can I open and edit an MP3 file without it converting

I have lots of MP3 files of long talks that I want to edit into excerpt (shorter talks) and snippets for publication.
I would like the excerpts and snippets to be of the same quality and equivalent size as the files I am editing.
When I open a file in Audacity it seems to convert it into an Audacity file. Then I cut out the bit I want, put it into another file and export it to MP3. I have two problems with doing it this way.
Firstly I have been told that every time a file is converted it loses quality - therefore converting it to a different format (Audacity) and back to MP3 would lose quality.
The other thing is that when I export the excerpt to save it as an MP3 the smaller talk has a much bigger file size than the original longer talk.
I hope that all makes sense - I am not experienced in this sort of stuff.

there is a utility called MP3splt that reportedly does what you need, see:


You want the GTK interface version unless you are comfortable using the command-line.

Other similar tools at .


Thank you both very much for your replies.
Meanwhile I found this useful info in Audacity and downloaded mp3Direct and have been trying that - although horrible to use after Audacity which I like much more.
On your recommendation I also just tried mp3splt-gtk and that seems to be even less user friendly than mp3Direct which is much worse than Audacity.
It is still all a work in progress and learning for me.
Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply.