How to Reduce MP3 Size in iTunes

by Joshua Duvauchelle

The size of an MP3 file varies widely according to the song's length and sound quality. Though larger files may have the highest quality sound, they also take up a lot of room on both your computer hard drive and any MP3 players you may be using. Use iTunes, Apple's free music management program, to convert and reduce the MP3 file to a smaller size.


Launch the iTunes software. The software is located in your "Applications" folder on your Mac or within your "Start" menu on a Windows PC.


Open the program's preferences window. On a Mac, click "iTunes" in the top menu bar and select "Preferences" from the drop-down menu. On a Windows PC, click "Edit" in the top menu and choose "Preferences." A new window will appear.


Click "General" in the top row of icons in the new window.


Push "Import Settings." Another new window will appear. Choose "MP3 Encoder" from the drop-down menu. In the quality menu, select "Custom." A third window will launch.


Select a stereo bit rate. The lower the bit rate, the smaller the MP3 file size. Push "OK" when you're done and close all the windows except for the main iTunes library window.


Click any song in iTunes that you wish to reduce in MP3 file size. Press "Advanced" in the top menu bar and choose "Create MP3 Version." The iTunes program will now create a new copy of the song at a reduced bit rate and file size.


Delete the original song by right-clicking it and selecting "Delete" from the pop-up menu.


  • The lower you set the bit rate, the lower the quality of the song, according to Apple.

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About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.

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