May 4 2008

How to shrink an MP3s size using Audacity

If you are like me, chances are you already have a cell phone with an MP3 player. The problem with most of these cell phones is that they have small storage memory and they don’t accept a memory card.  So after putting a song or two on my phone I found out that I was low on memory. To solve this problem, I discovered that I had to re-encode my MP3 songs to make their size smaller before I send them to my phone. In this tutorial, I will show you how to shrink the size of your MP3 songs so you can listen to them on your phone.
Begin by downloading Audacity from here and installing it. You can also get a portable version that doesn’t need installing from here.
Next, you have to get the lame encoder which allows Audacity to export MP3 files. Uncompress it anywhere on your hard drive. I saved it in “C:\Program Files\Audacity\Lame.”
Now, open your MP3 file in Audacity by clicking on File then Open.

MP3 are encoded at different bit rates. The higher the bite rate the better the quality and the bigger the file size. What we want to do is re-encode the MP3 at a lower bit rate to make its size smaller. To set the bit rate in Audacity press Ctrl + P to open preferences. Go to the File Formats tab.

Click on the Find Library button and browse to where you saved the lame encoder then select lame_enc.dll. Now we can set the bit rate. The default is 128. Setting it t 64 or less should be fine.

The final step is to export the file at the lower bit rate. Click File -> Export As MP3… choose where you want to save the file, give it a name and hit save. Congratulations, you’re done.
Here is the different result of re-encoding the same file at different bit rates:

Bit Rate
128 (Orig.)
64 kbps
48 kbps
32 kbps
File Size
5.20 MB
2.58 MB
1.93 MB
1.28 MB