Mac Tip: Encode Audio Files In Mac OS X Lion Directly In The Finder

Posted in How To on 23/01/2012 by Mark Greentree


This Mac tip is provided by Mark Greentree and was originally posted on Mark’s blog – Everyday Mac Support. For more of Mark’s tips visit his site, follow him on Twitter, or browse his archive of posts here.

How To: Encode Audio Files In Mac OS X Lion Directly In The Finder

A new feature of Mac OS X Lion is the ability for users to select an audio file in their Finder and simply encode the file in question to a series of four preset options without the requirement of opening additional applications such as GarageBand.

Simply take your compatible audio file and select the file in the Finder then right click which will bring up the following drop down menu:

As shown above simply highlight and select “Encode Selected Audio Files” which will then present the following window of options to you.

By default, high quality, will be presented. However, you can click the drop down menu and be presented with three other options also. These other options are iTunes Plus, Apple Lossless, and Spoken Podcast.

– High-Quality will encode the audio file in question to be 128 kbps 41.1 Khz AAC.

– iTunes Plus will encode the audio file in question to be 256 kbps 44.1 Khz AAC.

– Apple Lossless will encode the audio file in question to have no compress applied.

– Spoken Podcast will encode the audio file in question to be ABR 22.05 Khz AAC.

By default, the new encoded version of the audio file will be saved in the same location as the source file. You can however change the location to be of your choosing by deselecting the “Same as source file” tick box.

You can also request the source files be deleted after the encoding has taken place. I would advise you don’t chose this option. It is always advisable to make sure that the audio quality is fine on the new version before deleting your source file.

When ready to proceed simply press Continue and your new encoded file will be created.

Unfortunately, there is no progress bar which will be shown as the encoding is taking place so you will not know when the conversion is complete. That is until you attempt to open the file and playback the media in question. Hopefully, this will be something that Apple will address and update in future updates of the operating system.


Mark Greentree

Mark Greentree is the principle blogger and podcast creator of Everyday Mac Support. His aim is to inform users at all levels of experience how to get the most out of the Apple hardware and associated software. He is the lead host of Not Another Mac Podcast, an Apple based round table discussion with Mac users and experts from all over world.