How to Convert to MP3 With Audacity

By Anthony Brandt

Audacity is a free software program for editing digital audio files. Home recordings, remixes, vinyl transfers and many other audio projects can be undertaken in this popular program. Files saved in Audacity will be written in .aup (Audacity project file) format. However, you can export your files into common digital audio formats such as MP3.

Exporting Into MP3 Format

Step 1

Run Audacity and go to \"File,\" then \"Export.\" You will be given the opportunity to add or change ID3 tags for the file you are creating. Click \"OK.\"

Step 2

Browse until you get to the folder in which you would like to save your file, then type a name for your file.

Step 3

A drop-down menu near the bottom of the window allows you to select the format in which you would like to save your file. On a default installation, Audacity will probably automatically select .wav format. Click on the menu and you will be given a list of choices, one of which should be MP3 format. If MP3 format is not in the list, skip to Section 2.

Step 4

Click \"Save.\"

Step 5

If you receive a message about locating LAME, skip to Section 2. Otherwise, a progress bar will apprise you of the MP3 encoding process. When finished, your file will be waiting in the folder you selected.

Add MP3 Functionality to Audacity

Step 1

For Windows users, you will need a file called \"lame_enc.dll\", which is available for download on the Audacity website (see Resources below). Download the file and save it to your Audacity program folder (usually C:\\Program Files\\Audacity\\).Skip to Section 3.

Step 2

For Mac OS X users, you will need a file called \"libmp3lame.dylib\", which is available in a .dmg file on the Audacity website (see Resources below).Download \"Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.dmg\". The numbers in the file name are a version number; ignore them if they are different. Extract the .pkg file from your downloaded Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.dmg file, then double-click on the .pkg file to install libmp3lame.dylib.Skip to Section 3.

Step 3

For Linux users, if running Ubuntu or another Debian-based Linux distribution, open \"Terminal\" and type the following command: \"sudo apt-get install lame libmp3lame0\".If not running a Linux distribution that uses Synaptic Package Manager, please visit the Audacity website for directions specific to your version of Linux (see Resources below).Skip to Section 3.

Completing the Process of Adding MP3 Functionality

Step 1

After obtaining and installing the appropriate files to add MP3 functionality to Audacity, follow Steps 1-4 in Section 1 to export an MP3 file. After completing Step 4 of Section 1, Audacity will ask you where the file you installed is located.

Step 2

For Windows users, Audacity will ask for \"lame_enc.dll\". Browse to your Audacity program folder (probably C:\\Program Files\\Audacity).Click \"OK\" or its equivalent, and Audacity should proceed with a progress bar apprising you of the encoding process. Your file will be waiting in the folder you selected.

Step 3

For Mac OS X users, Audacity will ask for \"libmp3lame.dylib\". Browse until you reach the \"/usr/local/lib/audacity\" folder. Click \"OK\" or its equivalent, and Audacity should proceed with a progress bar apprising you of the encoding process. Your file will be waiting in the folder you selected.

Step 4

For Linux users, Audacity will ask for \"libmp3lame.so.0\". Browse to the \"/usr/lib/\" folder, if necessary. Click \"OK\" or its equivalent, and Audacity should proceed with a progress bar apprising you of the encoding process. Your file will be waiting in the folder you selected.