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Smaller file size for email

 
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AmadeusJohnG



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:46 pm    Post subject: Smaller file size for email Reply with quote

Being new to the world of audio files, I do not know how to make a file size smaller without compressing it.

I wish to email what is currently a 9MB file (voice only recording of approximately 10 minutes), but it has been rejected by the email recipient because the file size is too large.

A previous version of the same recording was only 2.5 MB.

How do I make a smaller file size of my existing file (saved as an .aiff)?
Somewhat lower quality would be acceptable.

Confused
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Sonic Purity



Joined: 10 Nov 2007
Posts: 82
Location: Pasadena, California, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Smaller file size for email Reply with quote

AmadeusJohnG wrote:
Being new to the world of audio files, I do not know how to make a file size smaller without compressing it.


That would be because it is not possible. Read on for options.

Quote:
I wish to email what is currently a 9MB file (voice only recording of approximately 10 minutes), but it has been rejected by the email recipient because the file size is too large.

A previous version of the same recording was only 2.5 MB.

How do I make a smaller file size of my existing file (saved as an .aiff)?
Somewhat lower quality would be acceptable.

Confused


Welcome to the forum and to Amadeus!

There are a number of ways to meet your goals. It would be nice to know how about that previous version of the file that was 2.5MB, yet not knowing that i must discuss other considerations.

Letís start with the original AIFF file. Is this voice recording monophonic (from one microphone, most likely)? If so, is your AIFF file mono or stereo? If it is stereo, use Amadeus to convert it to mono, and you will still have an AIFF file with no losses and it will be half its current size!

This file will not get smaller as an AIFF unless its parameters are further changed, and that could impact sound quality, so letís not go there just yet. Does your recipient need an AIFF format file? If so, your options for lossless reduction of the file size (lossless compression) are limited to the same items that compress applications and many data files: Zip, Stuffit, and so forth. These will make the file smaller for transit via email, then will "unfold" back to the original AIFF at the other end. The main issue is that none of these methods may be able to make the file small enough (though it may be worth trying).

Now, if you want to retain the full current existing sound quality and have a smaller file than Zip, Stuffit, and so forth can manage, then save a copy of your AIFF, inside Amadeus, in a lossless compressed format optimized for audio. Your choices include FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), Apple Lossless, and likely others that are not popping into my head as i type this out. These files should be at least a bit smaller than what Zip, Stuffit, etc. can manage, as they are formats optimized for packing audio bits as efficiently as possible without losing any data. The recipient can use them as-is, or use Amadeus or other software to convert the file back to the original AIFF.

If the lossless audio compression formats are still not creating a small enough file, you need to investigate one of the following:
    Lossy compressed file formats
    Changing AIFF file parameters to reduce the original file size

I suggest trying lossy compressed file formats first, as they are most likely to yield a small enough file size with minimal audible changes. These formats include the very popular MP3, and the possibly better MPEG4/AAC and Ogg Vorbis. The files will be dramatically smaller in size and should sound the same or close, yet are not identical to the original. Care will be required if the received file needs to undergo further editiing/conversion. Best to choose a format where no further conversion will be necessary. There are other formats and also sub-variants of these; too many to go through here. You'll need to do your own experiments and research. As a starting point, for my needs i tend to use .m4a, a variant of MPEG4/AAC, when sending to other Mac users, Ogg Vorbis otherwise, and MP3 when i have to have guaranteed compatibility with a wide range of recipient systems (more for web page posting than for emailing, in my case).

Changing other parameters of the original AIFF file is more likely to introduce sonic anomalies, yet is definitely a viable option to get an AIFF small enough (with some other compression, most likely). The easy one, discussed at the top, is to minimize the number of channels. Harder tradeoffs are lowering either or both of sampling rate and bit depth, both of which have a high likelihood of deleteriously affecting sound quality, though less so with voice than with music. The compression options offered with the AIFF format are years older and in my experience vastly inferior to the current offerings (many discussed above), and should be avoided. All are lossy, as best i remember.
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CDJonah_alt



Joined: 15 Mar 2007
Posts: 378

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Smaller file size for email Reply with quote

Not sure what you are doing, 10 minutes of 44khz aif would be about 100
Mbytes.

Save the file as mp3 at a fairly low bit-rate 40-56 khz should do the trick.

Chuck

AmadeusJohnG wrote:
Quote:
Being new to the world of audio files, I do not know how to make a file size smaller without compressing it.

I wish to email what is currently a 9MB file (voice only recording of approximately 10 minutes), but it has been rejected by the email recipient because the file size is too large.

A previous version of the same recording was only 2.5 MB.

How do I make a smaller file size of my existing file (saved as an .aiff)?
Somewhat lower quality would be acceptable.

Confused




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AmadeusJohnG



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Smaller file size for email Reply with quote

If I'm not mistaken, the original file size was 2.5 MB. After recording (mono), I saved it directly as an .mp3 file.

After learning that one should save it as an .aiff file for manipulation, I re-recorded the same message of roughly the same length.

From then on, it has not gotten any smaller than 8.5 MB. I did editing on this version, using the markers. Would that permanently increase the file size?

Even compression does not seem to reduce the size.

I just checked the original recording file size (.mp3) and it is actually 2.1 MB, recorded without any edits.
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Martin Hairer
Site Admin


Joined: 08 Nov 2006
Posts: 1615

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject: Smaller file size for email Reply with quote

Hi John,

Quote:
Even compression does not seem to reduce the size.

What exactly do you mean by "compression" here? Do you really mean
that if you save as an Mp3 file you end up with a file the same size
as the original AIFF file? The best way to end up with a small file,
as already mentioned by several people here, is to save as an Mp3 file
and to choose a low bitrate in the Mp3 settings (click on "Settings"
in the saving dialog). Regards,

Martin

HairerSoft
http://www.hairersoft.com/


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AmadeusJohnG



Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:23 pm    Post subject: Smaller file size for email Reply with quote

Bingo!!!

Thank you. I found the "Settings" button within the .mp3 "Save" menu, just as you suggested.

That's solved the problem. The file is now 3.2 MB.

Thank you.

Nice program
Excellent forum
Great support

John
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