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iTunes 10.6 Offers New On-The-Fly Conversion Options

Apple recently released iTunes 10.6. The new version adds compatibility with the soon-to-be-shipping new iPad, as well as the new Apple TV. In addition to these compatibility changes, one new feature will interest some iTunes users.

As you may know, when you sync to an iOS device, you can have iTunes automatically convert your music files to a lower bit rate, so you can save space on the portable device. Previously, the only choice you had was 128 kbps. But iTunes 10.6 offers three choices: 128, 192, and 256 kbps (as shown in the screenshot below). You can access this option on the Summary pane after you select your iPod in the iTunes source list.

This change will certainly please those who have iTunes libraries with music in lossless format, but who don’t want to downsample their music to 128 kbps. The three options available are sufficient for all users; if you want more than 256 kbps, then you’ll just sync lossless files.

Note that this conversion can take a long time, so the first sync may take hours–especially if your iOS device has a lot of storage–but subsequent syncs, if you’ve updated only a small amount of your library, will be much quicker.

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