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I have a 400 MB MP3 file at 96kbps, taken from a CD. I want to split this into many files.

Is there any way to do that without affecting the quality of audio or maybe without re-encoding the file?

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Are you trying to split the audio itself, or the actual file? Do you care about storing and/or transferring the file or about listening to it in bite sized chunks? –  Joshua Drake Apr 6 '12 at 14:23

8 Answers 8

There is a program called mp3splt - I specify start and end time of the part I am interested in. It is also possible to split automatically with silence detection.

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned mp3DirectCut. Does just what you want and doesn't re-encode. It's my go-to for this sort of thing. Freeware.

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You didn't specify an OS.

General-purpose audio editors decode MP3s and then re-encode upon saving, so avoid those.

Dedicated MP3 splitters usually slice on frame boundaries, thus the audio is not being decoded and re-encoded, which is good. However there's a penalty: a split-second of audio around the split points often becomes unplayable, sometimes resulting in a skip or click if the audio there isn't silent. This is due to complications related to various features and side-effects of MP3 encoding and decoding (the bit reservoir, encoder delay, padding, and decoder delay). But as long as the split points are in the middle of silence and you're not terribly concerned about losing a fractional second of that silence, then I second the recommendation for mp3DirectCut, a Windows app. It's robust and free, and it has a nice graphical view of the volume level of each frame (you might need to play with the scale a bit), which although is not a true view of the decoded waveform, is usually good enough for the purpose of spotting ideal places to cut.

If you're super concerned about accuracy, then you'll want to use the Java command-line app pcutmp3, which is so far the only tool I know of which works around these issues. The caveat is that you'll need to make sure you use a player which supports "gapless playback" (encoder delay & padding) info as written in a LAME tag.

Both pcutmp3 and mp3DirectCut support the use of cue sheets for specifying split points. So if you have the original CD, you can use a CD ripping program to generate a .cue file for the audio file. This cue sheet is a text file which will contain, among other things, precise track boundaries which the splitter can use. If you don't have the original CD, you might be able to generate a cue sheet via the website cuesheet heaven, which re-interprets freedb data. Such a .cue made without the original CD may not be accurate (if you choose the wrong pressing) and almost certainly will be incomplete (in that it only has track boundaries, none of the other things that go in cue sheets), but it should be fine for your purposes.

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There is an audio editing program for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X called Audacity, which is available for free. You could use this to do what you want.

Here are instructions on how to split a track using Audacity.

And I believe the format it uses is .WAV. However it can export to the MP3 format as well, but it will re-encode the tracks when it does.

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I have edited my answer to include this information. –  Sherwin Flight Apr 6 '12 at 10:40
    
Audacity is a nice program, but I had to downvote it as it's not an actual answer for this question, which specifically asks for a method that doesn't require re-encoding. Out of all the real answers here, Audacity will produce the worst results since lossily re-encoding media files inherently magnifies compression artifacts and greatly reduces the quality-to-filesize ratio. –  Lèse majesté Apr 9 '12 at 8:30

There are some useful utilities such as

You can download their trial with some limitation or buy them.

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I couldn't find a source for "ezmp3". Please include a relevant link and add a short explanation of how to achieve what is asked in the question. –  slhck Apr 6 '12 at 13:28

There are so many MP3 cutter programs available for free download.

Here is a video guide that could help you, showing Direct WAV MP3 Splitter.

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Free download, but still commercial software. Doesn't look too useful. I added the link to the actual software. Just posting a YouTube link is not a good answer. In the future, please add a little context. –  slhck Apr 6 '12 at 13:30

Simply use WinZip to create a split zip file, which will give you multiple files that can later be merged. It lets you specify the size of the files, and is available in a long term free trial.

It can also be used for many other utility purposes, and last I checked was reasonably priced should you choose to license it.

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That only gives you a bunch of Zip files but no audio files you could actually listen to. I don't see how this solves the problem. –  slhck Apr 6 '12 at 14:17
    
I was not aware of any requirement that the resulting files be listenable. It seem to me that the questioner simply wanted to store and/or transfer the file more conveniently, and everyone responded with audio only answers. I attempted to provide a more general one. –  Joshua Drake Apr 6 '12 at 14:20

After trying several programs I've found Slice Audio File Splitter to be the best (free, output mp3 files are without errors (tested with mp3val), an option for overlapping of tracks and manipulating the output filenames).

disclaimer: I am not working for them

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