You know the phrase "Breaking up is hard to do?" Well, it likely applies to migrating an iTunes collection to the Zune. Recall that if you've been an iPod user, you likely purchased some tracks from the iTunes store. While lately they can be had in the universal mp3 format, they probably were acquired in Apple's AAC format, which will come up with an ".mp4" extension. Unfortunately, this prevents a seamless transfer as the Zune can't play these, and there are DRM issues as well to contend with.
One possible work around has been known for some time. The iTunes software allows you to burn tracks in the library onto a CD. Once that is done, then it can be reripped into a more Zune friendly format. Personally, I often rip my tracks to 160 kbps, VBR which stands for variable bit recording. I find that this provides the best combination between file size and audio quality.
The downside of this is that while it is fine for a CD or two worth of tracks, with a larger collection, it becomes a multiyear project. You know, the kind of thing that gets started but never finished, and goes on just about forever- not good. Certainly there must be an easier way...
This article goes through this challenge, and makes a software recommendation. However, their recommended program goes for $35, which is more than some users may want to go for who don't have large collections. Thankfully there is a freeware program to the rescue. I can recommend Free M4a to MP3 converter. It is quite fast, and does the job quickly without lots of bells and whistles to get in the way of efficiency.
Armed with the above info, now Zune users can dump their iTunes tracks into their Zune software with minimal effort.