5 Suggestions for Optimizing Audio File Dimension


Sooner or later, everybody should learn the way audio recordsdata work. This information could appear trivial or insignificant, however it may possibly come in useful when recording music, making a podcast, or optimizing your music library.

This publish will discover the varied elements that have an effect on audio high quality and audio file measurement. It isn’t simple to strike the fitting steadiness between the 2, however it is best to know sufficient to really feel comfy and experiment for your self until the tip.

Word: To place this data into observe, you may need to have a free audio editor like Audacity or one other various. Studying these devices is past the scope of this piece.

1. Sampling Charge

In actual life sound is a wave. When somebody speaks or claps, what you are really listening to is a change in stress that travels by way of the air and ultimately touches your ears.

However how will we seize that sound and convert it into digital knowledge? We can not report the whole sound wave as it’s; As a substitute, we’ve to take periodic “snapshots” of the sound over time. Once you play it again in sequence, you get an approximate recreation of the unique sound.


Every snapshot is assigned a . is known as sample, and the interval used between every snapshot is known as pattern price, To outline them, it’s the variety of digital snapshots taken per second in an audio file by an analog to digital converter. The sampling price is measured in hertz, so it may be expressed as a frequency.

The smaller the interval, the quicker the frequency. Sooner frequencies produce extra correct recordings, but additionally require extra knowledge to retailer every second of recorded sound.

For instance, CD-quality audio makes use of a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz (or 44,100 samples per second), whereas TV and DVD high quality audio makes use of a sampling frequency of 48 kHz. 10 minutes of uncompressed mono audio recording, the primary is perhaps 51.7 MB whereas the second can be 56.3 MB.

You may drop to 32 kHz for speech-only recording and never expertise a lot loss in high quality, however persist with 44.1 kHz if music is concerned otherwise you want excessive high quality. Dropping all the way down to 22.05 kHz will sound nearer to AM radio.


2. Bitrate

Bitrate just isn’t the identical as pattern price. Many individuals have a tendency to combine the 2, nevertheless it’s essential that you do not. First, if the pattern price is the variety of instances a snapshot of the sound is taken, then the bit depth is how a lot knowledge is recorded throughout every snapshot.

For instance, think about a sound wave as a stream of water, and you are attempting to seize (i.e. report) that water from a bucket. The sampling price can be what number of instances you submerge your bucket within the stream, whereas the bit depth would be the measurement of your bucket. The measurement for bit depth is bits. For every bit increment, the accuracy of the recording doubles.

The upper the bit depth, the extra knowledge is captured per pattern. This results in extra correct recording at the price of more room required to retailer that knowledge.

However if you happen to cut back the bit depth an excessive amount of, the sound knowledge is misplaced. Audio CDs use 16 bits per pattern, whereas DVD and Blu-ray discs use 24 bits per pattern.

bitrate How a lot precise sound knowledge is processed (expressed in kilobits per second). To get the bitrate, you multiply the pattern price by the bit depth. A CD audio file with a 44.1 kHz sampling price and 16-bit depth may have an uncompressed bitrate of 44100 * 16, i.e., 705.6 kbps.

To get an concept of ​​the distinction in file measurement, let’s take into account a five-minute uncompressed tune recorded in two-channel stereo audio.

  1. 44.1kHz/16-bit: 44100*16*2 = 1411200 bits per second (1.4 Mbps)
  2. 192kHz/24-bit: 192000*24*2 = 9216000 bits per second (9.2Mbps)

Utilizing the calculated bitrate, multiply this by the size of the recording.

  1. 1.4*300 = 420MB or 52.5MB
  2. 9.2*300 = 2760MB or 345MB

So audio recorded at 192kHz/24-bit will take up six instances as a lot house, nevertheless it all is dependent upon what you need to do with the audio recording. Typically the total bitrate just isn’t required in a given snapshot, comparable to when muted.


In that case, you should use variable bitrate (VBR) is supported by MP3, OGG, AAC and WMA. Prior to now, VBR was not extensively supported, however it isn’t a giant downside these days.

3. Stereo vs. Mono

This level is fairly simple, so I am going to maintain it temporary. mono means a channel, whereas Stereo Which means two channels. The 2 channels in a stereo audio file could also be known as the “left” and “proper” channels.

With a pair of headphones, you’ll hear a stereo channel in a single ear and a second stereo channel within the different ear. When listening to a mono audio file, you may hear the identical precise channel in each ears.

In a way, stereo audio recordsdata are basically two mono audio recordsdata in a single, that means {that a} stereo audio file is at all times twice as massive as a mono audio file, assuming that the pattern price, bit depth, supply sound, and so on. are related. in between them. So the best strategy to shortly halve the dimensions of an audio file is to transform it from stereo to mono.

For sound-only recordings, mono is nearly at all times most popular as a result of it makes the sound highly effective, clear and advance. However if you wish to report two or extra singers in a room with distinctive acoustics, the vocals ought to be stereo.

Equally, podcast recordings may also be mono. Nonetheless, in music recording, a stereo is one which makes loads of music extra three-dimensional, as if the music is taking part in round you rather than you (i.e., mono sounds flatter).

4. Compression

For those who’re working with WAV recordsdata, the one strategy to cut back the file measurement is to tinker with one of many above settings (sampling price, bit depth, or variety of channels). For all the pieces else, compression is the largest consider audio file measurement. There are two kinds of compression:

  • lossy compression Removes “pointless” knowledge from audio, comparable to sounds which might be past most individuals’s listening to vary. As soon as compressed, this discarded knowledge can’t be recovered.
  • lossless compression Takes an audio file and packs it down as a lot as doable utilizing mathematical algorithms. Nonetheless, it have to be decompressed throughout playback, which requires extra processing energy. No actual knowledge is misplaced.

The compression mode you need to use is dependent upon the supposed use of the audio file. Typically, it is best to go along with lossless compression whenever you need to retailer an virtually excellent copy of the supply materials and lossy compression when the unfinished copy is adequate for day-to-day use.

For instance, you would possibly need to retailer your ripped CD assortment in FLAC (if space for storing is not a difficulty) and use MP3s to retailer them on the cellphone. If you do not know a lot about compression, this is our full information to how file compression works and a listing of instruments for successfully compressing massive audio recordsdata.

5. File Format

When you determine to go along with lossy compression, you might want to determine which file format is finest for you. On the time of this writing, the three hottest choices are: mp3, OggAnd AAC, To study extra, learn our information on evaluating completely different audio file codecs.

MP3 is by far the preferred, primarily as a result of it was the primary of the three to look on the scene. AAC is technically higher than MP3 however its utilization price just isn’t the identical. OGG is nice too, however not many gadgets help it, so follow MP3 or AAC.

No matter you employ, you may be narrowing all the way down to the goal bitrate. If we assume that you’re going to use the MP3 format, these are the 5 commonest bitrates at present in use:

  • 64 kbps AM radio high quality. Good for talk-only podcasts because the voices are usually not as advanced because the music.
  • 96 kbps FM radio high quality. The music will sound good, however you’ll inform that it isn’t excellent, primarily as a result of a number of the audible frequencies had been eliminated.
  • 128 kbps CD audio high quality. That is as normal because it will get. Music sounds “adequate” for most individuals at this bitrate.
  • 256 kbps Excessive audio high quality. You may even see some sounds and devices that weren’t detectable at low bitrates.
  • 320 kbps Greatest audio high quality. You may go increased, however you most likely will not be capable of inform the distinction, even if you happen to take into account your self an audiophile.


When it comes to file measurement discount, MP3s compressed to 128Kbps lose about 90% of the unique sound knowledge, whereas MP3s compressed to 320Kbps lose solely 60%.

Additionally, when you have an MP3 and an AAC each compressed to the identical bitrate, AAC will usually sound higher as a result of it makes use of extra superior compression algorithms. This implies you will get extra “high quality per megabyte” with AAC than with MP3.

Customise your audio recordsdata measurement

Understanding these 5 elements will enable you determine the easiest way to report and compress the music and/or podcasts you create and can enable you determine what sort of music codecs to purchase or which. C is to make use of streaming providers.



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