How to convert STEREO audio files to MONO in batch, using free software

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Typically, to convert stereo to mono, I would load up the audio files, one by one, into my favorite free audio editor (Audacity), and take it from there. But the obvious problem with this approach when you need to transform multiple files is that it can be very time consuming. Instead, I needed to find a software that can do this quickly and in batch. This post will show how to do this using FREE software.

But first, a bit of background: I recently downloaded some thirty spoken word audio files that I was eager to listen to, only to discover that the audio swung left and right across my headphones uncomfortably. This seemed like it was an accidental or a mistake in the process of recording the files, and in any case I needed to find some way to convert the messed up stereo into a steady, more comfortable to listen to mono audio files. I needed to do this for all 30 files, and I wasn’t going to do it one at a time with an audio editor, so I set out to find a freeware tool that can do it in batch.

Note: this post could more properly be called “How to edit your MP3’s in batch” there are many operations you can perform with this software, such as quality and size edits, and not just stereo to mono

The process is really, self explanatory, but here’s a step by step:

1. Download MP3 Quality Modifier (free).

  • Unzip it into an appropriate place on your hard drive. Run the executable to use; no need to install.
  • Note that this is a Windows application. Sorry, this write-up only covers Windows.

 

2. Drag your MP3 folder (or individual MP3s) onto the program interface

  • Your audio files need to be in MP3 format. To convert from other formats, check out any of our previously mentioned free audio conversion tools.

 

3. Select “Mono” in the modus dropdown

MP3 Quality Modifier screenshot1 - modus dropdown

  • This is found in the bottom left (see screenshot above). We are assuming that converting stereo into mono is what you are here to do.
  • Make sure the checkbox next to ‘Modus’ is checked.

 

4. Set any other relevant quality parameters

  • If you want nothing else changed, set all the quality parameters such that they are equivalent to the original (see the example in the screenshot above). You can right click on the column heads in order to make more information visible.
  • Note: all of your files will by definition have the same quality settings, which is something to be aware of if your original files have different quality parameters.

 

5. Click the ‘Process’ button

  • If you want nothing else changed, set all the quality parameters such that they are equivalent to the original (see the example in the screenshot above). You can right click on the column heads in order to make more information visible.
  • At the end of the process, you will get a screen similar to this one (which also shows you the extent to which your file sizes are larger or smaller than the originals)

MP3 Quality Modifier screenshot2 - result

  • That’s it. You’re done.

 

If you have any thoughts/questions/comments, we’d love to hear them.