2.4.2 won't load some mp3's

I download talk radio podcast mp3’s and edit out the commercials with Audacity. I had no problem with 2.1.2 but when I updated to 2.4.2, about a quarter of the mp3’s I try to load in Audacity fail, telling me it didn’t recognize that file type. If I load another mp3 editor with those mp3’s and immediately save them without changes, Audacity will now load them. What is the problem?

There was previously a problem with Audacity incorrectly identifying some file types. To fix this problem, Audacity’s MP3 importer had its error checking enabled. Unfortunately it was discovered after the release of 2.4.2 that there are a lot of MP3s that do not comply with the MP3 standard, and with error checking enabled Audacity rejects these files.

For the next Audacity release, error checking of MP3s has been toned down so that non-critical errors will again be ignored and MP3s will successfully load unless they are critically damaged.

One workaround (until the next release of Audacity is available), is to use the “file type” dropdown menu in the “Import Audio” dialog and select “FFmpeg compatible files” before selecting the MP3 file to import. (see: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/importing_audio.html#Using_the_file_type_dropdown_menu_in_the_Open_and_Import_Audio_Dialogs)That should allow you to import MP3s that do not strictly comply with the MP3 standard.

A downside of this workaround is that the MP3 will be imported as a 16-bit track, so after importing you should change the bit format to “32-bit float”.
(see: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/audio_track_dropdown_menu.html#format)

It took some doing to figure out how to get the FF mpeg library but ultimately, it seems to work. Thanks!