With Apple annoucing a new range of iPods one of the biggest, or rather smallest, problems that the new range has is the small amount of storage that you get on th iPod Touch.

Images borrowed from Apple.Com/UK

I really want to get the 16GB iTouch but I have why to many audio podcasts and audio books that I listen to regularly and would want to put on it, that I’m not totally sure if I should get the 16GB iTouch or go from the 160GB Classic.

I know that you can just use iTunes to re-compress the files down to a smaller size, but this using a lower bit rate and thus a lower sound quality, plus this dosen’t always size that much space with podcasts and audiobooks due to the farily low bit rate that they use already (64kbps in mono or 40kbps in stereo, with a small number using 128kbps in mono).

So I have been looking around on the web and have found a piece of software called ‘ShrinkMyTunes from London-based Z Group which is £20UK, or $40US.


How I have found and read some reviews about this software on -

Wired.Com , CrunchGear.Com , PCAdvisor.Co.UK and PersonalComputerWorld.Co.UK (PCW.Co.UK) plus one on Playerbites.com that even has audio examples of a file before and after being compressed with ShrinkMyTunes.

Before Before

After After

Click on either of the above to hear that file (the above 2 images and the files are from the article on about ShrinkMyTunes on the Playerbites.com site, so please take a look at they site at somepoint)

From listening to the above two samples (Thanks Playerbites.com) I think that the bass lacks depth and the treble disappears at the higher range, but the new file sounds alot better then if you compress a track down to 29kbps using iTunes, plus you don’t get many Podcast or Audiobooks that use either low bass or the higher range.

So I was wondering if anybody has used this software for compressing the spoken voice within Audio Podcasts and AudioBooks, plus what they thought about the sound quality? The above listed reviews only tested ShrinkMyTunes with music tracks.

part of the review from Wired.Com -

The result is a file that plays back in any MP3 player and sounds only the slightest bit less punchy, but is much smaller in size. To the trained ear, the converted MP3s sound like they have a medium amount of variable-bitrate (VBR) compression applied. But the quality-to-file-size ratio is much higher than what you get with built-in VBR rippers from iTunes or Windows Media Player. Even LAME’s best settings can’t beat ShrinkMyTunes at these file sizes.

It’s available on the company’s website and at Amazon. You’ll also find it on shelves at Office Depot and other retail stores next month.

To test ShrinkMyTunes, we started with a little classic rock. On the “Best Quality” setting, David Gilmour’s acoustic guitar and breathy vocals on Pink Floyd’s “Wots … Uh the Deal” lost little of their sheen, though a small amount of washiness was introduced in the very highest frequencies. The Floyd’s rocking “Free Four” also remained loud and sharp. Both tracks were reduced in size substantially, ending up about half their original bulk.

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