Trying to drastically reduce the size of MP3s

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by AEinATL, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. AEinATL macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2009
    I have one two-hour file in mp3 format and one three-hour file. These are radio shows, so no music or anything, just talking. Now that I have the files, I want to get them as small as possible without making them unlistenable. What program can I use to reduce them?
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    iTunes can do this. But you may not be able to reduce them much, it all depends on what you have. To remain listenable you wnt about 64K bits per seond in mono. If you have 128K stereo you are only going to be able to reduce the size by a bit less then half. But if you have 320K files then you can get to about 1/5th size.

    You can go as low as 32K bits/secon but you can notice some audio problems even in spoken voice at 32K but still is understandable and you can still recognise who's voice it is.

    Go to prefs and set the import format to MP3 and 64K. then in iTunes highlight the track and right clic and select "convert".
  3. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    AAC has an advantage at low bitrates over MP3 so it might be worth going for say 32 - 64k mono as AAC. Just follow the steps above in iTunes that ChrisA gave.
  4. AEinATL thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2009
    Thanks for the replies...

    I suppose it's just about impossible to get the whole five hours around anything like 50 MB, even at 32 or 16 kb? The two-hour file was right at 50 MB ... Thanks again everyone.
  5. mmagbee macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2009
    i second Blizzardbombs comment... thats about your best option without killing it too much
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Definitely AAC and mono... encode the files at various bitrates (16, 32, etc.) and see how low you can go without it being a nuisance to hear. It'll take some playing around on your part to figure out just how low you can take them.
  7. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2006

    try Audacity with the LAME mp3 plug-in and play around a bit with the different encoding settings. with mono sound, VBR and a low enough bitrate you may get what you want. it's going to be a boring afternoon though :(

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