Decrease Music File Size With Audacity

You may have an mp3 player that is already filled with music or may be nearing the storage cap. I have a memory stick for my PSP with only 512 MB of storage, with around 100 MB of which being taken up by game-related files. Being able to store as much music on my small memory stick is pretty important to me. I’ll show you how to decrease your music files’ size to maximize the amount of songs you can fit on your mp3 player.

First, download Audacity here; Ubuntu users can type this command into a terminal to install Audacity:

sudo apt-get install audacity

After Audacity is installed, open your desired music file in Audacity by opening Audacity, clicking File >Open, and selecting your file.

Once your file is open in Audacity, click File > Export. Above the Save and Cancel buttons, there will be a choice called “Options.” Click Options and you will be presented with a few choices: Bit Rate Mode, Quality, Variable Speed, and Channel Mode. The choice we will be concerned with is Quality. You will notice that under the drop-down menu for Quality there are numbers in increments of 8 to choose from. A higher kbps number results in a larger file size with higher quality, while a lower kbps number means a smaller file size with lower quality.

The typical kbps number is 128 for many songs. 128 kbps leads to a fairly even ratio for file size and file length. Every minute of a song adds around 1 MB to the file size. For example, a 3 and a half minute song will be around 3.5 MB; not exactly 3.5 MB, but it is a fairly good estimate.

I have found that changing my quality to 96 kbps leaves my file close to half its original size while still keeping its quality in tact. I changed a 4.3 MB, 128 kbps file to a 2.4 MB, 96 kbps file. I saved myself 1.9 MB on my PSP. When you do this to all the music on your mp3 player you can easily find yourself being able to increase the amount of songs on your device by 25%.

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