MacMost Now 667: Trimming Audio With QuickTime Player

You can use QuickTime Player in Lion to edit audio files as well as video. You can trim down the audio, getting rid of unwanted sections at the beginning and end. You can also use the same technique to divide an audio file into several parts.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On todays episode let me show you how you can trim audio using Quicktime player.
So on Episode 647 I showed you how you can use the Quicktime player in Lion to edit video. Well you can also do the same in audio, you can trim audio. And I get a lot of questions from people that want to know how to trim a little bit of sound from the beginning or end of some audio or to break up an audio file into several parts. You can do that in Quicktime player. Let me show you.
So here I've got an audio file right here. I'm going to just drag and drop that onto Quicktime player and it will open up in a very simple player interface and I can play it. Now to trim this audio what I would need to do is go to edit and then trim. Command+T is the shortcut. And now I can see the waveform in here. Its pretty compressed so now I want to grab the right side and drag it over here to the right so now I can see it a little bit better and its easier for me to select. To trim I basically grab the left side there, go to where I want start, grab the right side right there. Once I get exactly what I want I click the trim button and now I just have that one portion of the audio. Now I can go to file and export, and export out just that one portion as a new audio file.
Now, say I want to split an audio file into several parts. Well I just trimmed down and exported the one part. I can do Command+Z or Edit Undo Trim and get the original back. Then I can go trim again and grab the next portion. It's a manual process but it's pretty quick. So, you see here I can actually even use keyboard shortcuts for everything. I'm just going to hit Return and thats the same thing as accepting the trim. I can do, for export, Shift Command S and then Command Z for Undo, Command T for trim again, and I'm back to selecting the third portion there and Return, Shift Command S, export it etc.
So you don't have all the fancy options like being able to export as other file types or being able to adjust the audio, things like that. You just have the basics of being able to trim things. Now thats going to come very useful if you have some audio that you want to bring into other some project, like,using iMovie or Keynote or even Pages. So it's really good for that. For anything else then you're going to want to go into a more advanced audio editor, like for instance garage band is perfect for that kind of thing.
So, until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 10 Responses to “MacMost Now 667: Trimming Audio With QuickTime Player”

    2/10/12 @ 11:21 am

    wow, best tip this year!

    2/17/12 @ 1:37 pm

    Gary, I tried to trim a tune from itunes in QuickTime Player, but there is no EXPORT option. ???

      2/17/12 @ 2:36 pm

      Are you using Lion?

        2/19/12 @ 4:52 pm

        No. I am using Snow Leopard.

          2/19/12 @ 5:03 pm

          There;s your problem. This tutorial is about QuickTime Player in Lion.

    Olivia Markowitz
    3/10/12 @ 2:15 am

    is there a way to use quicktime player audio in imovie?

      3/10/12 @ 9:39 am

      Don’t know what you mean by that. QuickTime Player is an app. You would play a video or audio file with it. You can use that same video or audio file in iMovie.

    Jack Weibel
    7/29/12 @ 1:14 pm

    Hi Gary, Big fan …
    Is there a way to export music from iTunes to a zip drive directly without burning to a CD first? I have tried dragging a playlist to my zip drive, but most of the songs come up as “Bad Media” on my Ford display in my car when I do that. Is there another way to do that? If I burn a CD first, then drag the files from the CD, they seem to work. But I was hoping to avoid the extra step. Thanks in advance.
    P.S. Maybe you have addressed the issue before, but I missed it. Thanks again.

      7/29/12 @ 8:58 pm

      Zip drive? Do you mean the old Iomega drives? I’m guessing not. Not sure what it is then.
      But most likely your problem is that when you drag the file from iTunes you get a copy of the file — which could be mp3 or aac. Maybe your car doesn’t like the aac format. So you’ve got to convert those to mp3. Or vice-versa. You’ll need to check with your car’s documentation and see and then convert your library to that format to make thing easier. See episodes 392 and 109.

        Jack Weibel
        7/29/12 @ 9:16 pm

        Sorry, Gary. I meant a USB Flash Drive. There is a built-in USB port on my Ford Escape sound system. I will check out episodes 392 and 109.

Comments Closed.