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Even though the mixer or mastering house doesn't do any encoding directly, Apple has provided a set of tools that can be used to hear what the final product will sound like when it's encoded. That way any adjustments can be made to the master before it's submitted to iTunes to ensure that it sounds its best. We're going to cover most of these tools separately in the following movies, and you can find them at apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes. Along with the mastering tools, be sure to also download the AU Lab tool as it acts as a host for one of the most important utilities, AURoundTrip.
Included in the mastering tools are two utilities: AFconvert, and AFclip, that can only be accessed via the Terminal program in Mac OS X. The vast majority of mastering engineers don't find these tools particularly useful since they require some UNIX command line knowledge, so we're going to skip them in our movies.
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