How to Make MP3 Files

 

To create MP3 files, we recommend iTunes, instructions below.

For folks who don't like iTunes, here are some other software recommendations:

make mp3 widnows  Windows Only

Foobar 2000 (Free)
Can do some advanced encoding... plus you get a great player!

dbPowerAmp ($40)
A small, right-click type utility that makes encoding an mp3 a snap. Good for one-off conversions, and has great batch capabilities too.

make mp3 mac os x   Mac Only

xACT (free)
A powerful, yet lightweight audio conversion utility.

Switch ($30)
One of the most stable and comprehensive multi format audio file converters available and is very easy to use.

 

 

mp3 os x  mp3 windows  Creating MP3s with iTunes     

First you'll need to download iTunes. It's free, and available for Mac and PC.

To create mp3s using iTunes we need to change the preferences so use a different import setting. By default iTunes uses the AAC codec to import audio files into the library.

The AAC codec is a newer and better format, but it is not as widely accepted for audio playback over the internet.  While you may be able to run AAC files through Wimpy, they may not work for everyone, so its safest to stick with MP3 files.

mp3 windows   From the iTunes Main Menu > Edit > Preferences

mp3 os x   From the Top Main Menu > iTunes > Preferences

- Click the "General" tab, then look for the button labeled "Import Settings"

mp3 itunes general


- Set Import Using to
       MP3 Encoder

- Set Setting to whatever you feel comfy with.

I generally use High Quality (160 kbps),
which is fine for most purposes.

Higher quality means:
- Larger file size = consumes more bandwidth
- Takes longer to download / encode / decode

Voice Recordings
You can go into the custom settings and drop down to 64 kbps mono.

Max Quality
If you really want to impress, use the custom settings and go to 256 kbps with VBR turned on. Anything higher is over-kill for the MP3 format.

VBR vs CBR
Constant Bit Rate (CBR) is simpler and faster. Variable Bit Rate (VBR) should reduce the file size while maintaining the same perceived audio quality but slower to encode and drains CPU cycles during playback / decoding.

 

- OK your way out to finish the setup

- Now you can right-click on files within iTunes and choose
       Create MP3 Version

- When the file is done, right-click on the newly created file and choose
        Show Song File

itunes right click to make mp3

 

Messy

And here-in lies the problems, the MP3s that get created go back into the library, and so you now have 2 seemingly identical files. One solution is to add the "Date Added" field to the header-view, then sort the list accordingly. But you still have to contend with the file sitting there in your library.


 

 

 

Troubleshooting

Files don't stream (they download fully before playing)

or

Files take too long to start playing

Try re-creating the MP3 file using different software. Some MP3 files may be encoded improperly, resulting in the file not playing back until the entire file has loaded.

 

Songs play "too fast" or "too slow"

The issue with the audio sounding distorted (aka the "chipmunk" effect) is due to the way that the mp3 was originally encoded. Adobe Flash can handle most standard mp3 encodings with any bitrate. However, some mp3 encoders use "non-standard" encoding techniques that Adobe Flash can not handle... Namely the MP3-PRO encoding scheme.

When a file is encoded with the MP3-PRO setting the file seems to play too fast and makes the audio sound as if it were made by chipmunks. The solutions is to re-encode your mp3's with a standard MP3 codecs. Wimpy will support CBR and VBR encoding -- at any bitrate.

I recommend using dbPowerAmp to encode MP3 files. It's a small, "right-mouse-click" type utility that makes encoding an MP3 a snap. Using the standard settings in dbPowerAmp works great with Wimpy.