Sunday, October 29, 2006

(really!) convert podcast to music file in itunes

Not being very happy with my solution to convert podcast mp3's to regular music file, I found an alternative method which works for me for the moment.

Apparently iTunes podcast entries are marked with the ITUNESPODCAST tag. Deleting this tag makes it possible to import podcast mp3s as regular music files.

Steps to take:

  1. Move the podcast mp3's out of the /podcasts/ folder to a temporary folder.
  2. In iTunes, delete these mp3's
  3. Using the Mp3tag utility (if your on Windows), remove the ITUNESPODCAST tag from the mp3s in the temporary folder (select all the files, right-click, select Extended tags, highlight the tag and click the delete icon, apply) and while you're there, fix all the other id3 tags as well.
  4. In iTunes, import the mp3's from the temporary folder.
OK, it would be nice to be able to do this from iTunes, but it's a start and it beats converting the podcast mp3's to AAC. It should be possible by scripting iTunes.

Mp3tag works like a charm and is very fast. You can rename your mp3 files by using the information in the id3 tags (e.g. "%artist% - %album% - %title%) and you can automatically update the id3 tags by extracting the information from the mp3 file name.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

convert podcast to music file in itunes

(Look at the update at the end of this post!)

Maybe it's just me, but I had a hard time trying to move a couple of Sufjan Stevens mp3 files that came with my Hype Machine/Popular Blog Tracks podcast subscription in iTunes 7.0.1 to my "normal" music library.

Browsing to the mp3 files on my hard drive and then importing them in iTunes did not work. Although in my iTunes Music Library.xml file all references to the original podcast mp3's where gone, the imported files would re-appear as podcast mp3's (complete with podcast description et al).

Maybe the mp3 files contained an id3 tag that signaled their original source to iTunes? Maybe there were still some metadata lingering in my iTunes Library.itl file (a cleanup of the library index did not help either).

What worked for me was this:

  1. iTunes: in the Podcast library make the necessary corrections to the attributes (Artist, Album...) of the podcast mp3's you want to convert to plain music files
  2. iTunes: select all relevant mp3 files in the Podcast library - right-click + "Convert Selection to AAC" - wait for the processing to finish
  3. Windows Explorer (or similar): move the new AAC file(s) out of the directory structure which contains your iTunes Media Library.
  4. iTunes: delete the original podcast mp3 files
  5. iTunes: import (via "File" + "Add Folder to Library" or via drag-and-drop) the new AAC file(s). They will be added to your main music library and no longer appear as podcast entries.
Hope this helps.

(Update at 8pm - Oh dear... This just came up on my radar: a less time-consuming way to do the conversion because there's no AAC conversion: There's one caveat, though: when converting id3 tags to v1.0, the max. length of attributes (album title, artist name...) is a lot shorter than what we're used to. This way of converting is no option for me.)