Converting MP3 taking a long time

Currently running Audacity 2.0.6 on a MacBook Pro running Yosemite 10.10.1 with 4GB of RAM. I record a weekly podcast and I’m pretty new to this. The podcast goes about 2 hours and when converting the file down to an MP3 after rendering the audio it seems to take up to a half hour at 128kbps. I was wondering if there’s anyway to speed things up or if this is a normal rate for it to convert.

44100, 16-bit, Stereo?

Do you have a Solid State Drive, or spinning metal? A friend and I have similar machines. I have the SSD and he has conventional. I tried to do something on his machine and I thought it was broken. It was like wading through waist-high snow. There was a recent posting saying an SSD is required for serious production. That may be pushing it, but if you’re going to do this rapidly for money, there’s no question.

I’m going to time mine and see.


250GB SSD with 30GB left open. Half-hour stereo show. Export to MP3 at 128 quality. It took me 1.5 minutes. Extrapolate to a two hour show that’s 6 minutes. Do it on a syrup-slow drive and yes, I can see where that would take you a half hour to encode.


My Windows 7 laptop with an “old-fashioned” spinning metal disk 285 out of 681 GB used => 396 GB free

Exporting a 30 minute show to 128 MP3 joint stereo - 2 minutes 13 seconds

Exporting a 2 hour show to 128 MP3 joint stereo - 4 minutes 1 seconds


Are you resampling so that the Audacity project rate is at a different rate to the tracks? That will dramatically increase encoding time. For most purposes when exporting MP3 you can leave the project rate at the same rate as the tracks - there is little or no file size saving from a lower export sample rate.