjust to the changes
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