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Lossless and Lossy Audio
Lossless audio - such as .flac and .shn - transfers the exact original audio into iTunes, which gives you higher quality. Lossy audio (MP3) does not allow the exact original audio to be reconstructed from the compressed audio, resulting in a lower quality file. Using lossless audio takes up more space on the iPod Nano than an MP3 does. For most people, the MP3 format is good enough, but if you want excellent quality and the exact original you may want to consider lossless, even though it does take up more room on the iPod. For example, if you have 4000 lossless songs it uses 20-30 MB of space. Those same 4000 songs in the lossy format only uses 4-5 MB. See the difference? Most people forgo quality for the extra space. For the average person, the MP3 format is fine.
The songs you purchase from the iTunes store are in the lossless format. There is a way to convert the music from lossless to lossy.
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Using Both Formats
If you want lossless in iTunes on your computer and lossy on your iPod to save room, this is possible. The song in its original format and the newly converted song appear in your iTunes library.
Open iTunes and click Edit from the menu bar at the top and select Preferences. Click the General button and then click the Importing Settings button in the second section. Select the encoding format you prefer from the Import Using pop-up menu and click OK to save the settings.
Select one or more songs in your library and then choose one of the following:
- Create MP3 version
- Create AAC version
- Create AIFF version
- Create WAV version
- Create Apple Lossless version
The songs will then convert to the format you chose.
If you have CDs or songs in a folder that you have not imported into iTunes yet, you have the ability to import and convert the songs at the same time. This is much quicker than converting the songs one at a time. This creates a converted copy of the song in the iTunes library based on the preferences you set.
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Convert All of the Songs in a Folder or on a CD
Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click Advanced>Convert Import preference settings. The Import preference setting will be the setting you chose above. iTunes will then prompt you for the location of the folder or CD you are importing and converting. All of the songs on the CD or folder will then be converted. Some purchased songs are protected in the AAC format and will not convert to a different format. If you have purchased music from iTunes, it is not protected and will be converted into the new format.
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How Many Songs Does an iPod Nano Hold?
So, how many songs does an iPod Nano hold? As an estimate, the iPod Nano holds one minute of music per megabyte. 1000 megabytes make one gigabyte, so one minute takes up approximately 0.001 GB. For example, if the average length of each song is four minutes, each song would take up 0.004 GB, which converts to about 250 songs per GB. Therefore, a 4 GB iPod will hold approximately 1000 songs; 8 GB: 2000 songs; and 16 GB 4000 songs.
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Simple Help: Beginners Guide to Lossless Audio: http://www.simplehelp.net/2006/10/05/a-beginners-guide-to-lossless-audio/
Apple: Identifying iPod Models: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1353