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I voice record a lot and the recorder outputs in WAV. These recordings are usually > 1hr. I don't care very much about audio quality but want the files compressed for cloud storage backup.

Is there an easy/graceful way to do this on Windows? The guide I found for Media player (first burn to a CD and then rip it as mp3) is kind of dumb! I don't want to do it online (some confidential info) and am not looking for shady freeware with ad popups.

Mac has "To MP3 Converter" which reviews said struggles with longer files and is also a monthly subscription, not good.

I can do this on ubuntu with ffmpeg with mixed results, especially with longer files.

  • on ubuntu i would rather recommend soundconverter... it supports a wide variety of formats (based on GStreamer), but i would suggest to simply use OPUS for best quality/size-ratio or FLAC for lossless compression. – DJCrashdummy Apr 18 '18 at 14:05
  • @DJCrashdummy on Ubuntu (and derivates) I used Lame in the past. Does a pretty good job. Meanwhile comes with a CLI and a GUI. – Izzy Apr 18 '18 at 15:54
  • @Izzy i'm not really sure about the purpose of your comment, but since the OP also mentioned an unsatisfying solution on ubuntu i wanted to show an alternative (GUI & CLI). || and additionally gave a hint for current formats to finally let MP3 R.I.P... – DJCrashdummy Apr 18 '18 at 16:56
  • @DJCrashdummy Same purpose as yours (showing an alternative). Was just pinging you along in case you might want to know about it as well :) Was no critics at all, just a complement :) – Izzy Apr 18 '18 at 19:25
  • @Izzy no harm done. maybe i was confused because i read your answer before your comment anyway. - yes thanks, i noted and also upvoted it, because it looks like a good alternative since i don't know any as easy as soundconverter on windows. :-/ – DJCrashdummy Apr 18 '18 at 20:33
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On Linux, I've always used Lame and was very much satisfied. It's also available for Windows, with a GUI as winLAME:

winLAME encoding winLAME presets
winLame: encoding, presets (source: winLAME; click images for larger variants)

It supports a wide range of formats, of course including MP3. You can select the quality you want (higher quality, bigger files), as the second screenshot shows. I've used in on Linux to encode my music files, but it does speech as well. Not being a Windows user I cannot tell how well the GUI works, but it looks very fitting for your requirements. On Sourceforge, it only has high ratings, so users seem to be happy with it; it is described by a user as "fast and simple" – exactly what you want.

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    winLame works great! Simple and efficient GUI and fast decoding. Thanks Izzy. – cvb0rg Apr 18 '18 at 20:42
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I use Audacity for this.

You need to install Audacity for Windows as well as the LAME Encoder. Then you can export to MP3 with relative ease, I've found.

As it's an audio editor, you can also trim the start and end of your recording and cut bits out before you export.

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    So why not use Lame directly? There's e.g. winLame. Just for conversion OP might not need an editor :) – Izzy Apr 18 '18 at 15:57
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    Fair enough, I have never tried doing that and didn't know about the winLame GUI :) Thanks – Ste Griffiths Apr 19 '18 at 10:20

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