Help: Managing Apple Music Files

What is the best practices for the following scenario:

I have backed up my lossless Apple music files from a dedicated external 1GB Hard Drive (dedicated HD) to another 1GB HD (backup HD).

I now want to import music to my laptop PC from the back up HD but want to compress the files (to 256 or 320kbps AAC??).

What compression do you think I should use? These files will be used to import music to my Iphone and other Ipods since I use my laptop to manage my Iphone syncs. I have around 600 GB of losslees music on my HD's but only want to use 100 gigs or less on my laptop and will filter out about one fourth of these files in the transfer (600GB minus 150GB= 450GB to compress and transfer). I will also listen to these files on my laptop while traveling etc...

What is the best way to do this? I was told that I would need to compress these files while still on the the back up HD and then import the compressed files to my laptop. Then erase the compressed files and go back and back up the loss less files from the dedicated HD.

By the way, I am using Carbon Copy Cloner to manage back ups and Mac Drive 8 to enable the PC laptop to manage the MAC formatting of my hard drives… are these the best software for these tasks?

Thanks, Doug
Use MAX. It can translate any format to any format - and it is free. It works on Mac only. I believe that you can run it in batch mode since I was able to convert a lot of files from FLAC to ALAC by selecting all of them, right click and "Open with .. Max".

I' also using Carbon Copy and it works great so far.
Or xld
Is xld pc compatable? It seems to me that would take multiple steps out of my process.

If I use Max I would need to erase the back up (on the back up HD)and then, utilizing Max, download on the back up HD the compressed targeted files and then move that to the PC and then erase those files and back up the dedicated hard drive again.

Do I have this right?
This is really simple. Import all the full resolution files to your laptop making sure that the the settings are such that you don't copy on import (last tab). This is relatively fast

You then select all the tracks in iTunes and ask it to convert to your desired format. This will take a long time (hours) at the end of which you will have two copies of each track with different bitrate.

Add bitrate to the column selection and remove all the 1441kbps entries (this will not remove the files since you didn't copy them in the first place).

I do all this on a single computer for both ripped DVDs and music by using two login IDs (so they have different iTunes setup). You may decide to do this on your desktop even if the final destination is the laptop if your desktop is significantly faster than the laptop.
Mozartrules- "Import all the full resolution files to your laptop"

I don't have that much space on my laptop. I need to compress it before it hits my laptop.
Mozartrules - I agree that converting in ITunes might be the simplest but how do we import the files? What about leaving files where they are and just give Itunes on the laptop wireless (or network cable) access to them by sharing backup drive. Itunes is perhaps slower than wireless anyway. According to my calculations wireless transfer of 650GB would take at least 32 hours but this amount of ALAC data is equal to about 2000 CDs. 32hrs=1920min so it comes to about minute per CD for Itunes to convert - sounds about right.

Max on the Mac would convert faster and transfer would take many times less since data is compressed about 4-5 times (remaining space on external hard drive can be used for temporary storage). Better yet make MAX or Itunes to compress it and deliver to different location that would be laptop's shared drive over wireless. I would use 256kbs with VBR.
Connect to backup drive to the laptop (I assume it is USB) and import all the files. iTunes will with the correct setting not copy the files to the laptop, it will just show that they can be played. This means that they will show up in iTunes even if you disconnect the backup drive, but it will fail if you try to play the music without the drive. Your laptop harddrive will not use any space for the music files!

But I think you should use my suggestion of setting up a second user (mine is called 'iPhone Admin') on your desktop and simply have both sets of files there where they can be backed up.

Is there a reason that you need the files on the laptop other than moving them to the iPhone? The second user with the compressed files works fine (which is what I do) and that makes it easier to generate the compressed version when you add new music to the library. My desktop is my only computer.
Mozartrules "Is there a reason that you need the files on the laptop other than moving them to the iPhone?"

Two reasons:
1. I want to change the content on my Iphone from time to time and it is easier if I can do that from my laptop since, as I mentioned, I use my laptop to keep my Iphone synched.

2. I travel with my laptop and it would be nice to have the majority of my music collection with me.
Lokie - transfering 600GB to laptop is not the best approach. Connecting USB drive to laptop might not work since formats are different. Use Itunes on the Mac with output pointing to shared directory on the laptop (wireless or Ethernet). That way you transfer much smaller - compressed data.
Kijanki- "transfering 600GB to laptop is not the best approach."

It's not 600 GB, it's 450 GB of uncompressed music. I'm trying to compress that to under 100GB.

"Connecting USB drive to laptop might not work since formats are different."


"Use Itunes on the Mac with output pointing to shared directory on the laptop (wireless or Ethernet)."

Sound reasonable as I have Ethernet going to both computers. How do I point output to shared directory?

"That way you transfer much smaller - compressed data."

Loki - OK 450GB of uncompressed music. All I'm saying is to compress it on the MAC pointing ITunes output to Laptop's directory. You need to make laptop visible to MAC allowing particular directory to be shared - so that MAC can write to it. If you connect them with Ethernet cable be sure that it is the right one (not a patch cable) since receive and transmit lines have to be crossed.

Hard Disks, as I understand it, unless both have FAT32 (a really bad format) MAC's external disk has MAC Extended format while your PC laptop has NTFS. Both are nice (since journaled) but AFAIK PC cannot read MAC drive directly (but there are applications for that like MACDrive8)