iTunes Smart Playlist based on encoder/file format (aka “Kind”)

I’m working on digitizing my 700+ CD collection (oy vey!). I may go into greater detail about that whole process in another post, but here’s a quick tip for now. If you want to isolate the songs in your iTunes library based on their file type (like MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, etc.), you can do so with a Smart Playlist. But there’s a bit of a trick here, you need to know the magic string to type into the “Kind” field of the playlist. The folks over at Mac OS X Hints have done the work for us. Here’s a pretty table:

File Type “Kind” string
AAC AAC audio file
AIFF AIFF audio file
Apple Lossess Apple Lossless audio file Audible file
MP3 MPEG audio file
Radio Stream MPEG audio stream
WAV WAV audio file

Another way to get the magic string is to simply view the Get Info window of the file in question. But as Doug Adams of Doug’s Applescripts for iTunes pointed out, you can’t copy and paste that. So he whipped up this bit of code. Paste this code into the Script Editor and run it while the track in question is playing in iTunes:
tell application "iTunes"
display dialog "Current track's kind is:" default answer ((get kind of current track) as string)
end tell

If you have other file types not listed here, please comment with their magic string so I may compile them here. Thanks!

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