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>> Donald Bell: Do you have an mp3 of a song or a voice recording that you wish you could trim down or cut out just the part you want? Maybe you finally got around to transferring that old mix tape of yours into iTunes, but you want to get rid of the gaps and silence at the end of each side? Whatever the reason, it can be handy to know exactly how to open up and edit an mp3 file. The first thing you'll need is an audio editor that can import mp3 files. Fortunately, one of our favorite audio editors for this also happens to be free. Head over to CNET's Download.com and look up a program called Audacity. You can get for Mac and PC. It's free, and it's awesome. We actually use it to record all of our CNET podcasts. Once you have Audacity installed, go to the file menu, and select import audio file. Then find the mp3 file you want to edit. If the file's in iTunes, you can also drag and drop the file from the iTunes window and into an open Audacity window. After that, you should see a wav form of the mp3 file. Using the selection tool, you can click around the file and use the play button to preview the sound. Once you found a part of the file that you'd like to delete, just highlight it and hit the delete key. If you want to lift a section out of a longer file, you can highlight the selection into the copy command from the edit menu and paste the selection into a new file. If you make a mistake, you can always use the undo command to back out of it. One your edits have been made, go onto save the results as a new audio file. By default, Audacity does not export audio to the mp3 format, but there are two ways to work around this. One solution is to use the export command in the file menu, and save the recording as a wav file. You can then drag the file into iTunes, select the mp3 format from the iTunes preferences import settings, and then use the advance menu to convert the selected audio track to an mp3. Another solution is to give Audacity the ability to expert mp3's directly. To do this, you'll need to grab the free lame mp3 encoder extension. Don't worry; it's not literally lame. It's just an unfortunate acronym. Different versions of Audacity handle lame integration in different ways. So your best bet is to head to audacity.sourceboard.net and do a search for lame. You should see a tutorial page on downloading and installing the lame encoder. After following the instructions, the export command should offer mp3 in its list of file export options. So there you go. That's how to edit an mp3 file using Audacity. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.
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