How to Clip an MP3 File

By Ray Padgett

There are all sorts of occasions where you might wish to clip an MP3 file. Sometimes a song contains long silence at the beginning or at the end. If it's from a concert, it could have minutes of clapping at the end. If it's from a mix, it could contain other songs in the same file. You may need to clip the beginning, end, or middle of a track. Several methods for clipping an MP3 file are available.

Step 1

Clip the MP3 file in iTunes (see References). This approach is the simplest for those who will be listening to it only using this program and devices synced up with it (iPods, iPhones, etc). Right-click the song you wish to clip and select "Get Info." In the "Options" you will find boxes to manually edit the start and stop time. Note that this will not work if you wish to cut out the middle of an MP3.

Step 2

Clip the MP3 file using Audacity (see References). The audio editor is free but quite powerful. After opening the track in the program, you simply highlight the section you wish to delete (a play button helps you locate it) and hit the delete key. Unlike iTunes, you can clip sections in the middle. Note that you will have to export the song as an MP3 from the File menu when you finish. Hitting "Save" saves an .aud Audacity file.

Step 3

Clip the MP3 file using Audio Editor Pro (see References). This works in a similar manner to Audacity. You highlight the section to delete and click the "Delete" button. You can then do much more, including editing volume and merging tracks. The basic version costs $29.95 (as of September 2010).