Every sound file plays in less than a second

I have factory reset Audacity following the link near the top of this forum. I have downloaded the newest version 2.3.2 and then factory reset it as well (and audacity was closed and not active). Mac 10.14.6.

I listen to a podcast that is an mp3 file in quicktime and it plays. I listen in VLC and it plays fine. But when I open it in Audacity, the whole file plays in less than a second. I try another file and the same thing. Help!!!

I just added LAME or FFmpeg and then I had the mp3 also saved as an m4p. I was then able to open the m4p file that is identical otherwise to the mp3 and the m4p plays normally. I haven’t solved the original problem, but I have a work around. Thanks.

I just added LAME or FFmpeg

If you’re using Audacity 2.3.2, Lame for making an MP3 is built-in. FFMpeg is the one you need to open unknown file types.

When you open a file that Audacity doesn’t understand, it opens as a high-quality uncompressed file. If the file sound is compressed 2 to 1, it will play at double speed.

Audacity has understood MP3 files for years, so what you had wasn’t a regular MP3.


My guess is the two mp3 files I played were really m4p files that had been saved using the mp3 extension erroneously. VLC and Quicktime were able to play anyway, and Audacity didn’t yet have FFmpeg installed so it was unable to play and just fizzled.

If you’re curious, Right-Click or Control-Tap the sound file > Get INFO. That will tell you all about your sound file.

This one is an actual MP3 sound file.

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