I'm developing an iOS and Android app which uses custom notification sounds to provide users with step-by-step instructions.

I've recently stepped through a pretty messy process of creating these and ran into some hurdles I'm hoping to more eloquently solve.

Goal: Record some short voice instructions (need to be less than 30 seconds for iOS) and produce two versions of the same file, one .mp3 for Android and one .wav for iOS.


  1. Make voice recordings in GarageBand for iPad. I tried using the OS X version, however, you cannot import .band files created on OS X into iOS GarageBand but the reverse works. Because in the future I might want to work on both platforms, I need to use the iOS version.
  2. Share the voice recording file to iTunes using the GarageBand share option.
  3. Plug iPad into Mac. Import files from GarageBand app in File Sharing options (why they don't automatically import into iTunes escapes me, I thought that is what "Share to iTunes" meant)
  4. Because these sound files are going to be programmatically used in my app, I need to rename these files using some structured filenames which are onerous to input on the iPad keyboard. I renamed all of my files (about 70) and then drag&dropped them into iTunes.
  5. iTunes then erased all of my naming, turns out it uses a file name structure which isn't accessible in Finder.
  6. I then renamed them all and used this script to apply the filenames as the song names.
  7. Now I have an album in iTunes with my files in .m4a format (what iOS GarageBand generated), I need to create .mp3 and .wav formats.
  8. Selecting all of the songs in iTunes, there's right-click option to "Create FOO Version" where FOO is the file format option you specified in your import format preferences. Apple provided these instructions
  9. This works great for creating one new format (either mp3 or wav), but if you repeat this process (say you convert m4a to wav first, then mp3) you end up with 4 copies: song.mp4 -> song.wav -->> song.mp3, song-1.mp3 because in the second convert, both the .mp4 and .wav were converted to mp3. This could be avoided by selecting only one format in the iTunes album view but this requires manually selecting 70+ songs in my case.
  10. You can try avoiding the mess of #9 by simply moving all .wav files from the iTunes/.../Music/Your Album into a different location. However, iTunes despite being restarted, does not see this change of files. Thus, I must make a copy of the album, remove it from iTunes file paths, then delete the album from iTunes. Then move the backup back to iTunes.

Artists, I presume this is something you do regularly (create content and then need to export it various file formats). Perhaps if you're only creating a dozen or songs and putting hours into the content creation, the manual export process seems trivial. In my case, these sounds recordings are very small but there are a lot of them which leads me to automation.

Developers, does this lend itself to an Automator/Apple Script solution? I've dug around but it seems like multi-app (GarageBand, Finder, iTunes) scripts make the manual option look easy.

Or perhaps I'm missing a simple solution like doing all of this in GarageBand on OSX.

  • You could do simultaneous conversions, m4a to mp3 & wav using Max freeware. It will drop all conversions into the same folder, but it's trivial to then separate them - or process in 2 batches, moving the last one out each time. It can also handle naming & tagging. – Tetsujin Apr 14 '16 at 7:16

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