Converting /Exporting (?) from Audacity to MP3

Howdy -

Hopefully, this hasn’t been covered (I couldn’t find it in this podcast section)

One one of the tech podcasting sites they have been adamant that you should not export your Audacity soundfiles to MP3, that you should, instead, export your Audacity soundfile to AIFF and then put that into iTunes and let iTunes convert the AIFF to mp3. (The argument is that type of mp3 encoding found in the iTunes app is compatible with most anything while mp3 exports from Audacity use a conversion protocol that may, now and then, not be readable by some replay device)

So, now it appears that iTunes won’t convert directly from AIFF to mp3 but instead wants to go to one of the proprietary Apple substitutes for mp3.

So, do you know, is the mp3 that is exported by Audacity good enough for iTunes or Libsyn publishing? Do you use it?

If not (I’m on a Mac), what is an app that will encode a solid mp3 file?



Don’t believe all you read.

Whether you use iTunes, Audacity or any other application for encoding your MP3s, it is essential that you select appropriate settings for the MP3 encoding to suit your needs.

The default MP3 encoding options in the current version of Audacity are 170 - 210 kbps VBR (preset “Standard”). While this is a good choice for stereo music, it is not generally recommended for Podcasts.

For podcasts, “CBR” (constant bit-rate) is recommended, and not “VBR” (variable bit-rate).
The choice of mono/stereo depends on the type of podcast. For voice only podcasts, mono is usually preferred as you can achieve better sound quality with less data. If the podcast contains a lot of music you may prefer to use stereo, but higher bit-rates will probably be required (bigger file size).

64 kbps CBR mono can give reasonable quality for voice if you are wanting to minimise the file size.
96 kbps CBR mono can give excellent quality for voice.
128 kbps CBR stereo can give reasonable quality where stereo is required.
192 kbps CBR stereo can give very good quality where stereo is required.

256 kbps VBR stereo can give excellent quality stereo music, though not recommended for streaming.

See here for how to set the MP3 export options:

Audacity uses LAME for encoding MP3s, which is generally considered to be the best MP3 encoding library, and is the only MP3 encoding library that is still being actively developed (