Audacity is exporting but not saving changes

I’ve been using Audacity for a while, but now when I export a file as an MP3, the exported version doesn’t include the changes that I have just made. What am I doing wrong?

Are you exporting to a new MP3 with a new, unique name?

What changes did you make? MP3 is good at hiding subtle, quality level changes because it always causes sound damage. Silence a portion of the show with drag-select and Control-L and see of those changes make the export.

Also, there a current discussion of the status of muted and solo’d tracks.


Thank you! I had been deleting an old file, then using its name again for a newly exported one. When I stopped doing this, the problems seemed to stop too.

Oh dear, I thought the problems had gone away, but no.
I’m not doing anything subtle - just trimming spare bits off. And the exported version is back to full size again. I’m changing the name each time.

Don’t do that. If the “old” file is one that is in use in the Audacity project, there is a risk that you could be deleting audio that is required by the project. See here: Audacity Manual

What format are you exporting in?

Re-editing MP3 files (or other compressed formats) is to be avoided whenever possible. Much better to work with uncompressed formats (such as WAV).
Each time the file is encoded to MP3, the sound quality gets a little bit worse. Audacity always works with uncompressed audio data, so when you edit an MP3 file in Audacity, it is decoded on import, then when exported as an MP3 it is encoded again, with some loss in sound quality.

I’m starting with sometimes a WMA file, sometimes an MP3, and I need to end up with an MP3. So I could convert to WAV before editing.
But I’m not worried too much about the quality, rather that when I’ve trimmed a bit off, it seems to pop back on again.

How much are you trimming off?

At the moment, I’m taking less than a second off each end of a recording, leaving not much more than 1 second in total. This is something I’ve often done before, and I can’t see what I’m doing differently now. Sometimes I start with a longer recording, trim it down, export that section, undo, trim it differently, export that section. Never had a problem before.

MP3s always have a bit of silence at the beginning. It’s one of the limitations of the MP3 format. If you need to trim the length precisely, use a different format such as OGG or WAV. (MP3’s are unsuitable for “looping” for this reason)

Yes! I’ve only been testing it by trying to get rid of those blank patches. Just chopped a bit out of the middle, and it saved nicely. I can live with the blank patches, just was confused by them coming back each time. Thank you very much.