How to Reduce MP3 File Size

By Contributing Writer

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.

Things You'll Need

  • iTunes
  • Finder on a Mac
  • WinZip on a PC

On a Mac

Step 1

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

Step 2

Right-click on the MP3 file name.

Step 3

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

On a PC

Step 1

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

Step 2

Install and open WinZip.

Step 3

Choose the Wizard from the mail toolbar.

Step 4

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

Step 5

Name your file.

Step 6

Add your MP3 files to WinZip when prompted.

Step 7

Click on the "Zip Now" button.

When Importing Music

Step 1

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

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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

Step 5

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.

Step 6

Select "OK," and import your music.