How To Make an Mp3 file

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Motion Picture Experts Group Layer 3 (MP3) is a type of digital compression technique which is based on more than 10 years of research in the field of psycho-acoustic resulting in the creation of audio files which are approximately 10 to 15 times smaller in size compared to its source file. The reduction in file size is achieved by stripping down the audio and removing portions which cannot be perceived by the human ear but can be differentiated when using certain listening instruments like headphones which isolate the sound. MP3 however has redefined the listening habits of the audiophile community and provided people with a faster and easier way of sharing music files across the Internet and other network environments. The popularity of this audio format also gave birth to various standalone music devices known as MP3 players which allows the user to download the songs directly into the device and listen to its playback practically anywhere.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- Web browser
- Internet connection
- Audacity program
Step 1
One of the easiest way to convert audio files to MP3 format is via the Audacity application which is a freeware based on the Open-Source development initiatives. This application can be used for both Mac and Windows environments. Download and install this program into your machine.
Step 2
Launch Audacity. Select the Import option using the MP3 Encoder.
Step 3
Click on the Settings menu and choose Custom. Setup the MP3 Encoder options according to your preference.
Step 4
Navigate to the location of the file to be converted. Right click on the file to bring up the context menu. On the Mac OS, you can use the Control-Click combination.
Step 5
Choose the option Convert Selection to MP3. You can also proceed to the Advanced menu and specify the Convert Selection to MP3 option.
Step 6
The conversion process will begin. The conversion engine will produce an audio file that has the exact name as the source file but a different file extension. Wait for the process to finish.
Step 7
After completion of the conversion, information must be added to the MP3 ID tags. Click on the converted file with the MP3 forma and choose the Get Info option. A keyboard shortcut for this is CTRL+I on a Windows machine and Command+I on a Mac OS environment.
Step 8
The application will display on the screen a summary about the file. Verify that the file format is MPEG-2, Layer3. Proceed by clicking on Info and continue to fill in the correct values for the tags.
Step 9
Under the Genre portion, the user has the option of selecting Custom in case there is no corresponding value under the items list. The user can then type in a new category for the music file.
Step 10
To add an image associated with the MP3 file, click on the Add button and select the Artwork option from the pull-down menu. Locate the appropriate image file and click on Choose.
Step 11
The conversion process is complete and you can now proceed to upload the MP3 file to the Internet or to any music player device.