If you ever need a specific file type for use in an audio editing program or other multimedia program, you may need to convert your audio file from MP3 to WAV or vice versa.  iTunes, which is available for both Mac and Windows users – can do the job for you.

When you import a CD into iTunes, the default import setting is:

  • Import as AAC (Mac)
  • Import as MP3 (PC)

You can easily check the format of the songs already in your iTunes library by switching on one of the View columns.  Go to View > View Options and check the box next to Kind. Click OK.  You may need to re-size the other columns in order to view the Kind column.

1. Change iTunes Settings

To change a song, from MP3 into a WAV or AIFF file, you’ll need to change the import settings in iTunes:

  • Go to iTunes > Preferences (Mac) or Edit > Preferences (PC) and click on the General tab
  • Click on the Import settings button in the lower half of the window

In the next window, click on the “Import Using” drop-down menu and select AIFF Encoder if you’re using a Mac or WAV Encoder if you’re using a PC.  Click OK and then click OK again to close the Preferences window.

2. Convert the song

  • Find the song in your iTunes library that you want to convert
  • Right-click on the song and choose Create AIFF version (Mac) or Create WAV version (PC)
  • Be aware that some purchased songs are “protected” and won’t allow you to create a new formatted version

3. NB: Change import settings back again

It’s really important to change your import settings back again once you’ve converted the song, otherwise everything you import into iTunes from now on will be a WAV or AIFF file and your iTunes library will be enormous!

To change it back:

  • Go to iTunes > Preferences (Mac) or Edit > Preferences (PC) and click on the Import settings button
  • From the “Import Using” drop-down menu select Import as AAC (Mac) or Import as MP3 (PC)

4. Locating the contents of  your iTunes library

When you need to directly access the songs in your iTunes library, you’ll need to know where they are located on your computer.  You can’t just drag a song from the iTunes window into another program.

The location of the music files is as follows:

  • Mac OSX – /Users/username/Music/iTunes/iTunes Library
  • Windows XP – C:Documents and SettingsusernameMy DocumentsMy MusiciTunesiTunes Media
  • Windows Vista – C:UsersusernameMusiciTunesiTunes Media
  • Windows 7 – C:UsersusernameMy MusiciTunesiTunes Media

And if you can’t remember the above locations, you can always right-click on a song in your iTunes window and select Get Info. The location of the song is listed on the Summary tab: