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I have a bunch of files I want to compress to stick in my dropbox account (as a single archive file.) When I select all the files in Finder and right click, I get the choice to "compress", which does create an file. But the file isn't any smaller than all of the individual files put together.

Is there any way to change the compression settings on the archive utility?

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I'm not aware of any settings on the built-in utility. On a related note, though, what sort of files are you trying to compress? Many common media filetypes, for example, already use some form of compression, and don't shrink well when archived. – Dan J Sep 7 '12 at 16:59
They're mp3 files. – EmmyS Sep 7 '12 at 17:53
@EmmyS then ZIP compression will not give you much compression at all. You could try using GZIP or similar from the command line, or maybe even RAR, but I would expect there to be no difference. – Richard J. Ross III Sep 7 '12 at 18:01
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you launch Archive Utility directly from /System/Library/CoreServices/, you can create gzip-compressed .cpgz archives, which can have a higher compression rate than zip compression. However if you're compressing already compressed files (like most music and video files), you likely won't get much space savings, if any.

If you want to try however, open up Archive Utility, open the preferences, then change the Use archive format: setting to compressed archive, and create a new archive from the file menu (⌘K). This setting only affects archives created when you open the Archive Utility app. Ones created with the Compress option in the Finder's context menu will still be zip archives.

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