Z GROUP ShrinkMyTunes
- It shrinks any MP3 audio file type
- Audio quality diminishes somewhat once they've been shrunk, it selects all files by default
ShrinkMyTunes is a nice idea, but we do have doubts about the drop in quality of the sound. Having said that, ShrinkMyTunes does offer a full 14-day money back guarantee, so it's worth having a go to see whether you find the results acceptable or not -- after all, you could save yourself the cost of a new hard drive or iPod.
ShrinkMyTunes will make your digital music files smaller, to prolong the life of your iPod.
It has never been cheaper to pile on the gigabytes, but storage space is still something we want to hold on to where possible. After all, our many video and audio files consume plenty of room, so anything that allows us to increase digital storage space without buying a new hard drive or flash drive has to be good -- especially in the case of an iPod portable music player. Increasing the capacity probably means buying a whole new model. That's where ShrinkMyTunes comes in.
The concept is simple. ShrinkMyTunes takes any existing MP3 audio file (WAVs are also supported, and other audio formats should be added in the future) and converts it into a new and (generally) smaller version.
The ShrinkMyTunes patented compression technology (developed by a team of hungry NASA scientists) supposedly cuts down the file size (by up to four times) without affecting the quality of the audio. And it's really as simple as that.
As a matter of fact, we would have been happier had the interface itself been a little less simple. You point ShrinkMyTunes at the location of your MP3 files and, if they're scattered across a number of sub-directories, the whole lot tend to get clumped together.
And they're all selected as default, with seemingly no way of selecting just one file without deselecting all of the others first. However, we're sure ShrinkMyTunes will be improved and refined over time. And it's nice having the option of overwriting the original file or saving the ShrinkMyTunes version to another directory.
So can ShrinkMyTunes really reduce the size of your MP3 collection by 75 per cent?
Well, that all depends upon your musical tastes. In the case of a typical modern rock or rap album (Franz Ferdinand, Kanye West etc.), we found the original files to be 3.2-3.3 times larger than the versions that had been converted using ShrinkMyTunes.
The same went for a hard-driving Art Blakey jazz album. Indeed, pretty much anything with strong drums should struggle to muster more than 3.5x. Something a little softer, such as David Gray, could be reduced by around 3.8 times.
On the other hand, an album of 19th century operatic arias comfortably hit 5.3x, and a CD of Bach's Goldberg Variations for the piano could be reduced by an impressive 6.3 times. A typical 20-something, then, should be looking at upping their storage space by 3.2-3.5 times using ShrinkMyTunes. That's rather useful if you want, in effect, to turn your 4GB iPod nano into a 12GB to 14GB version.
But what about the audio quality? Well, here ShrinkMyTunes is a little less impressive we're afraid. Listen to the files on their own and the results sound pretty good. However, run them alongside the originals and the differences become more noticeable.
Most of the tracks ShrinkMyTunes has, well, shrunk sound as though they're being played inside a large tunnel, and background noises (the odd cymbal, for instance) tend to sound less distinct.
There are occasions when ShrinkMyTunes actually improves upon the original (hissing can disappear, for instance) but, mostly, you're losing a bit of detail and having to settle for slightly muddy sound. Granted, none of these defects will stop you from enjoying the music, but you could instead dramatically drop the recording quality of your MP3 files and look to make similar file-size gains that way.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
- The Windows 10 Game Bar: What PC gamers need to know
- Microsoft redesigns OneNote UI to make it more universally accessible
- Windows 10 Insider build 16199 fills some holes in the Creators Update
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Asus ROG Strix Z270F Gaming motherboard review
- The simple RAM buying guide
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager - Higher EducationVIC
- FTProject Manager - Accountin Finance and AssetWA
- CCXML DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst l GROUP LIFE INSURANCE l SydneyVIC
- CCC++ DeveloperNSW
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- CCSalesforce Marketing CloudNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- CCSenior Procurement SpecialistVIC
- CCProject Manager Information ManagementQLD
- CCSAP ISU Functional ConsultantVIC
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTBI BA Consultant l Microstrategy, Business ObjectsNSW
- CCSolution DesignerNSW
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- CCNetwork Security Engineer - Finance - Contract - SydneyNSW
- CCSQL Analyst DeveloperNSW
- FTScrum Master - TechnicalNSW
- FTTechnical Consultant - SharePoint developerQLD
- TPEOI - Developers and Tester (APS)ACT
- CCSenior Communications Advisor - Australian TelcoVIC
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW