AAC file in iTunes into Audacity

Step by step, how do I migrate some AAC files from iTunes 11.3.1 into Audacity 2.0.5 on a Mac running OS X 10.9.4.

Open iTunes. Open Audacity - a new, empty project window will appear. Drag and drop the tune from iTunes to Audacity - it will be imported into a new track.

– Bill

I don’t think Audacity knows what AAC is without also adding the FFMpeg software.



I think it’s also true you can’t do that with Fair-Play copy protected files.


If FFmpeg is not installed Audacity 2.0.5 displays a warning, then uses QuickTime to import AAC files.

The only AAC files I have in iTunes are ones I’ve purchased. There is no problem importing. I believe Apple discontinued the Fair-Play DRM scheme years ago.

– Bill

I believe Apple discontinued the Fair-Play DRM scheme years ago.

The split was if you paid the traditional 99c, you had FairPlay and it wouldn’t let you copy, but if you paid $1.99, you paid for the music and the license to copy. Apple found a way to make a buck out of it — oddly enough. These are all iTunes purchases. Goodness knows if they’re still doing that. I haven’t bought music in a long time. My idea of a desirable work environment is the Public Library.

“That person’s pulse is too loud. I want them ejected!”


The alpha 2.0.6 Manual has a section copied/transferred from the Wiki (and still remaining in the Wiki until we release 2.0.6):

Importing MP4/M4A files

MP4 and M4A files can be imported directly into Audacity:

  • Windows/Linux: Follow the Windows or Linux instructions to download and install the optional FFmpeg library. Then use File > Import > Audio.
  • OS X: Just use the normal File > Import > Audio command. current Audacity now requires OS X 10.4 or later. Users on OS X 10.3 can download the previous 1.3.3 version instead.

Then import the converted files into Audacity normally from the location stated in iTunes.


I think most or all recent songs will be DRM-free, and most old FairPlay songs will be upgradeable to non-DRM. The upgrade fee is 30 cents according to Apple Unveils Higher Quality DRM-Free Music on the iTunes Store .