Combining MP3's into one file

I am trying to combine two CD’s that are supposed to be played at the same time to create one “experience”. I have added the tracks from the first CD and need to save these as one MP3 i’m assuming. Then I can add the tracks from the second CD and again save as one MP3. Finally combining these two MP3’s into one so they will play at the same time. I can not figure out how to save multiple tracks as one MP3 file. I’m new to Audacity and audio editing in general, any help would be appreciated.

MP3 is a “compressed audio format”. It became the most popular format for distributing audio on the Internet and for storing on portable devices during the 1990’s due to the relatively small file size for reasonable quality sound. Once it had become almost universally used for these purposes, the patent holders cleverly started enforcing their intellectual property (IP) rights and started suing companies that implemented MP3 support unless they paid royalties. That is the background to why Audacity does not ship with an MP3 encoder.

To export in MP3 format from Audacity, you would need to install an MP3 encoder. One that is compatible with Audacity is “LAME”. Not all versions of LAME will work with Audacity, but there are instructions here for how to install a version that is compatible:
Please note that LAME may infringe on legal patent rights in some countries. We are not lawyers so we are not able to give legal advice about that.

Alternatively, you could export in a format that is not encumbered by IP issues.
WAV format is the default export format, and is supported by virtually all audio programs. It is a very high quality format, but the file size is quite large. WAV format is recommended where you want high quality and compatibility with other programs.

  1. Open Audacity
  2. Import both files
  3. If required, use the Time Shift tool to adjust the left / right position of the tracks so they are aligned as you want them.
  4. (Optional) Playing 2 tracks at the same time will be louder than just one track, and may distort. If that happens, select both tracks (Ctrl+A to select All) and apply the Amplify effect ( with the “Amplification (dB)” set to -6 (minus six).
  5. Export from Audacity to create a new file. I would recommend exporting in the default WAV format unless you specifically need some other format.