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Setting iTunes Import Preferences > Selecting an Encoder - Pg. 39

iTunes: Burning Down the House 3. 39 4. 5. Use the Configuration pop-up menu to choose the quality level of the encoding; your options are Good, Better, High, or Custom (you'll learn about the Custom option in the next section). When you make your choice, the Settings area of the dialog will provide information about the encoding level that you have selected. If the "Play Songs While Importing" checkbox is checked, the music that you encode will play while you are encoding it. Click OK to close the dialog. When you encode files in the MP3 format, the setting you selected will be used. TIP You can vary the encoding quality level that you use from album to album or even from song to song. For example, if you want to play certain songs on a portable MP3 player, you might want to use a lower quality level for those songs so that you can download more of them to the player. Or, you might want to create one version of the tracks at low quality levels and another version at high quality levels. You could then create a low-quality playlist to import to an MP3 player. Configuring Custom Levels of MP3 Encoding In almost all cases, you can stick with one of the three standard quality levels. However, you can also customize the MP3 encoder to squeeze the most quality out of the smallest file sizes for the specific kind of music you are dealing with. To create custom encoding settings, repeat the previous steps up to Step 3. Instead of choosing one of the standard quality levels, choose Custom. You will see the MP3 Encoder dialog (see Figure 2.10).