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I recently recorded something in MP3 — I should have done FLAC, but it’s way too late — and I wanted to edit those soundtracks from 5 minutes to about 2 minutes each. I edit in Audacity. Will loading it, removing about half the track, and exporting again to MP3 harm the quality?

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Yes. MP3 is lossy so if you re-encode the new file to MP3 with Audacity/LAME, you will lose quality. But if you output the cropped file using a lossless codec such as FLAC, the quality should be no worse than the imported MP3.

Some other tools allow you to crop MP3 tracks without re-encoding, such as mp3splt and mp3DirectCut. See How do I split an MP3 file without re-encoding it?

  • Is there a Linux alternative? – Nick Bailuc Mar 10 '15 at 5:28
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    Alternative to what? mp3splt and mp3DirectCut from the linked question are both available for multiple platforms, including Linux and Windows--as is Audacity. – rob Mar 10 '15 at 5:31
  • Looking at the picture I thought it was a windows program but now I see its an old LXDE theme or something from knoppix. Thanks – Nick Bailuc Mar 10 '15 at 5:52
  • @NickBailuc glad to help! – rob Mar 10 '15 at 6:00

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