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I'm nearing the limit on my bandwidth allocation for the "month" (the bandwidth allocation does not follow the calendar or the billing cycle) at PodOMatic. I can pay more and get more bandwidth, but what I'd rather do is cut down the file size of each episode. Can anyone recommend a free piece of software that will allow me to take a 50 mb mp3 file and convert it to something in the 20 mb range without too much degradation in sound quality?

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2008 07:21 am (UTC)
Audacity has features that allow you to alter the bit rate of your MP3 file when it exports it; MP3 files are often at 128 kbps, but for speech, 64 kbps is often good enough.

The main problem with audacity, though, is that it doesn't seem to be rigged up to batch process lots of files at once, if you're wanting to process all of your previous shows.
Jan. 6th, 2008 07:22 am (UTC)
Maybe I should have posted a link to it -

If you need help driving it, let me know..
Jan. 6th, 2008 11:49 pm (UTC)
Hi. I've used Audacity from episode one, but I'm allergic to instruction manuals, so I'm sure it can do all kinds of things I don't know about. I'll look at those export options more closely. Thanks.
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Re: Audacity
In Audacity, go to Edit > Preferences > File Formats
Then set the bit rate for MP3s to your desired rate. Like someone else said, 64kbps is probably the best - sufficient for speech without too much "squelching". You could try smaller bandwidths though, depending on how many extra sounds you're prepared to put up with.

If you want to batch process a bunch of files, iTunes (also free) is probably the most accessible way. First import all the files into your iTunes library. Then go to Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Importing, and select "Import Using MP3" and "Setting: Custom" and specify your desired bitrate. (Note that if you also use iTunes to rip MP3s from CD you'll probably want to change this setting back after you're done.) Then select all the relevant files in your library, right click and select "Convert Selection to MP3".

...You might remember me requesting smaller files a few months back... :-)
Jan. 7th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Re: Audacity
Hey TT,

Thanks for the audacity advice. I'll try that with this next week's show and see if anyone mentions anything about the sound quality. I have no truck with iTunes nor do I care to.

You're not the only person to request more manageable file sizes, and this is something I've had on my mental "to do" list for some time. Thanks again.

You sounded great on BB's Bungalow, btw.
Jan. 7th, 2008 10:19 am (UTC)
Re: Audacity
Thanks mate! I thought we sounded sooooo stoned!

If you don't want to use iTunes, I believe Media Monkey is really good. Free and versatile. Much better than iTunes actually, but iTunes is pretty common so that's why I mentioned it.
Jan. 7th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
Re: Audacity
Heh. Know the feeling.

The export options are fairly spartan. What you want to do is find in the options a tab called 'file format'. Under this, and next to the MP3 encoder label, is a control for bit rate.

Audacity is cool as a free audio editor, but its interface could do with a lot of work, I think - these options should really be directly accessible when you perform the export..
Jan. 6th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC)
MPEG Streamclip is what I use for file conversion issues.

it is sweet!
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
MPEG Streamclip
Hmmm... according to the Wikipedia entry, it doesn't convert from or to the mp3 format. Perhaps that entry needs an update?

Jan. 6th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
also you might want to join this group:


I think you could get a lot of great feedback there and there are some good sources too.
Jan. 7th, 2008 12:37 am (UTC)
World Wide Indie Producers
I'll sign up in just a minute.

Are you Cattavery?
Jan. 7th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
Re: World Wide Indie Producers
yup thats me.
Jan. 16th, 2008 09:10 am (UTC)
If you're going to do this, could you please save the regular quality files yourself separately, perhaps to upload to archive.org, or somewhere else where you don't need to pay for bandwidth? It just seems that, on the verge of the Internet achieving cheap bandwidth (i hope), it would be a shame to lose sound quality in the C-Realm on months worth of episodes. I want to save as-high-as-possible-quality files of the whole C-Realm run on my own computer/DVD media, so that if the Internet disappears someday, I could at least mail discs of these around.
Jan. 16th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Ack!
Well, fortunately, the good folks at PodOMatic let me slide on the bandwidth. I ended up using twice my allocation for the month before it reset. I am going to upgrade to their platinum account. That should keep me in good stead for a while, and donations seem regular enough to pay for the premium account.

What I may end up doing is starting a free account to host the smaller files.
Jan. 17th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Ack!
I think having separate high-quality and low-quality subscriptions would be a good idea if it doesn't make too much work for you. Thanks again for all your time and effort!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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