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TotSites & iTunes: Upload your Favorite Songs

If you want to upload your child’s favorite tune (or even your own!) to your TotSite but worry that the whole process is too technical, fear not. Depending on the source of the audio, it will require one of two very simple processes. First, we need to make sure iTunes and TotSites are speaking the same language.

Note: This article has been updated to reflect a more recent version of iTunes (version 8.0.1.11).

Do you need to download iTunes? iTunes is a Free music "center" from Apple!

NEW! You can also view a slideshow of this walkthrough - just navigate by clicking the right side of the image to go forward, left to go back. The left and right arrows on your keyboard will also work!

itunes conversion chartStep 1: Set the Right Format

Without getting into too much detail, we need to change the settings in iTunes because the program uses a default music file that isn't compatible with TotSites. So what's the difference? File size and sound quality. However, the difference in sound quality is so small that the conversion we're about to perform will hardly be noticeable.

Let’s open iTunes and get started!

  1. From the menu, select Edit > Preferences…
  2. Choose General from the tab menu, and Import Settings…, located in the "When you insert a CD" section.
  3. In the Import Using field, it should currently say "AAC Encoder." From the drop-down menu, select MP3 Encoder (this is the file type that makes TotSites happy). You can change the quality setting based on your own preferences.
  4. Click OK.

Now that we have the right settings in iTunes, let’s convert your music.

Step 2: Convert Your File(s)

This step will tell you if the conversion process will be really easy or require just a little bit more work.

  1. Right-click on the song you want to convert to MP3 format.
  2. On the pop-up menu, select Create MP3 Version. (If it doesn’t say this, go back to Step 1 and make sure you’ve selected “MP3 Encoder” as your format.) You can also left-click on the song and, from the top menu, select Advanced > Create MP3 Version.
  3. If your song begins converting (you’ll hear a ding when it completes), congratulations! You’re ready to skip to the final step and upload your music to TotSites. If it’s a song that you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store, however, you likely received the error message below:

itunes error

Don’t panic! In just a few extra steps, we’ll work around that protection (this is also useful if you have purchased music through iTunes but want to play it on an MP3 player that isn’t an iPod). All you need is a blank CD-R or CD-RW.

Step 3 (If Necessary): Create and Burn an iTunes Playlist

  1. Create a new playlist of the song(s) you want to convert. There are several ways to do this, but the most straightforward is by selecting File > New Playlist. Your new playlist will appear on the menu on the left side of the screen.
  2. To add songs to your new playlist, click and drag a song onto your TotSites playlist or right-click on the song, choose Add to Playlist and choose the appropriate one.
  3. Once finished, right-click on the playlist name and select Burn Playlist to Disc.
  4. Choose “Audio CD” for the disc format.
  5. Insert a blank CD-R or CD-RW into your CD or DVD burner drive. (Note: If you’re using a CD-RW that isn’t blank, you’ll need to erase it beforehand using your favorite CD or DVD burning software; iTunes won’t do the erasing for you.)
  6. When the CD is done burning, import these songs back into iTunes as you would import any other audio CD. If you see a message asking if you want to replace the existing songs (in iTunes format) with the new version (in MP3 format), click No. While it looks like you have duplicate songs in your music library now, one is actually the original and the other is your new TotSites-friendly MP3 version!

Final Step: Upload your Song to TotSites

  1. Log-in to your TotSite. On the menu choose Photos/Video.
  2. You can add music in either the Tasks & Tips or Manage Music sections. In Tasks & Tips, click Add Music, or in Manage Music click Add.
  3. In the first field, enter the song name or a description.
  4. To add the music file, click Browse next to the empty field and navigate to the folder where your recently converted MP3 file is stored.
  5. Click Add Music.

Optional Step: Converting back from MP3

If you’re one of those who notice the minute difference in sound quality between AAC (default iTunes format) and MP3, you might want to re-convert the music file. To do so, follow Step 1 and, where you previously changed it to MP3 Encoder select AAC Encoder.

That’s it!

Other Questions…

Q: Instead of burning a CD and reuploading the files to iTunes, why don’t I just change the advanced options to “Burn as MP3 CD”?
A: This is a good idea, but iTunes will prevent you from converting a file to MP3 using that method as well!

Q: Help! I’ve followed the directions but I can’t remember what folder my music files are stored in.
A: In iTunes, click Edit > Preferences, followed by the Advanced tab. There you will see “iTunes music folder location”.

Q: I used a CD-RW to burn my TotSites playlist, but I also want to listen to it in my home/car stereo. Why won’t it play?
A: While CD-RWs are great for this tutorial, many CD players have trouble recognizing CD-RW media. If you plan on listening to your playlist on a home or car stereo system, use a CD-R to burn the playlist instead.


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