Best Free Audio Cutter and Joiner



It's quite often you will need an audio or music editor to do some jobs like extract some songs from a large audio file maybe for your mp3 player; split and join a portion of an mp3 file to create a ringtone for your smart phone; cut out the commercials from a radio program you recorded; or even to split a wav file you've transferred from vinyl into its original track.

For such purposes, you could use an all-round audio editing freeware program like Audacity, but that isn't the most convenient or efficient way. Your best bet is probably to use a smaller, more specific program for the jobs: a lightweight freeware splitter or joiner.

And you'll be better off choosing a lossless splitter or joiner that will cut or merge your files speedily, even on an oldish laptop, without any loss of sound quality due to decompressing and recording.

This review will focus on simple audio cutters and joiners for use with mp3, ogg, wav and other format files.


Best Free Audio Cutter


A lightweight, portable and lossless mp3 splitter that is a joy to use

Our Rating: 
License: Free
An audio cutter that's lightweight, simple, efficient and user friendly; neat interface.
Mainly restricted to MP3.
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Split ogg vorbis files and cut mp3 with more features

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Open source)
Cuts/splits vorbis ogg files as well as MP3; many features; works well.
Slightly less user friendly than mp3DirectCut.
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Best Free Audio Joiner

MakeitOne MP3 Album Maker  

Outshines other joiners for its ability to join multiple mp3 files

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Ability to join/pack and unpack, processed in a fast speed. Adding tags and album art.
Supports only MP3 file format.
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Shuangs Audio Joiner  

Takes three simple steps to join audio files

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Simple and easy to use, adjustable bit rates.
Shows an ad panel.
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Best Free Online Audio Cutter

  • - There are several valid online mp3 cutters around, but for straightforward jobs, CutMp3 really is a cut above the rest. Since doesn't require you to upload the mp3 file, this app works lightning fast. There is no limit to the size of file you can use, and all in all really cuts the mustard!
  • - If you have proprietary ringtone needs, then Audiko may provide the answer. This online app lets you cut an mp3, ogg or aac audio file online easily, and could be good for creating a personalized ringtone for iPhone or other smart phones without installing any software. Just upload a file, choose the best fragment by dragging the start and end point on a volume unit (UV) meter while the audio file is automatically being played. Then, click the Create Ringtone button and download the file in mp3, m4r or an amr format directly to your mobile or smart phone; you'll have to send a text first though.


Other Audio Cutters and Joiners

  • Wave Splitter - This tiny, highly efficient and portable program provides an alternative way to cut wav files. Since it doesn't consume any RAM, WaveSplitter should be particularly useful on less powerful computers. The final version of this little freeware gem dates back to 2000, but it seems to work just fine even on recent platforms.
  • Merge MP3 - A strong contender for best free joiner based on its ability to merge mp3 files very rapidly without the need to re-encode.
  • mpTrim - This portable program will remove silent parts of mp3 files. Its sister program - wavTrim - will do the same for wav files.
  • - Another web site to create ring tones online from your mp3 collection; or download free ringtones made by others (free registration required).
  • Free Audio Dub - This standalone program promises to let you cut a variety of audio formats, including aac, ac3 and m4a (as well as mp3, wav, ogg, wma and mp2). So Free Audio Dub could come in useful for iTunes files. INSTALLATION NOTE: The installer asks you to install the Ask toolbar and set Ask as your home page and default search engine: to opt out,  uncheck all three tick boxes when installing.
  • Medieval Cue Splitter - Good for other audio file types if you want to split into original CD tracks a ripped audio file with an accompanying CUE file; supports mp3, flac, ape, ogg, wma, mpc, wv (lossless WavPack compressed) and ta (True Audio codec) files.
  • Free MP3 WMA Cutter - Also includes several basic audio file editing functions and can be used as a ringtone maker for iPhone, Blackberry, Nokia, etc.
  • Free MP3 Joiner - Drag and drop (and can also convert several audio file types).
  • Meda MP3 Joiner - Another contender.

Tested and not recommended:

  • iWisoft Free Video Converter - This excellent freeware video converter successfully cuts mp4 video files, but it isn't primarily an audio file cutter. Since the developers used to claim the program could cut and merge a wide variety of audio file formats I decided to try to split a Monkey's Audio ape file; the results were not good (far easier to decompress to wav and then split with CD Wave Editor). Still... worth watching.
  • Slice Audio File Splitter - Partial reliance on an ambiguously "freeware"  audio editor (Wavepad Basic) is an annoyance... as is the stuff these two programs write to the registry.


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A few words about how to cut or merge tricky audio file formats

If you're transferring LP records or tapes to your computer, or otherwise making high quality audio recordings to store and play from a hard disk or music player, you'll probably want to work initially with a pristine .wav (pcm) file before converting to a compressed format. This process is valuable if you're going to store your audio files in a format which can't be split, such as high quality lossy .mpc (musepack).

If you're working with files already compressed into a lossless format like .flac or .ape, you can just decompress them to .wav without losing any information for editing before compressing again to whatever format you need.

If the file you want to work on is a lossy one that can't be split (e.g. musepack), you can follow the same procedure by converting to wav or mp3 etc and then cutting; however, you'll inevitably lose some information and impair the sound quality. So, in that case it's much better to edit the wav file before converting to the compressed lossy format.



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Merge MP3 joins low bit rate streams where MakeItOne MP3 Album Maker is unable.

Usually, MakeItOne is chosen to join or split files together, and it has done so successfully for years. Recently some 32 kbps audiobook files were joined and failed, also some 16 kbps mp3s. Below is more on the problem and the solution:

At the online forum for MakeItOne it was discovered the program is intended for streams between 96 and 320 kbps. This was quite a surprise because 100s of mp3s were previously joined at 64 kbps and at 32 kbps, all with 100% success.

The 32 and 16 kbps audiobook streams that failed actually worked OK with the VLC Media Player where they were checked before loading them into an old, probably obsolete, Muvo 100 mp3 player from Creative labs that still works well. In the Muvo 100 the audiobooks either played with breakups or a file error message appeared. Some files were rejoined with MakeItOne to check, but the results were the same.

It looked like Merge MP3 might work, and the fact that it does not re-encode was a plus for low bit rate streams. Moreover, the program was used a few times in the past.

(The editor’s link for Merge MP3 under “More freeware review suggestions” is broken, but it worked previously. I’d really like to read what reviewer mr6n8 wrote…)

Merge MP3 fixed every set of low bit rate audiobooks 32 kbps and also 16 kbps, over 600 files so far.

Merge MP3 is a good tool for joining files. It is unable to unpack joined files like MakeItOne, but this is needed infrequently, and it is still a very nice tool that works below its 96 kbps lower limit.