How to Cut & Edit MP3 Files

Written by joel douglas
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MP3 (MPEG Audio-Layer 3) files store CD-quality audio in a compressed file format. MP3s reduce the size of the original audio file by removing audio frequencies in the recording undetectable by the human ear. You can use MP3 files to quickly access your music collection on your computer, without having to insert a CD each time you listen to an album. Many portable audio devices also support MP3 files, letting you listen to them on the go. Use audio-editing software to cut, edit and mix MP3 files.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Download the free, open-source program Audacity. It supports cutting and splicing of audio files in MP3, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, WAV and AIFF formats. You also can apply sound effects such as reverb, delay, noise removal and bass boost to enhance audio files on your computer. The built-in Beat Analyzer will change the tempo of your audio files on a beats-per-minute basis. Audacity doubles as a full-featured studio program, letting you record and mix live audio on your computer and save the results to a compressed or uncompressed audio file.

  2. 2

    Install the freeware program mp3DirectCut. It lets you directly edit MP3 files without requiring you to first convert them to an uncompressed format, such as WAV or AIFF. Mp3DirectCut will adjust the volume and remove sections of an MP3 file. It can also split a single file into multiple tracks or join multiple files into one. You can normalise multiple MP3s to standardise the volume level of each track. Mp3DirectCut supports ID3-tag editing, giving you control over the track and artist information stored within each file.

  3. 3

    Use MP3 Wav Editor. It supports compressed MP3 files or uncompressed audio in WAV format. MP3 Wav Editor can split a single audio file into multiple tracks, or you can use it to join multiple tracks into a single file. The program also lets you rip CDs to your computer and connects to the CDDB database to automatically name audio files based on track and artist information. You also can use its built-in ID3-tag editor to manually edit this same information. The developers offer a free trial version of MP3 Wav Editor.

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