Audacity MP3 Export iTunes Settings

I’m using Windows 7 and 2.0.3 version of Audacity. I have been exporting 45 minute sermon(voice only) from Audacity as a wav file. Then I use iTunes to convert to mp3 for podcast. ITunes mp3 export settings are custom setting 32 Kbps, variable bit rate checked, highest quality, sample rate auto, channels mono, smart encoding adjustments checked, filter frequencies below 10 hz checked. This has worked great. ITunes compresses the mp3 to around 6 MB and makes it easy to download and use in iTunes podcast. My question is “can I bypass the wav conversion to mp3 in iTunes and use Audacity instead?” If so, how do I change the mp3 export settings in Audacity and what should they be to be the equalivent to iTunes? I’d like to keep a 45 minute sermon to around 6 MB file size.

Try using “VBR quality 9”. If the files are too big you will need to use ABR or CBR because “Quality 9” is the lowest quality that Audacity goes in VBR.
Ensure that your recording is mono before you export.

To export from Audacity in MP3 you will need to install LAME. See here:

Thanks Steve! How do I change this setting? Is it under the preferences section?

When you go to export, select MP3 as the file format, then click on the “Options” button.
See here in the manual for details:

I tested the Audacity MP3 export (mono-VBR 9) and it converted to 15.7 MB. iTunes converted same file to 7.78 MB. Original wav was 265MB. Any other tips that might get the Audacity file smaller without a lot of quality loss?

Try ABR (select “Average” as the bit-rate mode), then set the bit rate to 32 kbps.

That got it down to 12 MB compared to 7 MB in iTunes. However, quality loss was significant using ABV average 32 Kbps.

I meant ABR not ABV.

In that case I don’t think that you have much alternative than to use iTunes.
The LAME encoder (used by Audacity) is optimised for high quality audio. At “Standard” quality (~ 180 kbps VBR) and above it is comparable to any of the best lossy encoders, but it does not really surprise me that extreme compression such as 32 kbps is not very good quality.

Your recording is in a single channel mono track before you export isn’t it? The export quality at 32 kbps will be much worse if your Audacity track(s) have 2 channels.

Yes, it’s a single channel mono track. Thanks for your help. Just like to do things the easiest way possible. I will keep using iTunes for the export to MP3.

I ran across this note:

If you are an end user and would like to use the Fraunhofer mp3 encoder or decoder, please use Apple iTunes or Windows Media which integrate the Fraunhofer mp3 software.

The money-based software packages (Cool Edit, Audition, iTunes etc.) have the original, licensed Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft MP3 software. Audacity uses the “lame” open-source MP3 encoder. It’s a work-alike software product and they’re not the same.