Chapter 9. Shrink That Puppy and Slap a Label on It

In This Chapter

  • Downsizing audio files with MP3 compression

  • Understanding bitrates and sample rates

  • Dissecting ID3 tags: They're not just for music anymore

You've finished your final edit (and if you think we're skirting blasphemy whenever we use the E word, trust us — creativity sometimes demands a sacrifice). At last you're ready to compress your mondo-super-sized AIFF or WAV file down to the format that inspires terror and indigestion in RIAA representatives everywhere: MP3.

The MP3 format was designed to reduce the amount of data (via compression) required for digitized audio while still retaining the quality of the original recording. MP3 files are the best way to keep the audio small enough in size to make it a quick-and-easy download, and it's this format that podcasting uses to get content efficiently from podcaster to podcatching client. Although creating MP3s is a simple enough process, you do need to make some tradeoffs between quality and compression.

A Kilobit of Me, and a Whole Lot of You: Understanding Kbps

The compression process begins with proper bitrate settings, measured in Kbps (kilobits per second). Bitrate is a method of measuring data transmission from one point to the next. The higher the Kbps value, the more data being transferred between two points. The more data being transferred per second, the better the quality of information. With each rate of data transfer offered by recording applications, you can digitally ...

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