ITunes crashes while converting files

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Converting files from AIFF to either AAC or Apple Lossless. iTunes will convert a few songs, then stall, freeze, and the only thing to do is hard shut-down. Force Quit doesn't work, Finder freezes as well.

I've been trying to sort this out for more than two weeks. I've run Disk Utility, TechTool Pro, Disk Warrior, and Applejack. I've disconnected all peripherals except keyboard/mouse. I've used a keyboard/mouse from another computer. I've created new "clean" User Account(s) to test for corruption in my primary User account. I've uninstalled and reinstalled iTunes 8.0.2. I've done an Archive & Install. All to no avail -- iTunes takes a dive every time I convert. All other iTunes functions seem to be behaving normally.

I have a Thursday appointment at a local Genius Bar, but I was in there Jan 30th and couldn't get iTunes to crash! The only difference was that the computer was using their power supply and their keyboard/mouse.

Any and all suggestions welcome.
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