Audio editing software to easily and efficiently export brief MP3 clips?
October 21, 2013 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Which OSX application will allow me to most efficiently set up the beginning and endpoints of MP3 files in order to extract brief audio clips?

I have a large number of MP3 recordings of seminars, lectures, and conferences. I'd like to extract brief audio clips of the best pieces of wisdom from them. These best-of excerpts will range from 15 seconds to 5 minutes in length.

I don't need to edit them together or join them together—I'm not making a podcast or anything. I just want to have a well-organized library of well-labeled, well-tagged audio clips that I can listen to, share with others, and transcribe.

The main tasks I envision are:
- listen to the long original recordings until I find a section I'd like to extract
- cue up the beginning marker
- cue up the end marker
- extract and exporting a clip as a standalone MP3 file
- name and tag the clips
- store and access my database of clips

The recordings are of varying sound quality. Sometimes the speaker's voice is faint or far away, and some of them have some background noise. If there's an easy way to clean up the background noise and boost the signal for the speaker's voice, that would be helpful too.

I'm on OSX, so the main contenders seem to be Audacity and Garageband. I haven't used either but I am willing to learn whichever one will let me do this most efficiently. I've also heard of other apps like Fission but I don't know anything about them.

So, which application will allow me to most easily and efficiently set up the beginning and endpoints of these clips and extract them?
posted by incandescentman to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
posted by thelonius at 6:58 PM on October 21, 2013

Best answer: Audacity is good for metadata and ease of extraction. You may need to learn a few things as you get started but the documentation (and people talking about it online) make it pretty easy to solve any problem you run into.
posted by jessamyn at 7:00 PM on October 21, 2013

Audacity is quite easy to use for things like this.
posted by alms at 7:22 PM on October 21, 2013

You can do this in iTunes without any other software. At least the setting of in and out points, plus extraction. Cleaning up audio would require another tool.
posted by now i'm piste at 8:54 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Fission is much easier to use than Audacity, but it also costs money.
posted by flaterik at 11:19 PM on October 21, 2013

Best answer: If you're doing that a lot, I would recommend Fission. It's a lot easier than Audacity and fast.
posted by amoeba at 8:10 AM on October 22, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Anyone know how to clean up the background noise in the audio files?
posted by incandescentman at 3:25 PM on October 23, 2013

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