Can you import a mp3 file into Audacity for editing

Can you import a mp3 file into Audacity for editing? I tried every type of import and opening and it come grabbled. I need help.

Yes. But if it didn’t come in, it wasn’t an MP3. You can install the FFMpeg software and Audacity will recognize many more modern sound formats.


I asssume you can play the MP3 on your computer?

If FFMPEG doesn’t work…

Try using a different program to convert your MP3 to WAV. (Its an extra step for you, but there is no harm in converting to uncompressed WAV, since Audacity is going to decompress the MP3 anyway.) There are many applications that can do this. You could even use a CD burning program to make an a regular (uncompressed) audio CD, and then rip the audio CD to WAV, but that’s the long way around… I find [u]XRECODE[/u] to handy & easy for converting between different formats. (The link is to the older FREE version of XRECODE.) Or if you search for “MP3 to WAV”, you will find lots of solutions.

You shouldn’t have to “Import”. You should be able to simply “Open” the MP3. (When you save, it’s a different story… “Save” only saves your Audacity project, and if you want to create an MP3 (or other audio file), you must Export.)

…I have heard of rare cases where MP3 encoders and MP3 decoders are incompatible. So, it might just be a matter of finding a different program to decode (decompress) your MP3. Once you get past this problem and re-save (export) the MP3, Audacity will be able to open the newly encoded file. (That’s assuming you want to re-save as MP3…)

Since the MP3 is already encoded, you can’t change the encoder… I assume Audacity uses the MP3 decoder that comes with Windows Media Player, or another CODEC already installed on your computer. For _en_coding, Audacity uses LAME, and although LAME can also be used for _de_coding, I believe Audacity can decode (open) MP3s without having LAME installed.

There is one problem with editing MP3 or other compressed formats. Each compression adds sound damage and they do add up. If you start out life with an OK quality MP3 music clip, apply some filters and effects and then export as a new MP3, the new MP3 will sound nothing like your timeline. It will have additional compression damage.

For simple editing, you can try MP3Splt. It doesn’t recompress. If you need more serious editing and filtering, you need to not recompress back to MP3 at all. Or just put up with the damage.



Yes, I can play the M3 from the computer. I have been using Audacity for about three years to edit mp3 files that I had recorded of live church services’ without any problems, until a 1 1/2 weeks ago when Audacity 1.2.x for some reason would not start recording. I tried reinstalling the software but that no good. I uninstall Audacity completely and reinstalled it, that did no good. I checked the website and found that there was a new version of Audacity. I downloaded the software and installed it. I recorded the next service and found that I could not export it as an MP3 file, I could only save it as a WAV file. I went to edit and old file (in MP3 format) and found that it was grabbed when I open the file. I went to the download lame file and downloaded it and installed it, I got the same results. I downloaded and installed FFMPEG, it still doesn’t work. It worked for the past three years why doesn’t still work?


Audacity uses libmad ( ) for MP2/MP3 decoding.

LAME is only for exporting (saving) MP3.

Whatever the file you are trying to import is, it probably isn’t an MP3.

If you want us to look at the file please upload it somewhere, for example to:

then give us the web address where we can download it.