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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Friday October 29 2010

Last night I recorded the de Soto lecture.  Just switched on my little machine and stuck it on the table in front of him, and now it’s all in there.  So far so good.

But, I now have it as a huge .wav file, and have successfully converted that into another huge .mp3 file, in “stereo”, but with what appear to be two identical tracks.  Don’t know.  These files are, as I say, very huge, what with it lasting over an hour and a half.  The mp3 says: “Bitrate”: 96kbps, size: 65.7mb.  Emailing that to Cobden Centre Radio (who would like to have it) failed.

I am using Audacity to edit.  Does anyone know how to turn this huge file (either the .wav or the .mp3) into a smaller mono file, and generally make it smaller, by “compressing” it?  This is a generic problem that I keep facing with these things.  Can find nothing in Audacity suggesting any such processes.

Any help that anyone can supply would be much appreciated.

LATER: I succeeded in turning it all into a mono file, by following instructions here.  But, the damn thing is exactly the same size as before!  Why?  Still need help with compressing.

EVEN LATER: Did some compressing with something called “Lame”, which I already had on my computer, for converting mp2s into mp3s.  Why would anyone call a programme lame?  Anyway, panic over, I think.

Read the text of the lecture here.

Hello Brian!

You could try compressing the file (e.g. making a ZIP file), but I don’t think it’s going to do very much with an MP3 file.  There are, however, websites which allow you to upload “large” files and then send out an e-mail with a link to download.  Here is one website that I’ve used with great success in the past:

https://www.transferbigfiles.com/

The free service has a limit of 100 MB which is more than sufficient for your audio file.  Anyway, it’s an option to consider.

Brian

Posted by Brian Mullins on 29 October 2010

Related to Brian Mullins’ comment, I use http://www.yousendit.com to send large files - for work and otherwise - and it’s fantastic. Can’t recommend it more highly. (Yep, it’s free.)

Posted by Jackie D on 29 October 2010

An MP3 file is a compressed format already. You can (lossily) compress it further by reducing the bitrate, but you will lose audio quality. Good quality audio has big files. That is something you just have to live with). A straightforward compression utility is going to see it as close to being a stream of random data and (as Brian says) is not going to be able to do much with it. Converting it into a more modern audio format (say AAC/MP4) will reduce the file size without losing too much quality, but chances are the Cobden centre are going to want it in MP3 format, and it is a bad idea to do repeated conversions as audio quality will suffer. So my advice is the same as the last two people. Or if you can, put it on your web server the way you would any other podcast, and ask the folks at the Cobden centre to download it.

As for the stereo thing, the mp3 codec probably handles stereo by containing one channel in full, and the other channel a list of differences from the first channel (or something mathematically equivalent to this). If the two channels are the same, this list of differences will be nothing, so converting the file to mono will not save any space. (You were trying to rip out one channel because the other one is the same. Well, the encoder has done this already).

As for the name “Lame”, it was given to the software by the anal Linux people who wrote it. Such people are fond of stupid recursive acronyms that say the product is the opposite of what it is while insulting their own work at the same time. (It supposedly stands for “Lame Ain’t an MP3 Encoder). The good thing is that they are also obsessive compulsive about getting this sort of product right.

Posted by Michael Jennings on 29 October 2010

To further what M. Jennings said, not only does LAME stand for that, but originally it really wasn’t and MPEG encoder. (Since it was a set of patches against the reference ISO mp3 source; LAME itself couldn’t make mp3 streams or even run by itself!)

The size problem is hard to solve; a long lecture, even in mono and a bitrate unsuitable for music will still be fairly large.

For music, I expect about 60 megs for an hour of content, minimum. For spoken stuff, I’d think around 25-30mb/hour in mono 64 kbits. I wouldn’t go much less than that, even for spoken word.

Posted by Sigivald on 02 November 2010

Brian:

An elegant solution might be a company that allows you to “send” large files via email.  They don’t really, but it looks and feels like it does.  It really just posts it and then emails the recipient letting them know they can click and save the file.  One such company is http://www.filesdirect.com/ There are others, this one cam up in a Google search.

Enjoy Audacity!

Chris Murphy
http://www.VaSound.com/

Posted by Chris Murphy on 04 November 2010
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