Loading MP3 files to a mobile phone or MP3 player is a way to bring music to wherever you go. Music can be ripped from a music CD or downloaded online, and as a result, MP3 files can vary greatly in quality and file size.

Enhancing low quality MP3 files is problematic, since digital audio files simply lack the information to create better quality from it. But reducing the quality and as a result the file size is very possible. Although this might sound like a bad idea, it can be very useful to reduce the file size of your MP3 files, so that more can fit on your portable music player or phone.

As long as you don’t go below a certain quality threshold, the audible quality does not need to suffer at all.

To change the quality of MP3 files, you can use a program like the MP3 Quality Modifier. It allows the bitrate of MP3 files to be changed (reduced), and reduce the MP3 file size of the resulting MP3 file. The software is very simple to use. After downloading you can run the program without installation, and the main screen will show:

MP3 Quality Modifier main window

The first thing to do is add the MP3 files that you want to change the quality of. Click the Add files button, or use the File menu to select the files on disk to add. Even easier is to simply drag and drop the MP3 files from a file browser onto the MP3 Qualify Modifier window.

Once added, the next step is to select the settings for the quality modification process. There are quite a few options, but luckily there are also a number of presets that you can use. Simply select the Presets menu and then click your option:

Quality reduction presets for MP3

This will change the Mode and the Rate and any other required program settings automatically. You can change the destination for the new MP3 files, where you can specify a fixed location, instruct the program to create an “output” folder in the original location, or overwrite the original MP3 files (that is not something you generally would do if you are reducing the bitrate, and quality).

All is left now is to click the Process button and wait for the program to finish!

As a test I took a 100 MB worth of MP3 files, which were ripped at 320 Kbps and processed them with the Portable preset. During processing you can abort, skip a track or pause at any time. The program even has an option to shutdown the computer, in case you want to process a large amount of MP3 files and do not want to wait for it to complete.

Processing took less than 3 minutes on a relatively old laptop (Intel Core 2 Duo T5250 at 1.5 GHz). And the results in respect to size are impressive, as the program shows after completion:

MP3 quality reduction results

So now my MP3 music is only 40 MB instead of 100 MB, and more can be stored on a portable MP3 device.

Depending on the music type and the quality reduction you choose, you might be able to hear the quality difference when you play back the reduced MP3 files. But that is the nice part of this program, you can select the parameters for the resampling and control the file size reduction and sound quality of the resulting music. Just run a few tests to find out the best option for your personal preference.

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