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Convert songs at higher bit-rates in iTunes 10.6

The recently released iTunes 10.6 has plenty of notable new features, including support for 1080p video and some tweaks to iTunes Match. But many music lovers will appreciate one new feature in particular: In the past, you could automatically convert songs with a high bit-rate to a more manageable 128 kbps when syncing them to an iPod or iOS device. Now, with iTunes 10.6, you have three bit-rate options for that conversion: 128, 192 and 256 kbps.

To access this feature, connect an iPod (or iPhone or iPad) to iTunes, select the device, and go to its Summary tab. At the bottom of that window, in the Options section, you'll see the Convert Higher Bit Rate Songs To option. If you select that option, you can then choose the bit-rate you want from a drop-down menu.

Many iTunes users have been hoping for this option for a while. If you have a lossless library, it allows you to convert audio tracks with higher quality when you sync your iOS device. Note that this conversion can take a long time the first time around, but subsequent syncs will be much faster.

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