How to Cut a WAV File

By Andrew Schrader

WAV files, designated by a ".wav" extension, are audio files associated with IBM and Microsoft. Users of such files often want to cut them down for use as soundbites on radio shows or podcasts. This can be done with a number of programs. Two of the most common are QuickTime -- which has an easy editing workflow, since each file uses its own player window -- and iTunes, which allows users to retain all their WAV files in one library.

Things You'll Need

  • QuickTime Player (see Resource 1)
  • iTunes Player (see Resource 2)

Cutting WAVs With QuickTime

Step 1

Download the free version of QuickTime and agree to its licensing terms. Install and open QuickTime.

Step 2

Click "File" at the top of the QuickTime toolbar and select "Open File..." Locate your file in the finder window and click "Open." Your WAV file will open in its own player window.

Step 3

Select your "in" and "out" points on the QuickTime timeline by dragging the half-arrow cursors to the appropriate spots. You can also set your main cursor on the timeline and press "i" or "o" on your keyboard.

Step 4

Click "Edit" and select "Trim to Selection." You will be left with only the audio between your "in" and "out" points.

Step 5

Click "File" and "Save As" to rename your file, so you retain both WAVs.

Cutting WAVs With iTunes

Step 1

Download and install iTunes. Agree to the licensing terms and open.

Step 2

Click "File" and select "Add to Library..." Locate your WAV and open it in iTunes.

Step 3

Click "iTunes" at the top of your screen and select "Preferences." Click the "Import Settings" icon bar.

Step 4

Select "WAV Encoder" in the "Import Using" bar. Click "OK" twice to exit to the iTunes library.

Step 5

Right-click your WAV file in the library. Select "Create WAV Version." A new WAV file will appear below your old one. Now you can edit on a new WAV file and keep your old file.

Step 6

Right-click your new WAV file in the iTunes library. Select "Get Info."

Step 7

Click the "Options" tab. Enter your desired "Start" and "Stop" times in the appropriate boxes. Be sure to enable your "Start" and "Stop" times by clicking on their boxes. Click "OK."

Tips & Warnings

  • In QuickTime, copy and paste sections of audio by setting your "in" and "out" points and clicking "Edit" and "Copy," "Cut," or "Paste."