I have a large iTunes library of lossless music. Some of it is 24-bit, which does not work on iPhones nor with Google Play (most audio is 16-bit, and this metric only applies to lossless formats). I'd like to isolate the 24-bit files so that I can convert them to 16-bit formats. How can I find them?

iTunes is aware of this as "sample size" - it appears in each file's "get info" under "File" tab. However, it is not a sortable column. It is not in Finder "get info."

  • Using the appropriate filters in Finder search, does not do anything (all files appear), or, perhaps I'm not doing it right, in which case please tell me how!

  • I know about the auto downsampling option for iPhone sync, which is great, except that it forces you to a lossy format (max 256 kbps). There is no option for 16-bit lossless downsampling, and this does not help at all with Google Play.

  • My files are in Apple Lossless format (Some were converted from FLAC using XLD and some were ripped from CD directly).


1 Answer 1


I've been fiddling with this all day - so far all I can say is 'I agree, Finder search does not find files by bit rate or depth'. MediaInfo will tell you - but that would be really tedious.

I did notice too, that the 'Bits per Sample' flag in Finder's column view always just shows a double dash '--'
It's fine for AIF & WAV, but not FLAC, ALAC, MP3 etc

I did think I had a late revelation…

EasyFind (freeware) can nearly do it. It generates false positives on some flac files I tested it against, but it did find all the 24-bit files… it just 'found' some 16-bit too for no reason I can discern.
Test 2, on 16 & 24-bit ALAC files - fails, doesn't even find all the 24s… back to the drawing board.

I thought I'd just post this 'non-answer' as a 'this isn't being ignored' & see if anyone else can get any further.

  • Thanks for your info! Kindly vote up the question too to give it more attention. Quite odd that Apple wouldn't support their own format. Apr 7, 2015 at 22:42
  • In my info gathering I think it was because iDevices can't play 24-bit, hardware-wise, without external DAC support. I've always tended to drop things down to AAC anyway for my iDevices, as they are only ever used in noisy environments, where I can't tell the difference.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 8, 2015 at 6:39

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