I've ripped some of my CDs into iTunes but I don't actually own an ipod. In order to get these songs onto my mp3 player I'd like to convert them to mp3s.

Is there a tool that lets me do a 'batch mp3 export' of my itunes library?

For the record, this is not a veiled attempt to circumvent DRM. :) None of my music has come from the iTunes Store.

Bonus points if the tool lets me specify the format of the names of the files it outputs. For example:

<tracknumber> <song title> - <artist>.mp3
  • What format did you import as? AAC? Apple Lossless?
    – Troggy
    Commented Jul 30, 2009 at 20:53
  • Some modern mp3 players also support aac files, might just want to check your player specs just to make sure.
    – Troggy
    Commented Jul 30, 2009 at 20:57

3 Answers 3


iTunes itself can do that. I presume you ripped your songs without changing the import settings in preferences, and they got ripped as AAC, right? Just go to Preferences, Import Settings:


Set it to Import Using MP3 Encoder, and select the quality setting you want.

Import Using

Now you can right-click a bunch of songs in your library, and select “Create MP3 Version” to convert them all.

Create MP3 Version

This also affects any CDs you import from now on, so I’d suggest re-ripping them directly to MP3 instead of converting your existing files, to avoid any further loss of quality from converting from AAC to MP3.


You could use a simple shell script, like this:

for f in $(find -name \*.m4a "$itunes_folder"); do
    lame $f $output_folder/

Where wherever on the first line is replaced with wherever the iTunes Library is stored. (Sorry, I'm not a Mac.)

To run the script, save it as "mp3.sh" in your home directory, open Terminal, and type:

$ cd
$ chmod +x mp3.sh
$ ./mp3.sh

For this you'll need LAME (Lame Ain't An MP3 Encoder) installed and in your PATH. If you need any help with the script, please comment.

You can download LAME for the Mac from their website - http://lame.sourceforge.net/links.php#Binaries.


iTunes can do the conversion itself:

  1. Select "Preferences" (this is under the iTunes menu on a Mac, under the File menu (I think) on Windows).
  2. In the "General" tab, click "Import Settings..."
  3. From the "Import Using" selection list, choose "MP3 encoder" and click OK. Click OK again to exit Preferences.
  4. Select the tracks you want to convert to mp3s.
  5. From the "Advanced" menu, choose "Create MP3 version".
  6. Create a Smart Playlist for which Kind equals MP3.
  7. Select File->Library->Export Playlist.

That's pretty much it.

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