dumbing down mp3 files

I have Audacity 2.1.2, as provided by the Software Center, Xubuntu 16.04 LTS.

I have good quality MP3 stereo files that are far to large to email, and since the files are already decent quality, I hope to dumb them down a bit to make them easier to email. I definitely do not need audio frequencies higher than 10kHz, the files are voice files, not music. And, the stereo channels are the same, so I could (hopefully) delete the left or the right stereo channel to make the files more ‘emailable’ (is that a word??!!).

The files have a 128KBit/s the sampling rate is 48,000 Hz. Some of the files are 120MB, they need to be under 25MB in order to transfer them by email.

I have no idea where to start. Any suggestions are appreciated.


You are about to experience the reason we tell people never do production in MP3. If you open the 128 quality files in Audacity and do nothing else but export them as 128, your export quality is a combination of the two. So you could have just created 64 quality shows. Certainly not 128.

Some of that is the way Audacity works. It converts the show to its own super quality internal format and then converts back down when it’s finished. It’s that second conversion that causes all the trouble.

I would forget email and use one of the file hosting services. DropBox? Some of them have a “free” limit and only charge if you go over that. Cycle the works through the service and tell everyone where to find them.

In extreme cases, use one of the simple, “pure” MP3 editors (no conversions) and cut the performances up into chapters or segments and email those.


Audio can be hosted for free* on SoundCloud : it’s like YouTube, but for sound rather than video.
You just email the link, e.g. … https://soundcloud.com/cirquedusoul/cirque-du-soul-twogood-017#t=1:20
Like YouTube, links can be unlisted : only those with the link can access the file, (not accessible by the general public).

[ * There is 3 hour a cap on free accounts ]