Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Recently I discovered that my iTunes Library contains songs with the MPEG-1, Layer 2 format.
It's impossible to sync them to my iPod. So I want to convert them to AAC or MP3.
But therefor I need a list of all songs that have that format.

Is there any way to get a list of all MPEG-1 Layer 2 formatted tracks in my iTunes library? To make things a little bit harder, they all have mp3 as extension.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the files have mp3 as the extension, mdfind kMDItemContentType==public.mp2 or searching for kind:mp2 in Finder won't work either.

You could try using mplayer's command line utility. It can be installed with Homebrew or other package managers.

IFS=$'\n'; for f in $(find ~/Music -name *.mp3); do mplayer -identify -frames 0 "$f" 2> /dev/null | grep -q 'layer-2 audio' && echo mv "$f" ~/Desktop/; done

share|improve this answer
totally awesome, worked like a charm. thank you. – Matthias Bauch Oct 19 '12 at 4:53

You can make a smart playlist with;

Media Kind : is : Music

Kind : contains : MPEGenter image description here

I do not know if you can specify "MPEG-1 Layer 2", but it couldn't hurt to try.

share|improve this answer
unfortunately MPEG matches mp3 too. And anything else (e.g. "Layer 2", "Layer" or just "2") does yield no results at all. – Matthias Bauch Oct 17 '12 at 20:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.