When it comes to audio editing and recording applications, few are as versatile or as powerful as Audacity. Audacity allows you turn your PC into a full-featured mini-recording studio, and the audio program is free and can support many popular file formats. One feature Audacity does not support, though, is built-in support for exporting audio files to MP3 format. To convert files to MP3 in Audacity, use a free third-party plugin.
- Skill level:
Download the Lame MP3 plugin for Audacity (see Resources). Save the file to your computer.
Double-click the saved file on your computer to start the installer. Follow the prompts to install the plugin. Do not change the default installation folder for the plugin, which is "C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity."
Open Audacity. Click "File" and "Open" to browse for an Audacity file, which has an .AUP extension, to convert to MP3. Alternatively, click "File," "Import" then "Audio" to import another audio file type into Audacity. Audacity allows you to import .WAV, .AIFF, AU, MP2/MP3 and OGG files.
Makes changes or edits to the audio file as needed.
Click "File" and "Export" on the Audacity menu bar. The first time you convert a file to MP3, you must point the application to the "lame_enc.dll" file. Browse to the "C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity" folder and click "Open" then "OK."
Click "File" and "Export" again. Select MP3 as the "Save as Type" option. Enter a descriptive name for the new MP3 file, then click "Save." Audacity converts the file to MP3 format.
Tips and warnings
- To select bit rate, quality and variable speed option for the MP3 file, click "Options" before clicking the "Save" button.
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