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How to chop large mp3 into smaller mp3's with Audacity?

Posted on 2008-10-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I had great advice from EEers to use AudaCity for chopping my hour long concert mp3s into individual songs.  I have it downloaded and running.  But after I highlight the section of audio I want to export - almost everything is greyed out.  I would think I should be able the highlight the audio I want and export to the smaller mp3 or use the "Edit/Trim" command to whittle it down to size.  But I am clearly missing a step.  
Can someone please walk me through the steps of loading a large mp3 and breaking it down into smaller mp3s for each individual song?  Thanks.
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Question by:amigan_99
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Expert Comment

by:osmystatocny
ID: 22755349
If you don't want to re-encode again (if it's in mp3 you would lose quality a bit) you can use cue sheet+foobar player.
You can play your song and just type time into new txt document. How does it look you can see here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cue_sheet_(computing)

For one file basically like this

PERFORMER "FAITHLESS"
TITLE "THE BEDROOM SESSIONS"
FILE "FAITHLESS - THE BEDROOM SESSIONS.mp3" MP3
  TRACK 01 AUDIO
    INDEX 01 00:00:00
  TRACK 02 AUDIO
    INDEX 01 05:08:02
.....

From the foobar2000 you can even save it as an mp3 I reckon
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Expert Comment

by:fredshovel
ID: 22755998
You don't highlight the area you want to export. You highlight the area that you don't want and delete it by hitting the delete button, and then export what's left.
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by:fredshovel
ID: 22756011
Just adding, you are editing a wave file, which needs to be exported either as a wave file and then converted in something like iTunes -- or you add the Lame encoder to Audacity and export as an MP3.
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by:amigan_99
ID: 22758560
I found that you can select the portion and export.  The problem I was running into was I was playing the songs and the pausing to do my select and export.  If instead of pausing I press "Stop" playing - then when I select a portion of the loaded mp3 all of my editing feature like Export Selected are available and not greyed out.
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BillDL earned 250 total points
ID: 22780575
Have you tried using the Pause button to stop playback, then marking that position using the "Project" menu to "Add Label At Playback Position".  You can then resume playback and repeat this at the point you wish to set as the end of your selection.

When you first add a label, it creates a new "track" below the track you were playing.  The Label will be a red tag that, when clicked on, will add the vertical line to the track above at that position.  When you hold the cursor over that vertical line, it changes to the pointing finger icon and allows you to drag to the right and line up with the second Tag, thereby creating the selection to export, copy, cut, or whatever you wish to do with the selected area.

Furthermore, once you have created a selection between your two tags, clicking on the start tag again will automatically select that previously selected section between the tags rather than just showing the vertical line again.

I have attached some screenshots showing the setting of these tags, but the screenshots do not show the cursor, so you can't see where it changes to the pointing finger.
01-Start-Stop-Tags-Unselected.jpg
02-Start-Tag-Clicked-On.jpg
03-Start-Dragged-To-Stop-Tag.jpg
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by:BillDL
ID: 22780706
Actually, before you even start editing the track, it would be a good idea to create several new "Label Tracks" using the "Project" menu.  You can then name each of these tracks to reflect the selections that you will then create by adding a Start and Stop Label (tag) to each of these Label Tracks.  This makes it easier to track your selections.  You can easily delete unwanted Label Tracks by clicking the X to the left of the track name.
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Author Closing Comment

by:amigan_99
ID: 31507717
Cool - even better than the method I discovered.
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by:BillDL
ID: 22783940
Thank you amigan_99.
Audacity doesn't have many (if any) Right-Click menu options like most programs that were originally written for Windows, and it has some fairly quirky ways of executing tasks.  A lot of Open Source software that is cross-platform or modified from the original Linux version is like this, and it takes a lot more experimentation to find out how to perform tasks.  The Help file for Audacity is reasonably populated to answer most tasks.

If you are interested, the help file that opens from Audacity's Help menu is:
C:\Program Files\Audacity\audacity-1.2-help.htb
If you create a copy of that file then rename it by changing the file extension from *.htb to *.zip, you have a zip file that can be unpacked to its own folder with WinZip to give you all the separate help files.  The one that explains a bit more about the labels I mentioned is:
C:\Program Files\Audacity\Copy of audacity-1.2-help\track_label.htm

That web page will show you in a bit more detail how to name the labels, etc.

Bill
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