How to Compress an Audio File

How to compress an audio file

You can upload a variety of audio file types to Transcribe, including MP3, M4A and WAV. Depending on the length and quality of the recording, the file can take a while to upload, but by reducing the file size, you can speed things up and get your audio-to-text transcription in no time!

It's quick, easy and free to compress an audio file without losing quality. And there are several ways to do it depending on your device and your own personal preferences.

Note: The compressed file might also come in handy if you're a podcaster or a journalist, or if you need to attach an audio file to an email. And it can even help to free up space on your device.

Here are three easy and effective ways to reduce the size of your audio files. Check them out!

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Three ways to compress audio files

Upload your audio files to a free online compression tool

Online Audio Converter is a website that is free to use for audio compression. It works on any device, so it's a good option for compressing audio files on iPhone, Android or Windows.

To compress your audio file:

1. Upload the file you want to compress

2. Adjust the quality to reduce the file size

3. Download the compressed file, and you're good to go!

You can also choose the audio file type you'd like your file to be compressed to, so you could change it from WAV to MP3, for example, and there's the option to compress multiple files at once too.

A few hours later, your files are automatically deleted from the servers. This is a great solution for those who want free service and don't mind files sitting (momentarily) in the cloud.

Download Audacity to record, edit and compress audio files

Audacity is an audio recorder and editor first and foremost, but it can also be used to compress audio files. The interface might look a bit intimidating for beginners, but compressing an audio file with it is actually pretty easy:

1. Download Audacity and upload your audio file

2. Go to File > Export and choose the format you want to save the file in

3. Set your Audio options, including sample rate and quality level

4. Export your compressed audio file

Image source: Audacity

Zip them up in a folder

If you want to compress audio files to make them easier to send via email, then the quickest and easiest way is to use the Zip method.

How to zip an audio file in Windows:

1. Right-click on the file and select 'Send To'

2. Choose 'Compressed (zipped) folder'

How to zip an audio file on a Mac:

1. Right-click on the file or press CTRL while clicking

2. Select 'Compress "file name"'

And that's it! Zipping an audio file is a super simple way to reduce the file size.

How to compress an audio file - FAQs

Should you choose lossless or lossy audio compression?

There are two types of compression: lossless and lossy.

Lossless formats keep all the original data during the compression process. This is most common for text and spreadsheet files, since it wouldn't make sense if words or cell values were dropped to make the file smaller. Since no data is dropped, the file size is bigger than it could be.

Lossy compression is more commonly used for audio and is ideal for transcriptions. Pieces of information - such as parts of the soundwave - are dropped to reduce the file size, and can't be recovered. But rest assured that this usually doesn't affect the quality of the sound much, as the difference is too small for the human ear to notice (even music you listen to on Spotify is in a lossy format!). The file size, though, is significantly smaller, making it easier to upload for transcription.

What's the best file type for audio compression?

The best audio file format for audio compression depends on the use case, but typically MP3, M4A, and AAC are the best for reducing the file size while maintaining audio quality.

Check out our guide on how to choose the best audio file format for more information.

How do I send an audio file that is too big?

To send an audio file that is too big, either zip it on your computer, or use an online tool to compress your audio file and make it smaller.

What app reduces audio file size?

Here's a list of apps that reduce file size (for free!):

  • Online Audio Converter

  • YouCompress

  • FileZigZag

  • Monkey's Audio

  • Audacity

Do you need to compress an audio file before transcribing it?

If your audio file is only short, and the file size is on the small side, then you probably don't need to compress it before uploading it to Transcribe. The maximum file size you can upload via the web editor is 300MB, and while there's no upper limit on the app, anything above 300MB could take a while to upload. If your file is nearing this, it's a good idea to compress it first.

Once you've compressed your audio, simply upload it to Transcribe, and your transcription will be with you in a matter of minutes!

Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor to get started.

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How to Transcribe Audio

From doing it yourself to using Word, Google Docs or, best of all, the Transcribe App or online editor, learn how to transcribe audio with our helpful guide.

11 May 2022 #4