Audiobook Production (Chromebook, Lenovo, Dell PC?)

Hi everyone! I hope all is well. I just wanted to reach out with a question I had regarding audiobook production. Recently, I finished writing my first book and, some time here in the next week or so, I am looking to grab a Blue Yeti Mic and begin production.

Anyways, my question is regarding which computer would be best to utilize audacity on for the recording/editing of my book. My preferred choice is to use my Chromebook, but I also have a Lenovo and Dell PC that I could use as well. I was wondering if audacity is even compatible with a Chromebook and, if so, how easy would it be to use? Also, could audacity be used on the other devices? If so, how smoothly would the process be on it?

If anyone would be willing to provide me with guidance on this topic, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a blessed day!

I finished writing my first book

One step right at the top of the ACX/Audible audiobook application process is to certify that your book is for sale on Amazon right now. You can read into a microphone all day long, but the work won’t go very far without that one step. Can I buy it right now (flexing credit card)?

Is it a cookbook? There’s a list of book types that ACX doesn’t like. Scroll down.

which computer would be best

The one that makes the least noise. There’s just nothing like trying to take computer fan noises out of your voice in post production processing, particularly if the fan goes on and off. That’s deadly.

You can install Audacity freely and for free on multiple computers, so you can install it on all your machines and see if they will record from the built-in microphone, if they have one. You can be an experienced hand at sound recording way before FedEx delivers your Yeti.

Do you have a nice, quiet room with no echoes? That’s good. Does your room have bare wood floors? That can be a problem. They won’t pass your voice if you sound like you’re recording in a bathroom.

Have you ever recorded your voice on anything?

I need to drop for a while


The current hero Audacity version is 3.1.3 and you can get it from here.

Audacity will play on all three major computer types, so it’s possible to capture your voice on a nice quiet Windows laptop and edit it on your big Mac with the good monitor and speakers (for example).

When you get set up, it’s a terrific idea to use sealed-on-the-head headphones and listen to yourself while you’re announcing. It helps keep your minute-to-minute volume, expression, and interpretation even.

The Yeti has provision for plugging in wired headphones with 1/8" plug. Wireless anything need not apply. You can’t get real time voice quality control from the computer with a wireless connection.

Post back when you get Audacity installed on something and make your first voice recording. There is a format for posting a voice sound sample on the forum.

Please note we haven’t bought the Yeti yet. This is with the built-in microphones. You can get the Yeti if you want, but save the papers.

Do you use Skype, Zoom, Meetings or other conferencing or chat application? They can interfere with ordinary voice recording.

It’s possible to have serious, unrecoverable troubles recording on a computer (one recently on the forum) and an alternative method is a stand-alone sound recorder such as the Zoom series. I have a Zoom H1n and a Zoom H4.

One of my favorite performers Josh Turner did the whole first half of his musical career on a Zoom H2.


Why did you settle on a Yeti? Does your neighbor down the block have one? Is this an “Everybody Knows” thing? They’re not bad microphones. They do work, and they’re insanely popular.

Some of this stuff harks back to the question of having recorded your voice before. First time readers run into some interesting problems. You start the book a uncoordinated, rank amateur and finish it an accomplished, experienced professional … and horrified what the beginning of the book sounds like.

There’s also the First Timer experiencing their own voice the first time. [wide-eyed horror] Do I really sound like that?


Audacity runs on Windows, MacOS, and on various versions of Unix including Linux. It does NOT run on Android or ios, although there are reports suggesting this might be possible with the help of 3rd party tools.

Most users running Audacity run on Windows. I believe Chromebook is a flavor of Linux, so you should be able to get it running. Should you need help with Audacity on Chromebook, there are fewer users with related experience who can help you.

I appreciate the information! I think I am going to try and get audacity through Linux on my chromebook. After doing some research, it seems that this is possible and something that should be easy to do. Below, I’ve linked a video showing how it is done.

Good move! … At least I hope it will be a good move :wink:

A couple of things: I haven’t reviewed that video but I hope it recommends the AppImage approach. This is the only up-to-date version that the developers provide for Linux-based systems. If you haven’t worked with them before, AppImage files are not installation packages, they are directly executable, you just need to make them executable. Versions in Linux repositories tend to be older.

The other thing is to make sure you store your Audacity projects locally on the machine, even though that’s not the Chromebook way (which is to store everything in the cloud).

make sure you store your Audacity projects locally on the machine

What he said.

Audacity needs to work on the computer’s internal drive only. Audacity assumes that it can perform its most critical tasks on whatever drive you choose. It can’t reliably perform critical tasks on external, network, or cloud drives.

That would only be bad, but if you really offended the sound deities, they can make it so your external drive shows crash sometimes.


OK I have now reviewed that video, and I recommend you don’t do the install the way it says :slight_smile:

Enable Linux as the video shows
Open a terminal as the video shows

Download the appimage file to a local directory using the browser - “Audacity Linux AppImage” at Download Audacity latest release

  • It doesn’t matter what directory. Your home directory will be fine. I use ~/bin

In the terminal, go to that directory

cd ~/bin

Check the file is there


Flag it as executable

chmod +x audacity-linux-3.1.3-x86_64.AppImage

And run it!


The only real hassles with the appimage approach are the need to do that “chmod +x” step manually - for good reasons, files downloaded from the internet are not automatically executable! - and that it doesn’t create a menu item. But you can still do that yourself.

Appreciate the responses from everyone! As mentioned, this is my first time going through the audiobook process, so the information you all have provided is truly a huge help to me!

I have decided to utilize my Lenovo which is a Windows 10 version. Last night, I was able to get everything successfully downloaded. Now, I am currently trying to decide on which USB mic I should purchase along with which room I am going to record in. Below, I’ll link a few photos of a closet that I have in my attic. The room is small and the floor is carpet which leads me to believe it could be a suitable environment. Let me know what you guys think! Also, any microphone/recording room recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

You have bare walls opposite each other. It might help if you can put up a screen or hang something on one or both walls to reduce echo.

Thanks for the info. I was planning on doing something like that. Are there any products you would recommend or should blankets/pillows do the job?

I’ve had good results with curtains :smiley:

Awesome! Going to look at placing some curtain/acoustic foam in the highlighted sections.

Heavy fabric tends to absorb a lot more zing than light fabric.

A rug suspended an inch or two away from a wall will absorb both direct sound, and sound initially passed through and reflected off the wall back into the room.

Egg boxes (real ones) are pretty much useless, despite the urban legends.

I found furniture moving blankets work pretty well.

You don’t have to soundproof the whole room. I published a Kitchen Table Sound Studio.

I made a portable sound studio I throw in the back of my truck for remote shoots. This has wooden stands and clamps, but I can construct a sound shoot anywhere in about a half-hour.

This woman constructed a studio out of plumbing pipes.

Pipes and moving blankets have the advantage that you can get the materials from many well-equipped home centers.

Packing and shipping foam seem to be ideal candidates for sound proofing, but they’re not. The key word is “Heavy.” Sound has to move the panels or blankets. Shipping foam’s job is to take up space and be light.

As above, whatever you choose is going to work best if it’s separated from the wall by at least an inch or two.

Don’t forget the floor. The floor and ceiling represent two hard opposing surfaces. Note in the first illustration, there’s a folded up moving blanket on the floor.


This is part of a much longer posting on soundproofing and voice recording here.


Anything you do to break up hard, opposing walls is going to help.

I had an office a while ago with surgically perfect opposing walls. I had a joke that I could clap once and go to lunch. When I got back the clap would still be bouncing back and forth.

And heavy is still good. It’s not curtains. It’s drapes. Don’t forget to pad the desk. This room is soundproofed, but note there’s a folded-over moving blanket on the table.

And just because we haven’t been cheery enough yet, that just gets you past the distortion caused by the room. You still have to struggle with microphone performance issues and computer problems.

You’re playing three people. Producer (checkbook), recording engineer (setting levels), and performer (announce in a pleasant way with no mistakes).


Got it! I truly do appreciate you all taking the time to help me out. It means the world!

There it is. I thought I had this picture around somewhere.