New in iTunes 10.6: Auto-Conversion of Music Files to Bit Rates Other than 128

iTunes 10.6 was released yesterday, and there’s one new feature which will, I think, please a number of the readers of this blog. As you may know, when you sync an iPod, you can have iTunes automatically convert your music files to a lower bit rate, so you can save space on a portable device. Previously, the only choice you had was 128 kbps. But iTunes 10.6 offers three choices: 128, 192 and 256 kbps:

This will certainly please those who have iTunes libraries with music in lossless format, who didn’t want to downsample their music to 128 kbps. The three options available are sufficient for all users; if you want more than 256 kbps, then you’ll just sync lossless files.

Note that this conversion can take a long time, so the first sync may take hours – especially if your iPod has a lot of storage – but subsequent syncs, if you’ve only updated a small amount of your library, will be much quicker.