MPEG 3 (MP3) has proven to be a popular format for encoding music and audio for computer software and portable players. Professional and amateur musicians find MP3 to be a useful way to share their performances via e-mail. Unfortunately, e-mail services usually place a maximum size limit on file attachments. An MP3 file, depending on its length and audio quality, can exceed this size. An easy solution to this limitation is to compress the file, which is a feature built in to Windows XP and later operating systems.
- Skill level:
Open your favourite file browser, such as My Computer, which is available from the “Start” button. The file window appears.
Navigate to the MP3 file that you want to compress by double-clicking drives and folders to reveal their contents.
Right-click on the file and choose “Send To” and “Compressed (zipped) Folder.” The MP3 is compressed with a Zip extension into the same folder as the original.
If you have an operating system earlier than Windows XP or if the compressed file is still too big, download, install and run a free compressor like 7-Zip. The software lets you choose several archive formats, including its own 7z, which CNET hails as 40 per cent smaller than Zip. You can also make the archive self-extracting, so e-mail recipients can click on it to open the original. They do not need a standalone decompressor.
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