How to export MP3's from iTunes playlists

Tuesday, 13th November 2012
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Have you ever wanted to export a playlist to a USB stick but can't find a solution? It's easier than you may think.

As we all know iTunes completely revolutionalised the way we organise our music. Like many early adopters, the thought of moving away from iTunes is a painful thought - all those hours of organising would be wasted right? But creating MP3's for non-iTunes devices has been a hassle, and with so many different devices available to us (smartphones, tablets, cheap usb mp3 players, etc) sometimes syncing a device to iTunes is not an option and creating mp3 CD's just to copy the songs back onto a USB can be annoying.

However, in typical Apple fashion, just because there is no option in the UI / menu / right click - doesn't mean it can't be done. Yes, just to be clear, you can actually create a folder of mp3's quite easily. 

What I used to do:

  1. In iTunes: navigate to the song I want, right click and select 'Show in Finder' (Mac) or 'Show in Windows Explorer' (Windows)
  2. Now I can see the physical file and it's location and copy that file into a folder on my desktop
  3. Repeat for each song

If it's an album, then no problem - by doing step 1 above all the mp3's are in that folder, but usually I want mp3's from different albums so this could take a long time if I was making a mp3 folder of say 100 songs.

What I do now:

  1. In iTunes: Highlight the songs I want (from the entire library or just a playlist/album) and then simply drag the songs into an empty folder on my desktop

Job done

Remember: If you are burning the songs to a MP3 CD then you can just right click on a playlist and choose 'Burn to CD' instead, and then choose 'MP3 CD' instead of 'Audio CD'

About the Author

Rix Banga's picture

Rix Banga is a husband, father, son and brother. This blog is a collection of his personal thoughts, opinions, reviews and hub for pointing to things online. For professional work visit where Rix offers freelance services in graphic design, photography and web.

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