Compressing aud projects

I’m using an Imac running OS X 10.9.2 I just upgraded to Audacity 2.0.5 and I capture vinyl from an ION turntable. For the past 5 years I’ve been converting all my vinyl into mp3s and importing into ITunes. I’ve now got around 2500 projects from the albums and singles I’ve recorded and I was wondering if using the "Save A Compressed Copy of Project. . " into the Ogg Vorbis format is best. Or maybe I should just use a standard zip format to compress the files. I’m just thinking about saving some disk space.
I’m open to ideas. .

If these files are for yourself (rather than sending them to someone else) you shouldn’t use Audacity projects, OGG (which you can’t play in iTunes without installing extra decoders) or zip files. Zip files will not give worthwhile compression if the audio format is already compressed like MP3 and OGG are.

If you are happy with the MP3’s but are still keeping the Audacity projects, then after ensuring you have imported the MP3’s into your iTunes Library, the best thing you can do is to delete the Audacity projects (AUP file and _data folder). If they are standard uncompressed projects they will be taking up a great amount of space.

What bit rate are the MP3’s exported at? Right-click over them > Get Info in iTunes. If the bit rate is 256 kbps or higher you may be able to re-encode them at a lower bit rate and so reduce their size without losing too much quality. I would not recommend it if you care a lot about how they sound.

Disk space is very cheap now. If you are still short of space after deleting the Audacity projects, It may be best to buy an external hard drive.


Audacity projects are not really a good format for long-term and archival storage.

What I do is work on the project, do all the editing I want/need and then export a 16-bit PCM WAV file (the Audacity default export format).

I than make duplicate copies of these on two separate external 1TB USB discs (as Gale says storage is cheap these days - I paid around UK£60 each for those two). Really cautious people would also make off-sit copies and rotate the discs.

Audio purists would make the raw capture and export that as a 32-bit WAV and store copies of those so than can go back to the raw capture later (say if digital audio processing improves dramatically - or your techniques improve) and then do the processing.

I do use compressed files - but I use the WAVs as imports to my iTunes libraries and then use iTunes to do the compression.


P.S. You do need 2 external discs - I have had a disc crash on one of my backup set - a quick trip to the shops enabled me to buy a new one and restore the second backup :wink: