Another option is that when your finished editing, to save it as an uncompressed wave, which should maintain the audio quality of the original.. but that makes it an even larger file size than the previous option.
So often, what many of us do is just opt to accept a certain degree of audio quality loss for the sake of the final edit.
But there is another option.. Depending on what kind of editing you wish to employ, there is a completely non destructive way to a edit mp3!
If you don't need to enhance the original file with processing, but just want to do basic things like; cut out certain parts, move portions of the content around, adjust or normalize the volume, or have it fade in or out at certain points, or even split sections into entirely separate mp3 files.. Then your in luck, because you can easily do all that with a free program called mp3DirectCut.
This is a fast and simple program to use, that's easy on the resources, and to top it all off, it's free!
This is a Windows program, but you can use it on Linux with Wine.
I highly recommend you include it in your part 15 box of tools.. http://mpesch3.de1.cc/mp3dc.html
All you need to cut your mp3mp3DirectCut is a fast and extensive audio editor and recorder for compressed mp3. You can directly cut, copy, paste or change the volume with no need to decompress your files for audio editing. This saves encoding time and preserves the original quality, because nothing will be re-encoded. The built in recorder creates mp3 on the fly from your audio input. Using Cue sheets, pause detection or Auto cue you can easily divide long files.
•Non-destructive cut, copy, paste
•Volume change, fade, normalize
•MP3 recording with ACM or Lame encoder
•Fast MPEG visualisation and easy navigation
•Layer 2 support (dvd/dvb audio)
•Cue Sheet support
•Auto cue (track dividing by time values)
•Track splitting with filename and tag creation
•Trim · Crop · Fast play · Loop play
•ID3v1.1 tag editor · ID3v2 tag keeping
•VU meter · bitrate visualisation
•High speed recorder · Command line usage
Get your copy now.. http://mpesch3.de1.cc/mp3dc.html