How to Reduce MP3 File Size

MP3 files are a file format meant for audio storage. While they are generally smaller than WAV files, which also are meant to store audio, they can still be too big to meet a certain size requirement. Compressing or finding ways of shrinking an MP3 file is a fairly simple process, but your results won't be drastic. Since MP3s are already compressed, the changes may be negligible.

On a Mac

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Open a Finder window, and navigate to the folder where your MP3 is located.

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Right-click on the MP3 file name.

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Select "Compress Name-of-file.mp3." A compressed copy of your file will appear in your Finder window.

On a PC

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Download WinZip or other file-compression program. You will eventually have to pay for the program, but it offers a free trial.

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Install and open WinZip.

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Choose the Wizard from the mail toolbar.

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Select "Create a new zip file" from the options.

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Name your file.

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Add your MP3 files to WinZip when prompted.

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Click on the "Zip Now" button.

When Importing Music

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If you wish to create smaller MP3s when importing files from a CD, navigate to "iTunes," then "Preferences." Choose the "Import Settings" tab.

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Choose "Custom" as the setting, and "MP3 Encoder" as what to use to import. This should make the MP3 encoder window come up.

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Choose "Use Variable Bit Rate Encoding (VBR)," and choose "Medium" or lower.

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Lower the sample rate, or switch it to "Auto" on its drop-down menu.

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Change the channel from "Stereo" to "Mono." This will decrease the file size, but also cause your audio to sound more flat. Use it just as a means to drop down your file size.

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Select "OK," and import your music.