How to Join Short MP3 Files Into One Large Audio File

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Remember my post about the audio player in my car? In that case I needed to chop up large audiobooks to smaller audio files. A few days ago I encountered the very opposite situation — I now needed to join short MP3 files to make one large audio file.

What will you learn in this post?

I will show you:

  • how to reset a Philips GoGEAR MP3 player
  • how to join short MP3 files using MergeMP3
  • how to join short MP3 files using FFmpeg’s command line
  • how to do one thing that money people forget about these days 🙂

MP3 Player Randomizes Tracks

The reason for this was a Philips GoGEAR MP3 player.

Philips GoGEAR MP3 Player

Philips GoGEAR MP3 Player

I discovered that it played the audio tracks I copied to it at random. I played around with the gadget for a while and found several ways to fix this issue.

First, I just tried pressing all possible combinations of the player’s buttons. This resulted in that the MP3 player completely stopped working.

However, it also led me to finding and using the player’s hard reset button. It is located next to the USB connector under a small plastic cover. Use a long pin or a thin crochet hook to press down on it.

After two resets the random play problem was gone. But, obviously, I needed a better solution than this.

Listen Only to Large MP3 Files

So, I came up with a truly practical solutions — only copy large MP3 files to the player, so that even if the random feature returns, it won’t be too bothersome.

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Since my wife uses the player while working out, I suggested that she downloads her favorite YouTube mixes as MP3 files via ClipConvert.

As for me, I like to go to sleep listening to comedy albums, so I decided to merge the tracks of those albums to create one large MP3 file per album.

Two Ways to Join Short MP3 Files

There are two ways to go about joining smaller MP3 files into one large MP3 file. As always, I go for the free and portable solutions. This way I minimize the possibility of doing any harm to my computer.

MergeMP3

MergeMP3 is a portable application that is really fast and intuitive.

Just download the ZIP file from the above link, extract MergeMP3.exe to your Portable folder, and launch it.

Useful keyboard shortcuts for MergeMP3:
Ctrl+O — Add Files
Ctrl+Shift+O — Add Directories Recursively
Ctrl+A — Select All
Ctrl+Shift+M — Merge Selected
Ctrl+P — Preferences

MergeMP3 Files Selected

MergeMP3 Files Selected

Once you add the MP3 files, you want to join (either as a list of individual files or as directories), you can then merge them.

MergeMP3 — Processing completed successfully

MergeMP3 — Processing completed successfully

Should you run into the following error: Could not connect to the server to check version information.

MergeMP3 server connection error

MergeMP3 server connection error

…simply go to MergeMP3’s menu and click View > Preferences. Then click on the Internet tab and untick Automatically check for program’s updates.

MergeMP3 — Preferences > Internet

MergeMP3 — Preferences > Internet

FFmpeg

Alternatively, you can use FFmpeg, which is a command-line tool without a graphical user interface (GUI).

Simply download the latest static build and extract the contents of the ZIP file to your Portable folder.

To join short MP3 files into larger ones, launch Command Prompt (or one of its better alternatives, such as ConEmu) use the following command:

If you want to use the above command as is, you need to copy all the short MP3 files, as well as your filelist.txt to the same folder where your ffmpeg.exe files is located.

ConEmu FFmpeg command

ConEmu FFmpeg command

My file list contained 22 files, so my filelist.txt looked like this:

Throws multiple errors saying that the Application provided invalid, non monotonically increasing dts to muxer in stream #.

FFmpeg error

FFmpeg error

Don’t worry about those, just let FFmpeg finish.

FFmpeg finishes successfully

FFmpeg finishes successfully

The final merged output MP3 files is slightly larger with FFmpeg (122,731,806 bytes) than with MergeMP3 (122,731,656 bytes). Maybe the missing bytes are the reason why right-click > Properties > Details shows a 0 kbps audio bitrate for MergeMP3’s output file.

ffmpeg

FFmpeg output MP3 file properties

MergeMP3

MergeMP3 output MP3 file properties

On the other hand, MergeMP3 concatenates the MP3 files much faster than FFmpeg.

Or Check the User Manual, D’Oh

Or, you could just read the user manual for the Philips MP3 player and find out this on page 9:

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