How to Make an MP3 File Smaller Without Sacrificing Quality

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

The MP3 format is a very versatile digital audio format. The high compression rate used in MP3 files enables users to store a large amount of data in a relatively small file. However, there are times when it is useful to make an MP3 file even smaller, such as when you wish to use one as a ringtone. You can make an MP3 file smaller without sacrificing quality.

Step 1

Recognize that in order to make an MP3 file smaller, you will have to sacrifice some degree of quality, but that in most cases the degree of sacrifice will be imperceptible.

Step 2

Load the MP3 into an application capable of re-encoding MP3 files. Examples include Audacity, MP3Resizer, VidMex and Trillion Digital. You can download the Audacity application free from the Audacity webpage on the SourceForge site.

Step 3

Check the current bitrate of the MP3 file. Bitrate refers to the compression used in the MP3 file. An MP3 recorded at 128 Kb is roughly one tenth the size of the raw audio file.

Step 4

Re-encode the MP3 file to a bitrate of 128 Kb. This is the midrange encoding for MP3 files. Most people cannot distinguish the difference between an MP3 file encoded at 128 Kb from one encoded at a higher bitrate.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have especially sensitive hearing, re-encode the MP3 file to a bitrate of 192 Kb.
  • If your MP3 file is already encoded at 128 Kb, the only way to make an MP3 file smaller without sacrificing quality is to crop the file and make it shorter.

References & Resources