Edit & Record Compressed MP3 Files Without Decompressing With MP3DirectCut
<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/mp3DirectCut02.png”>MP3 is a digital audio encoding format, in which audio files are compressed to reduce the amount of data (i.e. shrink the file size), without losing sound quality in the ears of most listeners. The standard procedure of editing an MP3 file involves several steps: decompression of the file, editing, and re-encoding to MP3. The decompression and re-encoding process typically results in a significant loss of quality.
mp3DirectCut is a freeware audio editor and recorder that can work with compressed MP3 files. It allows you to cut, copy, and paste audio bits or change the volume without decompressing the audio file. In other words, you can edit your MP3 files without a loss of quality. Moreover, you can record MP3s and auto-detect pauses to cut and ID3 tag a file.
mp3DirectCut has a clear interface, which provides easy access to all key features. Editing and playback buttons sit at the bottom of the window, navigation in the middle, topped by the MPEG audio data waveform.
Just underneath the menubar sits a list of smaller buttons that provide one-click access to further editing features, including ID3 tag editing or moving selection by frame. If you’re unsure what a button will do, hover with the mouse over it for a tooltip clue.
A Closer Look
When you open, edit, or save files mp3DirectCut may show a note, such as the one below. Similar tips can be found throughout the program. This is a great feature for new users, as the notes highlight important points and guide the user.
mp3DirectCut is very intuitive to use. You can edit mp3 files using the mouse, menu, buttons, or keyboard shortcuts. For several actions there is more than one way to get to the same result, making it easier to find it right away. As mentioned above, if you’re unsure what a button does, just have a peek at the tooltip.
For example you can change the volume of an MP3 file or only a section by dragging the grey grips of a cue up or down or click the keyboard shortcut [CTRL] + [UP] or [DOWN]. The brown color indicates that the volume was adjusted. You can then jump to the next cue to the left or right using the respective key in the navigation window or by clicking the keyboard shortcut [CTRL] + [LEFT] or [RIGHT].
To summarize, the program is straightforward and easy to learn using trial and error. If you’re stuck, there is always the user manual that you can consult. You can also find the link under > ? > Manual.
So to conclude, let me just highlight the…
3 Best Features
These are the best features as I see them.
Editing Several Files In Parallel
File > New program window will open an additional instance of mp3DirectCut, allowing you to edit several audio files in parallel.
High Speed Recording
With > Special > “High speed” recording you can record 33 rpm longplay records with 45 rpm playback and also set other grabbing speeds as needed.
Pause Detection… & Saving Split File
So you recorded an entire LP and now you want to split it up into single MP3 files? Go to > Special > Pause detection, and adjust the settings. When the tool is done adding the cues, close the Pause detection window.
You now need to change the cues to mark the end of a file. One after another, click each cue and go to > Edit > Names and part properties (or click the respective button), where you need to check > Cue. When you have done all cues, go to > File > Save split to save every region beginning with a cue to a new file.
If you need more help figuring out this program, know that mp3DirectCut comes with a good user manual, which also features a list of keyboard shortcuts and command line options.
Looking for more MP3 editing tools? Have a look at these articles:
- The Top 5 Free Tools To Split Or Merge Music Files
- Media Cope – An All In One Media Player, Cutter & Converter
- Normalize MP3 Volume Levels with MP3Gain
- 18 Online Tools to Edit, Mix and Enhance your Videos
- Remove MP3 ID3 Music Tags With ID3 Tag Remover
What are your favorite features or what do you think is missing in mp3DirectCut editor? Please share your impressions in the comments.