Regardless of whether you hear it or not, in all practical cases, your audio track literally loses fidelity when you convert a WAV to an MP3.

There are probably other good methods. Here is my usual method, on Mac OS Monterey (Desktop)

My usual method:

  1. Check the Advanced file import settings in Apple Music (aka iTunes)
  2. Edit the Import Settings
  3. Edit the new MP3 track's metadata
  4. File -> Convert Track

Simple, once you know.

Why you might want to try this?

Fidelity is not quality. Quality is not fidelity.

It's one of those situations where there is a strong correlation between the two. But there are outliers. And sometimes, you have a reason for creating those outliers.

Mine: An FM music radio station in the United Kingdom is going to play my new single 🍾πŸ₯‚

The curator asked me to send a <50MB WAV file or a high quality 320+ MP3. The WAV file for my final mastered track is ~60MB. So I couldn't just send the master. I needed to convert it to an MP3.

From experience, I know there are a lot of ways to do this wrong.

A better method: I can't find one quickly enough.

Understanding the practical difference between bit rate, variable bit rate and iTunes custom settings.

This is NOT how you want to save your MP3's!!! 😑

What was the original goal of the mp3?

To make the file size smaller. And I assume most of the new stuff contributes to that.

If I want my WAV file to stay as close to the original as it is, then I select the highest setting and turn off any "corrections".

My track is perfect. Don't touch it, iTunes algorithms.

Here's what my settings look like now. For the best quality.

I thought against checking the Smart Encoding Adjustments. I'm not looking to reduce file size. I'm trying to maintain the highest quality.

I'm not filtering out frequencies, because even though you can't hear them, it is said that you can feel them. I'm not trying to save storage space. So I'm leaving those frequencies in tact.

Export to MP3

I always found the way Apple Music/iTunes handles library files to be a bit unintuitive. And it seems to change from release to release. Today, you can find it in the File menu:

File -> Convert -> Create MP3 Version

The new MP3 file will automatically get added to iTunes. But it will NOT automatically be added to the playlist, your current view. The easiest way to find it is to review your "recently added".

After you find your file, it's best-practice to check and edit the metadata. all of the metadata.

Edit the metadata

Depending on the use-case, this can be optional. But for any files you plan on distributing (like the one I plan on sending the radio station) you should edit both the filename and the metadata.

Edit the track metadata

You can even add embedded artwork on the mp3!

That's all. Hope that helped.

Questions/Comments? Let me know: