iTunes Transcoding Lossless to AAC Workflow

My iTunes library is massive (when compared to the capacity of an 80GB iPod). Nearly all of my songs are in Apple Lossless so as you can imagine, it is not hard to have more songs than my iPod will hold in the lossless format. Being familiar with other media managers, I expected to be able to transcode my files on-the-fly to a lower bitrate version with iTunes however I was let down by the lack of support in this area. I also detested the idea of maintaining two different libraries, a lossless master and the other for my iPod.

After countless hours scouring Google I finally found a solution that will bring a limited implementation of this to iTunes: the Lossless to AAC workflow by Doug Adams. This neat little applescript will integrate with iTunes and allow you to highlight the lossless songs in your library and have them transcoded to AAC and copied to your iPod on-the-fly so that you don’t have to maintain two seperate libraries.

Lossless to AAC workflow tutorial


There used to be images, but they were lost and have been removed. Sorry!

  1. Download the Lossless to AAC workflow by Doug Adams.
  2. Extract and install the Lossless to AAC workflow (iTunes -> iPod) and others if desired.
  3. Close and restart iTunes.
  4. Set the AAC Encoder as the default encoder and your preferred settings
    1. Goto iTunes in the menu bar and Preferences.
    2. Click on Advanced and then the importing tab.


  1. *Optional* – Enable the “kind” view option
    1. Goto View in the menu bar and select View Options and check the Kind box.
    2. You could also use a smart playlist
  2. Select the Apple Lossless songs that you want transcoded to your iPod.
  3. Go to the script button on the menu bar and select Lossless to AAC workflow (iTunes -> iPod)
  4. Highlight “Convert to AAC” and “Add AACs to iPod”
  5. Get out and have some fine while the script does all the dirty work for you!

Side Notes

  • Keep in mind that I’m running Mac OS X 10.4.10 and iTunes 7.4.2.
  • There is currently no easy way to get rid of the import completed sound in iTunes.
  • There is no synchronization support so you’ll have to transcode files as you add new material to your library. I am considering writing some Automator actions to support this in the future.
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