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Exporting Your Project as an MP3 File

Exporting your audio as an MP3 file allows you to conveniently save a file and listen to it on a different computer, MP3 player, or any other device that can play MP3 files. Instead of directly encoding your audio project as an MP3 file, Audacity uses the LAME library to do this. The LAME library is an MP3 encoder recommended by Audacity that can be downloaded for free. This document shows you how to download the LAME library and how to export your project as an MP3 file in Audacity.

return to topDownloading the LAME Library

Audacity does not directly encode Audacity files as MP3 files. Instead, it uses the free LAME library. This section will show you how to download the LAME library.

NOTE: You must download the LAME library before exporting projects as MP3 files. Audacity cannot encode your project into an MP3 file without the LAME library.

  1. Access the LAME library download site
    Your internet browser will open and bring you to the download site.

  2. Click the appropriate download link according to your computer's specifications
    EXAMPLE: If you are using a computer running Microsoft Windows, under For Audacity on Windows, click
    The downloaded file will be a Compressed (zipped) folder.
    The File Download dialog box appears.
    File Download dialog box

  3. Click SAVE
    The Save As dialog box appears.
    Save As dialog box

  4. Choose the location where the file will be downloaded
    If you are using a General Access lab computer, do not save to the hard drive. Instead, use your personal network drive (H:).
    Leave the File name as it is.
    Leave the Save as type as a "Compressed (zipped) Folder."

  5. Click SAVE
    The Download window appears. The file begins to download.
    Download complete dialog box

  6. Once the file has finished downloading, click CLOSE

  7. To open and unzip the download,
    NOTE: These steps only apply when using Windows Vista. If you are using Windows XP, refer to Working with Compressed Folders in Windows XP.
    1. Navigate to and double click the downloaded Compressed (zipped) file
      The Windows Explorer window refreshes.
      LAME library in Windows Explorer
    2. In the Explorer, select the file
    3. From the Command bar, click EXTRACT ALL FILESExtract All Files button
      The Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders dialog box appears.
      Extract Compressed (Zipped) Folders dialog box
    4. Click EXTRACT
      A new Windows Explorer window opens with the extracted contents.
      HINT: Double click this folder and make sure that you see the file called lame_enc.dll.

return to topExporting Your Project as an MP3 File

Once you have created a project and are ready to export it as an MP3 file, follow these steps:

Audacity cannot export your project as an MP3 file until you have downloaded the LAME library, a free MP3 encoder.
The first time you try to export a project as an MP3 file, Audacity will ask you to locate the lame_enc.dll file.

  1. From the File menu, select Export as MP3...
    If your project has more than one track, a confirmation dialog box appears.

  2. OPTIONAL: Check the box to stop showing this dialog box

  3. Click OK
    The Save MP3 File As dialog box appears.
    Save MP3 File As dialog box

  4. Navigate to and select the desired save location
    To save to your H: drive, select (H:).

  5. In the File name text box, type the project name

  6. In the Save as type text box, leave the file type as an MP3 file

  7. Click SAVE
    The Export MP3 dialog box appears.
    Export MP3 dialog box

  8. Click YES
    The Where is lame_enc.dll? dialog box appears.

  9. Navigate to and select the unzipped folder that contains the lame_enc.dll file

  10. Click OPEN
    The Edit the ID3 tags for the MP3 file dialog box appears.
    Edit the ID3 tags dialog box

  11. OPTIONAL: Complete the Title, Artist, Album, Track Number,Year and Comments text boxes as appropriate

  12. OPTIONAL: From the Genre pull-down list, select the desired music style

  13. Click OK

    The project encodes and is exported to the desired location as an MP3 file.
    When finished, you will be returned to your audio project in Audacity.

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