Converting audio to audio and video and get the smallest file size

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I have some audio from a radio talk show. my intention is that it's not high fidelity / could even be mono.  I want to get the smallest file size without too much degredation considering it's just people talking.

I am using streaming audio recorder and chose MP3 for the output.

For example, 1 file I have is 2meg and 1 min 30 seconds.  the properties of the file says bitrate 173 bps.  Not sure if that's high / low fidelity.

I'd like to have the smallest size file for audio.... and also, using audio to video converter websites, I get an mp4 that's 2MB also (static picture or black screen would be fine).

What are some things I should know / do to get the smallest files for spoken word audio?

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Principal Software Engineer
For spoken word audio, the smallest files will be achieved by using variable bit rate (VBR) encoding in mono.  Start at 128 Kbps and work downward from there.  It's possible to tune very finely if you use the LAME encoder and tune individual parameters but most audio programs do not allow this.  You'll probably find that somewhere around 48 Kbps is acceptable, 32 Kbps is listenable, anything lower is distorted with artifacts.

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