Tool #2: Converting MIDI to mp3 in Finale/iTunes

I know that mp3 files are hated among audiophiles because of their low quality audio, and especially since storage and file size is of little consequence in today’s world of multi-gigabyte flash drive music players, fast internet, and many affordable external hard drives in excess of one terabyte of capacity.

However, I often find the need to post MIDI files on my website, whether to collaborate with other artists/composers/performers or share my latest work before it gets performed.  Finale 2010 (and I assume more recent versions too) has an option to export your piece as both MIDI and audio files, but only once in a blue moon does it give me the option of saving as .mp3 (I don’t know why).  Most of the time I’m stuck exporting the MIDI in Finale as .aiff.  This is fine for most purposes, but If I want a file that people can download off my website faster (would you rather stream 100mb or 10 mb?), I prefer to convert it to .mp3.

I used to do this in Logic, but I found a quicker way–it can be a bit cumbersome or at least time-consuming opening Logic.  Here’s how I make .mp3s of MIDI files now (this is the Mac version):

In Finale:

File>Export to Audio File.  Save as .aiff, in a place you can remember.

In iTunes:

Command O (or File>Add to Library).  Find the file and import it.

Command , (or ITunes (in the menu bar)>Preferences).

Click on “Import Settings“.

Change “Import Using” from its current setting to “MP3 Encoder“.

Hit Ok twice to get out of Preferences.

Right click on the track you imported and click “Create MP3 Version“.

It will convert it for you.

**Don’t forget to change your importing preferences back to the settings you want them at before you do your next import (ripping a CD, etc.) because it will still be importing things to .mp3.  While I do use the .mp3 format for my website music, I prefer higher quality audio for all other things that I play locally on my computer (I like my ripped CDs at better quality).**

….Aaaaaand you’re done!  If you want to find your file in Finder, right click on the newly created track and select: “Show in Finder“.  You now have an mp3 of your MIDI at your disposal!

Questions?  Comments?

Thanks for reading; I hope this helps!


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