I am looking for a super easy app for cutting .mp3 files, and setup fadeout at the end. Like Ringer, but this is for ringtones. plus the time is limited and I can't export mp3 files with it. But you get the idea. It's really easy to use.

Audacity, Garageband are way too complicated and big. Any tips?

  • Audacity doesn't have to be complicated. It look intimidating because there's a lot it can do, but if you're just cutting and fading out, you can do that quickly and easily with Audacity. Don't have to get fancy with it.
    – Harv
    Aug 4, 2011 at 16:54

6 Answers 6


You should try QuickTime :

  1. Open the file in QuickTime
  2. ⌘T (or the last item of the Edit menu, I don't know how it's called in English)
  3. Frame the part you want with the yellow control
  4. Click the yellow button
  5. Save and you're done !

Edit : In order to fade out, this software seems to be the solution (but I didn't try it myself).

  • This is a great solution, i though this only works with videó files. But, i need the fade out feature at the end, so no luck with this, sadly:(
    – passatgt
    Aug 4, 2011 at 15:57
  • Sorry, I overlooked this aspect of your question. I think this software does what you seek (but I didn't try it myself) : deepniner.net/mp3trimmer
    – olivier
    Aug 4, 2011 at 16:36
  • Well, this one is ugly, but it does the job, thanks:)
    – passatgt
    Aug 4, 2011 at 17:13

I know you said that Audacity is too complex, and I agree that the interface is both overwhelming and difficult to figure out.

That said, trimming and fading out an audio file in the app is actually very straightforward and you get a lot of additional power that's still easy to use (see the bit I added on normalizing down at the end). Here's my walkthrough:

Open the File

Full File

Select the Area to Keep

Just drag the cursor across the waveform area. Press the spacebar to play/pause, or click the waveform at any spot and press the spacebar to play from there.

(Instead of selecting the "keep" area and trimming you can select the areas to remove and just hid the Delete key.)

Selected Keep Area

Select Trim from the Edit Menu

Or press CmdT

Edit Menu -- Trim

The trimmed file:


Select the Area to Fade

Faded Selection

Select Fade from the Effects Menu

Effect Menu -- Fade

The now-faded result:

Faded Result

Export as MP3

File Menu -- Export

Choose mp3:

Choose mp3 format

Edit or enter file metadata:

Edit Metadata


Normalizing the Audio

Because you're in a more powerful editing app, you could also take a moment to Normalize the file. This brings the audio levels up to "full", meaning the file is as loud as it can be without clipping or distorting anything.

Normalizing is generally great for podcasts and other spoken tracks, though isn't always recommended for music (sometimes the fact that it's quiet is intentional).

Here's how to normalize it while it's still open:

Select the Track

CmdA for Select All is quick, or just double-click the waveform area.

Select the area to normalize

Choose Normalize from the Effects Menu

Effects Menu -- Normalize

Use the default settings:

Normalize Options

The resulting normalized audio:

Normalized result

  • Your answer, though it is a good answer, demonstrates just how complex Audacity is. :-) Too many pictures...waay too many pictures.
    – daviesgeek
    Apr 10, 2012 at 23:38

You can trim it in iTunes, albeit not quite as graphically as other programs.

  1. Click to select the MP3 file in iTunes
  2. File → Get Info (or Cmd-I)
  3. "Options" tab
  4. Choose the Start Time and End Time -- you may need to test this out a few times
  5. Advanced → Create MP3/AAC version

(For Step 5, whether it's MP3 or AAC depends on your import settings. This is under iTunes preferences → General → Import Settings.)

  • Same as the previous answer, great, but i need the fade out feature. Thanks anyway!
    – passatgt
    Aug 4, 2011 at 15:58

Audacity works well.


Sound Studio is GREAT for lightweight, fast audio editing. I don't know if it is free, but it is definitely worth the money to buy it.
Note: I am using Sound Studio 2.0.7 on Snow Leopard. I think the current version is 4.?.?, so I don't know what it's like now. And...yes it does fade out. Just select the section you want to fade out and click Filters>Fade Out. Fast, lightweight and easy audio editing.


Fission from Rogue Amoeba is a commercial program that can edit MP3s natively and is simple and easy to use. It costs US $39.

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