importing artist/LP and song title to ITunes

I AM NOT the most computer savvy guy in the world…perhaps I was born too early(1949)…but using latest version of audacity and Windows 7 and trying to import directly into ITunes. After recording and naming the cuts can I somehow import directly into ITunes or do I have to import into a newly or previously created file ten into ITunes? Seems like no matter what I try all ever get is Track 1, Track 2 etc with most of the metadata not shown. I have been usinf WAV files when trying to do this. Should I try MP3 or is there some other problem/limitation I am not aware of? A step by step explanation would be EXTREMELY useful for this old man. Not to mention my extreme gratitude. I have over 2500 LP’s,need I say more?

I suggest you have a look at which covers most of your points.

Export as AIFF (if you want a large, lossless file) or MP3 (if you want a smaller, degraded quality file) to get more complete metadata in iTunes.


I have over 2500 LP’s,

Holy smokes!!! That’s a lot of work!

Optionally, you can edit the metadata directly in iTunes. I don’t remember the exact steps, but it wasn’t too hard. (I only use iTunes to “synch” my iPod.) Or, [u]Mp3Tag[/u] is a nice little utility that can tag most file formats, but last time I tried it wouldn’t tag WAVs.

And, once you have the artist/album/title information iTunes will attempt to find & load the album artwork from Apple’s online database.

…If you can’t find the album artwork online, an album cover is too big for a normal scanner but you can scan it in parts and use [u]photo stitching[/u] software to re-assemble the image. (I tried Kinko’s, but they wouldn’t do it because it’s copyrighted artwork.)

Tagging is not well-supported for WAV files, but I’ve never tried tagging in WAV and transferring to iTunes. And, I don’t know anything abut tagging in AIFF.

Should I try MP3 or is there some other problem/limitation I am not aware of?

As you probably know, MP3 is lossy compression… It’s up to you, but I kind-of think it’s a good idea to “archive” a lossless copy (I’ve usually made a CD, which is lossless), even if you choose MP3 or AAC for iTunes listening

Some things to think about…

ALAC (Apple Lossless) or FLAC are good archive formats because they are lossless, tagging is well-supported, and the files are about 60% of the uncompressed size.

If you do choose a lossless format or make a lossless archive you can always change your mind later and convert to another format with without accumulating degradation (and without re-recording).

I made a rough estimate, and I’d estimate you’ll need about 1TB for “CD quality” files (44.1kHz, 16-bit, stereo, WAV or AIFF), 600GB for FLAC or ALAC, and 200GB for MP3 or AAC. And of course, you’ll want a back-up because you don’t want to go through this twice!

MP3 (and AAC) is lossy, although a high-quality* MP3 made from a CD will often sound identical to the CD (or WAV) in a scientific, blind, level-matched listening test. (Some people think the difference is “obvious,” but usually they’ve never done a blind listening test or they’d know how hard it is to hear the difference.)

MP3 compression artifacts are subtle, and not nearly as bad as the “snap”, “crackle”, and “pop”, from LPs. So, you could consider that MP3 is better than LP and decide that MP3 is good enough for an LP archive… That’s for you to decide.

If you are making MP3s or AAC, do that as the LAST STEP and save any intermediate files as lossless. Any editing, EQ, noise reduction, etc, should be done before lossy compression. When you open a compressed file for editing it has to be decompressed. If you you re-save (re-export) in a lossy format you are going through another generation of lossy compression.

AAC is slightly-less universal than MP3 (i.e. your car stereo might play MP3, but not AAC, etc.). But, AAC might have some advantages. The quality might be slightly better.** And, I believe “gapless playback” is better supported with AAC. MP3 adds a few milliseconds of silence to the beginning and end of the file (and if you try to edit it out, it comes back). That’s undesirable when playing a live album with continuous applause between tracks or when playing an album where one song flows continuously into the next.

Audacity has a Click Removal Effect (filter) and a Repair effect, or there are specialized applications for cleaning-up the “snap”, crackle", and “pop”. The regular Noise Reduction effect can sometimes help too, but sometimes you’ll get artifacts so it’s something you just have to try on each record.

I have an application called Wave Corrector (affordable, but not free) and another “manual” tool that wouldn’t be practical for 2500 albums. Audacity’s Repair effect is also manual, so you’d only want to use it in special situations. Click Repair is another popular & affordable option. [u]This page[/u] has several vinyl clean-up recommendations and tons of other information about digitizing LPs. These tools are not perfect, but they usually make a big improvement.

Some older records are a bit “dull” sounding, so I’ll also sometimes use the Equalizer to add 3dB - 6dB of high-frequency boost. And, I always normalize the album as a whole (after noise reduction & EQ) for "maximized’ 0dB peaks.


  • The “best” settings are 320kbps CBR or V0 CBR. (But, we can’t always say 320kbps is better than 224kbps if they both happen to sound identical to the original, and we can’t tell until we listen.)

** At higher bitrates, both formats will probably sound identical to the original.

I have 100,000 LP’s but thankfully I don’t intend to digitize most of them.

Right-click over the song in iTunes, then click Get Info… then click “Details”.