Cannot Get FFMPEG Lame to Install

There is a great deal that I don’t know about computers and about audio and about Audacity, but I am usually pretty decent at following instructions. I found the wiki and the tutorials for Audacity and therein found information about downloading and installing Lame for Windows. I followed the links and downloaded the file “Lame_v3.99.3_for_Windows”. I then double-clicked the downloaded file and followed the installation wizard; however, when I open Audacity and try to set preferences using Edit|Preferences|Libraries, I receive the message that the FFMPEG library is not found. When I attempt to locate it (in the Program Files(x86) Lame for Audacity sub-directory, I get the message that the ‘avformat-52.dll’ file is missing. I have searched the computer using Windows Explorer and the .dll is not to be found. I have repeated the process 3 or 4 times downloading and installing everything in the same manner with Audacity closed. I guess I’m stumped.

For the record, I’m running Win 7 HPE on a Core i5 processor and the downloaded version of Audacity - which I just downloaded today - is V 2.0.2.

I have used Audacity before to make clips of songs to use as ring tones. I went through the process of installing the Lame codec (if that is the correct term) on Windows XP before doing so. Now I want to create some MP3s from my iTunes library and cannot seem to cope with the process.

Any help would be greatly appreciated and gratefully received.

The lame program is for MP3 files and it’s only for making them. Audacity already knows how to play them. FFMpeg is a separate program that’s written to know about much more modern and different digital music formats – playing them and making them. You can get FFMpeg from the same place you got lame.


Audacity - which I just downloaded today - is V 2.0.2.

Bless you. People insist on saying “I got the latest Audacity” when in fact they have no such thing.


Thank you, kozikowski!

I warned you up front that there is much that I do not know about sound recordings. I thought that Lame was a codec that included FFMPEG and that by installing it I would be able to do what I’m trying to do.

I should have stated my problem more simply instead of providing so much incorrect background information; so here goes my second try.

Because I have an iPhone and iPad, I use iTunes. I have been loading all my CDs into the iTunes storage scheme (which I know very little about). Occasionally, I want to create an MP3 file of one or more of the tracks or even a whole album. I use the iTunes defaults to load from audio CDs. I think that means that they are imported in a format called AAC. I really don’t care what the format is, but I want to be able to create MP3s and occasionally a ringtone clip (I think that has to be M4a, or some such).

Can you tell me where to find a wiki about iTunes. Their documentation is almost useless because I don’t speak Jobs. I think that they make things difficult to find and to understand intentionally.

I’m open to suggestions but I must retain the ability to load tunes to the iPhone and iPad for playback.

I’m running on Win 7 HPE recently installed. That is part of my learning curve difficulty, as well, perhaps.

Anyway, thank you for your response and for any additional pointers you can give me. I’ll be happy to read wiki and try to get it on my own, but my search fu is now in its 8th decade and fading fast.

Deep breath …

ok you can use MP3 or AAC in your iTunes library (and in your iDevices as I assume you sync them with your iTunes library). You could use WAV or AIFF or Apples’s lossless format but these produce large audio files so you will get a lot lees music on your iDevice.

Personally I don’t bother with FFmpeg for exporting AAC from Audacity or LAME for importing MP3 as iTunes can do the conversions for me (and it does them a bit quicker than Audacity). I export 16-bit WAVs from Audacity, import them into iTunes and convert to AAC (I use 256 VBR). This is my workflow for this part of the process:

Your iTunes library comes with default settings to import as AAC (as you noted), but you can change this setting - and note that it this setting that is also used bi Itunes when doing conversions too. To gat at the setting in iTunes go to Edit > Preferences > General and click on the Import Settings button. This will bring up a dialog box which lets you change the settings. Note carefully that the setting you make will remain in force until you change it again.

Why use AAC or MP3? AAC is Apples’ proprietary format it is generally reckoned to produce slightly better sound bitrate-for bitrate and size-for-size than MP3. MP3 has the advantage of being a very portable format (plays on many different devices). So if you want stuff that just plays on Apple kit I would use AAC, but if you want it play on other devices use MP3.

What bitrate to use. When I started out I did a lot of listening tests. At the time I only had a 30gB iPod so I settled on 192 as a compromise between space occupancy and music quality. I could definitely hear the difference at 128 compared with a WAv file at 192 I could barely hear the difference. When I got an iPod Classic 160gB I switched tou using 256 - at this bitrate my ears can’t hear the difference (on good hi-fi speakers and on studio headphones). My son who is a purist insists on using 320 but note that he has now over-filled his 16 gig iPod!


The other important thing to note is that unless you tell it otherwise iTunes will use a virtual library by default. That is it will not actually import the files into its library but will just make reference to where they are stored externally. Which means that if you have that setting then you must not move/rename/delete any of those audio files or they will be lost to iTunes.

To change that setting go to Edit > Preferences > Advanced and check the box that says Copy tunes to iTunes media folder whan adding to library.

I would also advise you to back up the iTunes library, that it creates from time to time, to an external disk or two. Not only will this be valubale if you have a disk crash - it’s also useful when you need or want to transfer iTunes libraries to a different machine. I don’t know the directory folder structure on a Mac but on Windows the iTines library lives in My Music folder. The iTunes library contains several folders for music, metadata and album art - the music folders are organised by artist and then by album.

The key thing to keep in mind is that the iTunes library that you maintain is the master copy and must be maintained and looked after and backed up from time to time). The iDevices are merely periperal dvices that sync with the master copy.

I think you can begin to see that iTunes is a full database management exercise and not to be tackled lightly or in a cavalier way - that way you lose your valuable data. :slight_smile:

This tutorial in the Wiki may be useful to you:


Hi Rabbithutch
There are specific instructions to install the FFMPEG plug in in the attached link to my tutorials. I use the FFMPEG feature all the time to strip audio from videos.
See tutorial 1 in this set of 3.

Thank you, waxcylinder! Those explanations and instructions were exactly what I needed. I now have iTunes set to import in the MP3 format (for universal transfer) and I have told it to create the media library for me. I have a back up scheme that should protect and preserve my music. Almost all of music is from audio CDs that I’ve purchased over the years, although some of it was imported from 33-1/3 lps that I’ve had for nigh on to 50 years.

Stearman65, I haven’t followed that tutorial yet but I will. Thank you very much!