30 minutes = over 300 MB using Audacity?

Hello. Today is my very first day using Audacity. I found it this morning by accident. I really like it so far. However, one issue I see is the size of the files…

This afternoon, I recorded 30 minutes of songs OFF CASSETTE TAPE onto Audacity. I saved it as a compressed file. My flash drive says that data file takes up 348 MB. The same 30 minutes of cassette tape recorded with the Microsoft’s “Sound Recorder” (very basic recorder on WIndows 7) is 21.0 MB.

Is there a setting I can change on Audacity to make it a comparable file size as MS Sound Recorder?

I saved it as a compressed file.

No, probably not. First, Audacity doesn’t Save sound files. To get a stand-alone sound file you have to Export one. If you Export a Microsoft WAV file, you get a very nice, very high quality, uncompressed sound file and 300-400 MB is about right for half-hour of stereo work.

If you download and install the ‘lame’ software for Audacity, you will be able to Export an MP3 file and you will be able to create lesser quality sound files at very much reduced file sizes. MP3 and Windows Media both reduce sound quality to get the smaller files.


I wouldn’t be shocked to find the Microsoft Sound recorder saving work in Windows Media format which employs H.264 data compression. That’s where the small files came from in that case.


Yes in Vista and 7, Sound Recorder records to lossy WMA (to the hard drive). In XP and before it records (maximum 60 seconds) lossless PCM audio to memory.