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Cutting an MP3 gaplessly without re-encoding., I need advice, please.
post Feb 24 2013, 00:07
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Greetings all!

This is my first forum post here, although I have been a reader for a while now. I ran into a dilemma recently. I purchased an album off of BandCamp that included a bonus track, but the problem is that they made the last track and the bonus track one file rather than splitting the bonus track into it's own separate file. I'm a perfectionist, so naturally I went about trying to find a program that could cut the mp3 into two separate tracks without compromising quality. This was harder than I imagined.

Most programs that claim to split audio files without re-encoding don't actually do it flawlessly. The data isn't encoded in a truly gapless way, and this bothers the hell out of me. I've referred to several old threads here on the board (Which I will link to in a second) and they all seem to recommend a problem called "pcutmp3" which has been dead since 2009:


I've tried to run the most recent release (0.98 Beta), but to no avail. I just get an error message that states that "a java exception has occurred". I'm running a PC with Windows 7 Home Premium, 64-bit installed. And as explained in the previous threads, programs like Medieval CUE Splitter and mp3Directcut just don't do the job.

So my question is... Are there any other programs today that are able to do what I need, i.e., splitting an mp3 file into two separate files WITHOUT re-encoding them, AS WELL AS making the resulting files play back gaplessly? Surely in the three years since those threds were posted at least one other program has been developed that can do what pcutmp3 used to do, right?

Any suggestions would be tremendously appreciated.
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post Feb 24 2013, 02:55
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pcutmp3 0.97.1 is working OK for me in Win7 64-bit with 64-bit Java 1.7.0_15.

When you cut an MP3 with any of the regular cutters (not pcutmp3), or if you use the never-fully-implemented --nogap options in LAME (cutting at encode time), you're rendering a small number of samples on either side of the cut point unreachable and/or improperly decodable, because every frame partially depends on adjacent frames.

This imposes playback requirements that currently almost zero players implement: reassembling the files beforehand (obviously requires some knowledge of what files belong together), or at least not resetting the decoder in between files, and reading the very end/beginning of adjacent files or dummy data in order to reach and properly decode the samples on each side of the cut points.

pcutmp3 fudges the MP3s a bit to attach part of the adjacent files to the current one and then tag the whole thing with gapless playback info that is widely supported, and that's as good as it gets. I hope you can get it working.

The people who make MP3 decoders and players are just not very interested in supporting what you really want, at least not without patches and test cases and some serious thought, and that's only for those that are open source.

This post has been edited by mjb2006: Feb 24 2013, 02:57
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Posts in this topic
- S3NT13NT_GL1TCH   Cutting an MP3 gaplessly without re-encoding.   Feb 24 2013, 00:07
- - db1989   mp3splt mp3DirectCut Oops, you mentioned the latt...   Feb 24 2013, 00:17
- - mixminus1   1) Try an earlier version of pcutmp3. It's be...   Feb 24 2013, 00:19
|- - S3NT13NT_GL1TCH   I've tried using the previous version of pcutm...   Feb 24 2013, 00:47
|- - greynol   QUOTE (S3NT13NT_GL1TCH @ Feb 23 2013, 15...   Feb 24 2013, 02:52
- - Cynic   Bandcamp require lossless uploads from the artists...   Feb 24 2013, 02:17
- - mjb2006   pcutmp3 0.97.1 is working OK for me in Win7 64-bit...   Feb 24 2013, 02:55
- - S3NT13NT_GL1TCH   @Cynic: That's true. In fact, that was what I ...   Feb 24 2013, 03:03
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (S3NT13NT_GL1TCH @ Feb 24 2013, 03...   Feb 24 2013, 03:27
- - greynol   I have no idea which encoder and what settings ban...   Feb 24 2013, 03:36
- - S3NT13NT_GL1TCH   @Porcus: Yes, indeed. That's always my preferr...   Feb 24 2013, 18:39
- - greynol   Yes, that is what I'm suggesting. I would als...   Feb 24 2013, 18:48
- - S3NT13NT_GL1TCH   @Greynol: Fair enough. Perhaps you could link to o...   Feb 25 2013, 03:36
- - greynol   Here's an example that might get the ball roll...   Feb 25 2013, 04:30
- - testyou   mp3splt has a gui.   Feb 25 2013, 19:26
- - db1989   The OP omitted to respond to my previous post cont...   Feb 25 2013, 23:58
- - 2Bdecided   I don't think they're gapless in the way t...   Feb 26 2013, 11:03
|- - S3NT13NT_GL1TCH   That was exactly what I was getting at. Maybe I wo...   Feb 27 2013, 00:00
- - db1989   mp3splt does the same thing for Vorbis, too. I don...   Feb 26 2013, 14:41
- - greynol   Wait, mp3split is gapless (and glitchless)? To th...   Feb 26 2013, 16:01
- - 2Bdecided   Gapless/glitchless mp3 decoding has patchy player ...   Feb 26 2013, 17:33
- - mjb2006   All the MP3 splitters cut on frame boundaries. pcu...   Feb 27 2013, 00:00
- - greynol   If the cut was performed over a period of silence ...   Feb 27 2013, 01:11
- - crazyman   How about mptrim? You can first delete part 1 and ...   Mar 8 2013, 20:48
|- - mjb2006   QUOTE (crazyman @ Mar 8 2013, 12:48) How ...   Mar 8 2013, 22:58
- - markanini   Perhaps subtrack/chaspter indexing via tags would ...   Mar 9 2013, 22:28

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