How to Crop Audio Files Using iTunes

Most of us use Preview or Photoshop to crop and edit photo files, but what about audio files? That’s a whole different story. Many people have the difficulty of searching and downloading a good app that can easily crop or trim an audio file. Today I’ll be showing you how to use iTunes to perform this operation. Cropping an audio file is useful if you want to remove extra sound from the beginning/end of an audio file, or it you want a small portion of a sound file to use as a ringtone.

You can also use this technique if you need to divide a lengthy audio file into smaller parts, for whatever reasons whatsoever. So, without any further ado, follow the steps outlined below to use iTunes to crop an audio file:

1. Open your audio file in iTunes by clicking on it. (If you have set another audio app such as VLC, Vox etc. as your default media player, simply right click the file and “Open With -> iTunes”).


2. Once you have the file selected and in front of you, press “Command + I” or right-click the file and select “Get Info”.


3.  In the Options tab, enable the checkboxes for Start and Stop time. Now enter the time portion of the song that you want to crop. Once done, click Ok.


4. Now right click on the file and select “Create AAC Version.” This will result in a new audio file being created which is of the exact length you specified in the “Start” and “Stop” boxes. iTunes will play a “ding” sound once the new version has been created.


Note: Do remember to remove the start and stop times on the original file once you’re done, so you can listen to the full song again.

And that’s it. Now you have an easy way to crop your audio files. And if you want to use this new cropped file as a ringtone, check out this post.

Shujaa Imran Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier's resident Mac tutorial writer. He's currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube


  1. Works perfectly! Thank you very much, Shujaa. A minor comment…as I recall (I followed your instructions about an hour ago, so I may not be remembering correctly) I had to go back to the original mp3 file that was used to convert to AAC and remove the start and stop times, otherwise the truncated version is left in iTunes.

    1. Oh yes, forgot to mention that. Will add it back into the article, thanks for the tip.

    1. Yes, but Audacity can be a bit complicated for some. This is an easier way to crop audio files :)

  2. Haven’t got I-Tunes on this PC. Would this work with I-Tunes on a Windoze PC ?

    I presume you could then use Audacity to make the ringtones as per usual ? (On Wndoze).

    1. I haven’t tested this on Windows myself, but it most probably should work. Yes, you can then make ringtones using Audacity if you like.

  3. I read the article last week on creating ringtones using terminal.
    If you just add a few steps to these it is also easily done.
    The steps are:
    1. In step 3 above do not make the length more than 30 seconds.
    2. After step 4 above, locate the AAC song file you just created with Finder by right-clicking on the song in iTunes and selecting “Show in Finder”. With the song selected in the Finder window, change the file format from “.m4a” to “.m4r” A dialog will appear asking if you wish to change the file format. Select “Use .m4r” to continue.
    3. Next, you’ll need to import the newly-changed .m4r ringtone into iTunes by either double-clicking on the song in the Finder, or by dragging and dropping it to the iTunes icon in the dock. Once that’s done, your ringtone will appear in the Ringtones section of iTunes. You can preview the ringtone by double-clicking on it just as you would to play any other song in iTunes.

    1. Thank you for the comment. The method you’ve narrated is in fact easier, but I thought to cover both topics in separate articles for better understanding. But the method you’ve mention is shorter and easier.

  4. Hey this is great! I used it on a PC with Windows and there is only one difference: instead of using “create AAC version”, you need to go to “File>Create New Version>Create mp3 version”.
    Thanks for the post, very useful!

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