Ever love a song but wish it didn’t have quite so much silence at the end? How about those “hidden” tracks that used to be a little bit clever in the age of CDs, but just waste time in your MP3files?
There are tons of advanced audio editing programs that can trim up your songs, including Audacity and iTunes, but an ideal solution is quick and dedicated and doesn’t have to convert the file multiple times just to cut out unwanted seconds. You can split a file into multiple tracks or create a ringtone with very little effort with these free programs.
• mpTrim: Easy enough to use but has a bit of an intimidating interface for first-timers. There are lots of buttons, sliders and text fields for your manipulation. What you don’t get is a graphic representation of the music’s waveform; what you do get is a friendly question: “How much do you want to trim?” Choose the number of seconds or frames to chop off the beginning and end, hit the “Save!” menu item. (Yes, it has an exclamation point.)
The sliders adjust the volume and number of seconds to fade in or out, giving you that extra smidgen of control over the song’s start and end. It even detects and attempts to repair corrupted MP3s. Just beware: by default, mpTrim saves over your existing file. If you want to keep the original (and you should, at least until you’re sure your edit is what you want), use the “Save As” option.
• FreeTrim MP3: All the main features of mpTrim, but prettier. Highlight the part of the waveform you want to keep, press the giant “Start Trim” button and you’re done. Fadeouts are done by highlighting as well. You can also add an echo effect and mix the MP3 with another one, too — record a speech in your living room, echo that baby and find a cheering crowd to lay under it.
• mp3DirectCut: While not focused on trimming the length of your MP3, you get more options with mp3DirectCut; it’s more of a complete editor than the other software mentioned here. Record from a microphone, edit all those genre and album tags, woohoo. The interface does show a waveform, but seriously, all the esoteric buttons aren’t worth it. Not to mention they look like they were designed in 1996.
• CutMP3.net: Don’t have a Windows PC at your disposal? Want a cloud solution that does nothing, absolutely nothing, besides lop the beginning and end off your song? This site is for you. Move the start and end sliders, make some fine adjustments by typing in the exact start and end times, and you’re done. No fades, no effects, not even a zoom option to look at more or less of your waveform. But it’s quick and effective.
• MP3Cut.net: Totally different site. With, believe it or not, even less functionality. You don’t get to see a waveform, just two sliders on an aggressively pink timeline. There’s no fine adjustment, either, other than how precisely you can move the sliders with your mouse. While CutMP3.net claims to edit your file locally using “Web 2.0” technology, MP3Cut.net requires you to upload the file, which takes a little longer. Still, it works, and the site’s available in Russian as well as English.