Emailing Audio Files

Hello -

I have copied individual songs from a cassette tape via Audacity. I tried to email one of the songs, but the file was too large. What format is the smallest I can export to?


How much distortion do you want?

File compression isn’t free. As the compression goes up, the filesize goes down and the distortion goes up. Some of these decisions rest on what you have now. If you Exported your work as WAV (Microsoft), then all avenues are open to you. That’s one of the “perfect” sound formats, and it’s the Audacity default Export format.

Many people like to export original work as MP3. MP3 is a compressed format and while you can listen to it OK, it limits what you can do now. Any compression you choose is going to have a combination of the first distortion and this one.

That’s assuming you exported a sound file at all. Did you? Audacity will not save a sound file. It only saves Projects which are grand if you want to do further work or production on the music, but not so good if you want to share the work or ship it around. Did you save an AUP file?

Your posting doesn’t have a lot of fine detail and we live on fine detail.

Being Obsessive, I would be sharing what you have now via a file sharing service such as DropBox.


Thank you for your response!

They’re wav files. I was trying to avoid putting it in dropbox. I want to send these songs to bands/individuals looking for new original music and I thought it would be easier if it were just embedded in an email.

What format would you recommend I change them to? Of course, I want the best sound I can get . . .

BTW, my OS is Windows 7 and the version of Audacity is 2.1.2.


It just makes my teeth hurt when someone ships high quality original work around in a less than perfect quality. Of course, if the object is just to listen, then MP3 export is perfectly valid.

The advantage of WAV and MP3 is total compatibility to everybody living between the two pole of Earth. The instant you dip into other formats, you can have compatibility problems. How much do you miss it by? Yahoo Mail limits me to 25MB. Can you hit it by staying WAV but ship Mono instead of Stereo? Roughly half the filesize. Some personal music players can’t tell.

How about a custom edit that only if you’re paying attention do you realize the whole 3 minute song isn’t there?

Audacity can export work as FLAC. That’s an excellent sound format whose files are smaller than you’re expecting. But the people at the other end have to be able to open them.

But if the object is for the client to listen and not do further production, you are the poster child for MP3. 128 Quality is (was) the Audacity default for Stereo Export. Very little distortion and moderately small files. Higher compression values are not apparent until you try to edit the work in post production. Lower values can sometimes be heard in the music.


I’m assuming you know Audacity won’t produce an MP3 file without adding the LAME software.

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