Trimming MP3s in QuickTime--Frustrating

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by swingerofbirch, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I'm recording lecture on a voice recorder and then importing them to my Mac. I was trying to trim them a bit in QuickTime, but it's not worked out great.

    When I open the MP3 file, I go to Edit, then Trim. It takes several minutes while it says "loading clips." I'm not sure why that is.

    Once I trim the file and click Trim, it appears as if the file has been saved in the trimmed state. There is no dark depression mark in the red close box as if the file needs to be saved. But when I go to close QuickTime, it asks me if I want to save changes. Unless you either quit QuickTime or close the red box, there is no way to save the changes. You can't manually go to File-> Save or hit command-S.

    So, I invoke save by quitting QuickTime. By default it wants to save it as a movie. It gives no description of what that means. So I chose audio only instead. It also gives no description of that (will it keep it as an MP3, does it change the bit-rate etc.).

    But it seems like the only option. Then my MacBook Pro (current model, top of the line) starts whirring and hissing (the fans). It takes a couple of minutes for a progress bar to even show up. And then it starts very slowly exporting the file. It's just an hour of audio.

    Once it's exported, I try double clicking the file and came across the attached image. (See below, I don't know how to make the image inline with text.) That took the cake! I've had the same message show up (about an unknown developer) after downloading an Airport utility made by Apple from its own web-site!

    I know how to open it (right-clicking and choosing open).

    To be clear, I'm not really looking for advice (unless there is any). I just wanted to vent about what I believe to be bugs in Mac OS X.

    I've experienced other very similar bugs with QuickTime in Mountain Lion and tried reporting them through Apple's engineering teams.

    Does anyone else use QuickTime for recording, editing, etc? Have you noticed these types of issues? I feel like there must be very few people who use it, or it would have been fixed.

    For example, another bug is that if you record a video, audio file, or screen recording with QuickTime, it does not automatically save the file as the OS X Help manual says it does (and as it always had before). And there's no option to save it either. Again, the only option is to export, either through File-> Export or by closing the window (which again gives you no indication the file hasn't already been saved).

    What makes no sense is that if you export the video you just recorded, the export can take quite a long time. I found out where the videos are stored in their temporary location, and you can drag it out of there instead and it takes no time. Whether you drag it out of the temp folder or export it, the file size, codec, everything is the same! Why would they make you export a file to a second file when you're not changing anything about the file?

    There are so many more bugs I could go on about in QuickTime alone, but it gets me worked up!

    All I wanted to do was trim an MP3! Am I missing something or is this just really buggy?

    Attached Files:

  2. benwiggy, Sep 3, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013

    benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Why not use Garageband instead? Its interface is more suited to this kind of work.
    Or a sound wave editor like Audacity or SoundStudio.

    The Security issue relates to GateKeeper. Why a file should have a problem with it, I don't know. But you can over-ride the GateKeeper settings usually. There are webpages explaining how to do it. alternatively, you can temporarily slacken the GateKeeper preferences, launch the file, and then restore them. (OS X should remember the settings for that file from now on.)

    The other issue about not being prompted for a save just sounds like OS X's autosave. You should find the file in Movies.
  3. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    The few times I've trimmed audio in Quick time I did not have similar issues. I usually use Garage band, however. I edit quite a bit of audio to add to movie tracks.

    The auto save feature can be frustrating to those not familiar with whats going on in the background.
  4. swingerofbirch thread starter macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    Thanks for the tips. I didn't have GarageBand on this Mac even though I own it, so I'll download that and try instead. Maybe the problems with saving are because I turned 'Ask to change saves when closing documents' on. The more changes Apple makes where the computer is supposed to figure out what you want and do it for you, the more confused I get.
  5. Luap macrumors 65816


    Jul 5, 2004
    Editing a compressed audio file (like an MP3) is nearly always going to have issues much like you described. It isn't really the OS's fault. In future, try recording to a NON compressed format first like wav or aiff. Then you should have no problems trimming it. Once trimmed you can convert to MP3. You'll save yourself a lot of hassle doing it that way.

    Alternatively, this claims to be able to edit MP3's decently. But i've not tried it myself.

    I guess you could also take the MP3, convert to wav, trim, then convert back to MP3 again, but there will be quality loss. I suspect the way you were trying to do it would also result in quality loss though.
  6. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    For voice that's feet away he'll never notice a quality drop as long as the compression isn't anything below 128kbps.

    Use Audacity for single tracks. Works so much better than Garageband's editor and it's free, quick, and light.
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Use this:

    It can trim and edit mp3 files _natively_ -- that is, without first de-compressing them [out of] mp3 format and then re-compressing them back into mp3 format.

    I would also suggest either Audacity or Reaper.
    Either offer sophisticated editing capabilities, but each will "import" the mp3 file by converting it to uncompressed format first.

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