Pod Pointer

Are you desperate for more storage space on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad?  Are you reluctant to delete any apps, pictures or other important data?  We may have the answer for you…

If you have a large music library on your device you can benefit greatly by converting your songs to a lower bit rate.  What’s a bit rate you ask?  Basically, the bit rate indicates the audio quality of the song.  The higher the bit rate the better the sound.  Adversely this also means a larger audio file sitting on your device taking up space.

If you purchase a lot of music you will have a lot of songs with a bit rate of 256 kbps.  If you have ripped a lot of your own CDs or downloaded MP3s from questionable websites you will have a wide range of bit rates.  If you are curious you can view a songs bit rate by going into your iTunes music library, selecting the Songs view, right clicking the column header, and selecting Bit Rate (see image below).  Or you can select an individual song, right click, and select info.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You don’t want to convert your songs into poor quality audio.  Relax and take a deep breath.  Besides, you probably didn’t even know what a bit rate was before reading this article.  The good news is – your songs are only converted on your device.  Your original audio files are unaltered so the process is completely reversible.  Plus – you don’t have to go straight to the lowest bit rate.  You have a choice of 3 different levels of quality.

How to do it

Plug in your device and go into iTunes (sorry) then make a cup of coffee, read a book, etc. – eventually it will load.  Click on your device in the left sidebar.  If you don’t have a sidebar you can click the View menu and choose Show Sidebar (or try Ctrl+S).  If you don’t have a menu bar you can press your Alt key then try the above step.  If you don’t have an Alt key we’re screwed.

On your devices information screen you will see the following options near the bottom:

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Check the Convert higher bite rate… box and choose a quality level.  Watch the storage meter at the bottom of the window to see how much space you will save.  If you are squeamish, start with 256 kbps.  The conversion takes place when you sync your device.  Now… sync your device.  This will take longer than normal and may give you an error message about running out of space.  If you get an error, try it again.  The conversion process itself requires free space to complete so it may take a few tries if you have none.

Don’t be afraid to go down to 128 kbps if you only listen to your music through ear buds or low quality speakers.  You won’t notice the difference and if you do (you won’t) you can always reverse the process by unchecking the box and syncing your device.