How to: Cut MP3s

How to: Cut MP3s

You might want to split an MP3 file for lots of reasons. Maybe you want to break up a podcast into bite-sized pieces, or make separate tracks from a digitized vinyl record or DJ mix. I did this on a Mac, but it works just the same in Windows.

Using the free open source app Audacity, this is really easy. Here’s how to cut your MP3 files:

1: Install Audacity, open it then drag your MP3 file onto the interface. Loading will take a few seconds.

2: I have a podcast loaded up, and want to split it into two parts. Click on the file around where you think your first break will be. Listen, and when you’ve found the right point click the Stop button. Now click on the point where the marker has stopped, and drag back to the start of the track.

3: Go to Edit, and click copy (or press Command+C). Then go to File and select New (Command+N), then Edit again and Paste (Command+V). In this new window you will have your first track.

4: Now go to File and Export…, then choose a file name, location and MP3 format. You will now be shown a Metadata screen, and it’s important you get this right!

5: Add your Artist name and track title, then Album title and track number. For my podcast there are two tracks and this is the first, so I write 1/2. The you can click Export, and Audacity will create your MP3.

6: Now go back to the first window and hit Delete! This will leave you with your second track. Repeat the instructions 4 and 5 as above, this time giving the track number as 2/2.

You now have two MP3 files, with metadata that means they will play in order in a media application. Working in this way you can split MP3s accurately into as many parts as you need.

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