Bit rate at 16

Hi guys

Librivox says to set the bit rate at 16 but I read here that Audacity records at 32.
Is the 32 a stereo setting and the 16 bits a mono one? Does it make any difference to record at 16?


Audacity works internally with 32-bit float. (always)
By default, Audacity records as 32-bit float. This is an option in Preferences that should be left at the default 32-bit float.

When Exporting, Audacity offers many export options, including 16-bit WAV (default), 24-bit WAV, 32-bit WAV, MP3 (requires LAME to be installed), Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and others.

32-bit float is an extremely high quality format. By working in this format throughout, right up to the final “Export” step, avoids unnecessary sound quality loss during the production stage.

The exported file that you send to Librivox should be in whatever format they require.

It is strongly recommended that you keep backups of your work in WAV (16-bit or higher) or FLAC format.

Hi Steve

I know you answered the question, but I don’t know what you said! Is this right: record in 32 bit and since they want 16 bit - export in that? I keep copies in the project format that Audacity presents, is that right?


What format (“exactly”) do they want?


This is mostly foreign language to me.

format = mp3

I’ll be gentle :wink:

Leave the “recording” and “quality” settings in Audacity at their defaults. They are well chosen for high quality work.
The only things that you are likely to need to change are the “number of channels”, which for audiobooks should normally be “1 (mono)”, and the Export format settings.

The number of channels is set in the device toolbar

I’ve checked on the Librivox site ( and they specify:

CBR (“Constant Bit Rate”) 128 kbps mono.
In Audacity, you set these by first selecting MP3 as the export format, then in the “Format options” select “Constant” and set the “Quality” to 128.

Thank you Steve. I appreciate your patience. The clouds are lifting!