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Split large MP3 files using Spin Doctor Apps
I am new to the site, and I am hoping this can help someone. I see a lot of questions on other forums about splitting up large MP3 files into tracks for burning. Here's the best method I have found.

Roxio Spin Doctor is an app that is often overlooked for this task (especially in OSX). First, expand the mp3 file to AIFF, open it in Spin Doctor, and you can insert track breaks into it. It even has a feature to auto insert breaks, but you have to do some tinkering by hand normally anyway. You then save the AIFF and bring it into Jam or Toast and it will burn with track breaks.

I have tried serveral methods including Audion's mp3 editor, but the seems to be the fastest and easiest way. If you own Toast, chances are Spin Doctor is installed already as well.
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Splitting the unix-y way
Authored by: locknar on Jul 30, '02 07:44:40AM

This method is probably won't produce as neat a result as commercial software, but it uses built-in commands, and is therefore free. The unix "split" command works on mp3 files. It simply splits a single large file into multiple smaller ones of equal size. Use it like so:
- First switch to zsh by typing "zsh". This is needed for the "sed" portion of the command to work. I don't know why.
- Type the following command in the directory where your mp3 file is located:

split -b 500k file.mp3 new_; ls new* | sed "s/.*/mv '&' '&.mp3'/g" | zsh

where "file.mp3" is the name of your initial, large mp3 file. The file will be split into 500kb chunks, and named "new_aa.mp3, new_ab.mp3, new_ac.mp3 ..."

Thanks to "Unix Power Tools" for the sed command format. Great book.

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How about mpgtx?
Authored by: maguirer on Jul 30, '02 12:10:49PM

split could probably do what you want, but I think the results would be messy. A better solution would be to use "mpgtx" which can join, split, and/or trim mpeg files (including mpeg 1 layer 3 audio, i.e. mp3s).

It can split into equal pieces, split based on byte offsets or (my personal favourite) based on time offsets. Since it understands mpegs, it's slightly more intelligent about splitting (but not perfect), nor will it reencode the file. It can demux mpeg streams, too.

For example:
mpgtx -s -b TEST some.mp3 "[-00:00:10]"

Will create a file called TEST.mp3 that's the first 10 seconds (actually came out to 10.0049 seconds, but close enough) of some.mp3.

Had to put quotes around the time spec, otherwise tcsh thinks I'm doing a file glob.

I think someone even wrote a cocoa front-end to mpgtx, but I'm not 100% sure.

Only thing is, time offsets aren't accurate for VBR mp3s, and as more and more mp3s are VBR, time offsets in their current form will eventually become useless for mp3s. It estimates time offsets by multiplying filesize with time offset and dividing by duration.

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use iTunes
Authored by: VEGx on Jul 30, '02 12:52:24PM
You can split or get "samplers" right from inside iTunes! All you have to do is this:
  • open the mp3 in the iTunes
  • get info
  • change the starting and ending times [notice: if you play the song after these changes, iTunes just ignores it, so you have to do the next steps]
  • choose "Convert to mp3 [/aiff/wav]"
  • choose the file
  • wait
  • you have a new mp3 [aiff/wav] file that contains just your selection
That's all!

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use iTunes
Authored by: el bid on Jul 31, '02 07:02:55AM

It's a real shame that iTunes doesn't carry over the o-o features of Soundjam.

With SoundJam you could make multiple instantiations of the same file (not copies -- different sets of SoundJam metadata referring to the same file), and then give each instantiation a different start and stop point, thus effectively breaking a single large track into a set of separate tracks with no extra copying or processing.

Come to think of it, I haven't tried this with iTunes3. I don't suppose they could have reintroduced this feature....???

el bid

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Authored by: torndownunits on Jul 30, '02 03:07:20PM

This suggestion is for if you have a whole album that you need to split into tracks. Not make a selection and save an mp3 from it. You can take a whole mp3 album you 'found' ripped as one long track (no individual tracks) and make the tracks with this suggestion. That way it burns like the actual CD, not one continuous song. That iTunes tip can't do this.

Also, You can be as precise as you want with Spin Doctor. Just do the track breaks manually and don't use the auto select feature. Just click where you want a break and hit Cmd + B.

This tip was meant for people that just want a really easy way to do it. Spin Doctor shows a 'sound wave' which makes it really easy to find where the breaks are in an album. I have no Unix experience. This tip is meant for people like me. I am always willing to try things out that people suggest when it comes to terminal commands. but I will probably still pick whatever is the easiest way.

Anyway thanks for the comments. I just thought from reading the posts that I should clarify a bit.

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