Can't open some MP3 files.

Audacity 2.0.5 will open some MP3 file for me, but not some saved by an audio recording app on my phone.

Here’s a small example (36 KB):

The only thing I’ve found that can open it on Windows is VLC Media Player, so the file must be valid in some sense, and if Audacity did the same as VLC then it too could open these files. Anyone know how to open this file?

I’m using Audacity 2.0.5, installed from the .exe installer, on Windows XP Service Pack 3.


It is not a valid MP3 file.
The actual format is AMR

If you install FFmpeg you should be able to import the file into Audacity
To avoid confusion, the file extension should be .amr and not .mp3.

Yes, Audacity will play it with FFmpeg installed, even if misnamed with MP3 extension.


Awesome, that fixed it!


Actually, I found that some files weren’t loaded properly with the .mp3 extension, but worked when I changed it to .amr, while other files worked as .mp3. I guess sometimes it can’t recognise it as AMR from just the file contents.

Easy to work-around by renaming the files, just wanted to mention it for anyone else looking for this answer.


This may be more obvious if you force Windows to show you the original filenames. Windows likes to hide file name extensions because they’re “too confusing.” You may find they’re already correct. Koz

Hidden File Extensions - Windows

– Start > My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View > [ ] Hide Extensions for Known File Types (deselect)

– Apply (to this folder) or Apply to All Folders
– OK

If it’s named as MP3, the MP3 importer will try it first. If it fails to open using the MP3 importer, it will be handed to FFmpeg.

But if the MP3 importer wrongly thinks it can open it, the audio will load incorrectly.

If you wish, you can attach an example file that loads incorrectly so we can take a look at it.

Have you changed options on this recording app? MP3 is not a container format, so the app has no rights to put AMR inside an MP3. If the file is not given AMR extension then it should be put in an appropriate container format such as MOV or 3GP.