Export as MP3 Creates Empty or Partial File

First time using the older and then latest Audacity versions on a 64 bit W7 machine with old and newer Lame. I’m getting partial files with a fraction of the file being exported. All seemingly works well otherwise. I was first working with and the LAME that was appropriate for that version. Results as stated. Given bad results I uninstalled all elements, including the Lame and installed Audacity 2.05 and Lame_v3.99.3_for_Windows. As indicated, all seems to be fine, file exports, results are partial. This is not behavior I ever experienced with XP and older versions of Audacity and Lame. It seems this is unavoidable on my 64 bit machine? Any suggestions welcome. Looking at having to drag out an old PC and use it just for this work.

What happens if you Export WAV? No extra software needed.

When you get your damaged MP3, is it the right length and just the show is missing – goes flatline, or is it really only a three minute file out of a five minute show? Is the file music always from the beginning? Is the odd file always the same length?


As it turns out the problem had nothing to do with Audacity or Lame. The 2Gb external drive to which I was saving had limited space. The file exports were completed with no error messages and the files were created but were fractional in size. Evidently the export function via Lame for MP3’s does not react to a lack of disk space. I tried your suggestion of a WAV export and was correctly informed of insuffcient disk space. Turns out my system backups were piling up. After deleting 500 Gb worth of backups, everything is working as expected. Thanks for the suggestion - it revealed the actual problem. Vindication for Lame and Audacity - my face is red.

WAV or AIFF export returns an error that the file was not exported as intended, as you say.

There may be more issues in doing this for lossy formats or optional libraries like MP3. However if you wish I can add your vote for a disk space check before export. It is not flawless (disk space could change while you are exporting) but I think it is a perfectly reasonable request.


Evidently not many people have encountered this difficulty - a good FAQ addition perhaps? “If there’s trouble with mp3 export check your disk space.” It just didn’t occur to me that the source of the issue could be low disk space, particularly since I was getting partial files. When the WAV save error of insufficient disk space popped up I didn’t really believe it until I checked… then things quickly fell into place. Clearly the problem was me, but the lack of an error message made it seem like a program problem. I am thrilled that this is all it was… this forum is great. Now I hope to learn more about using some of Audacity’s features. Thanks.

All the formats except WAV and AIFF and other uncompressed are affected by having no warning of lack of disk space, as far as I know.

I am not sure a FAQ is the best response. You happened to notice the problem. Other users may not find out until it’s too late.