Exporting files as MP3 [SOLVED]

I am using Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS and Audacity 2.05 which I downloaded from the website, I am using the program for an Oral History project and recording conversations only. After simple editing I ‘Export’ the file as an MP3, which I get as an option on the export file. I then burn this to a CD, a copy of which goes to the interviewee.
I have two questions.

  1. I read that MP3 is not an ‘export’ option in Audacity unless downloaded separately as LAME. Is this so? Any if so how am I getting this option?
  2. A recent disc I have burnt, although it plays on my CD player does not playback on the interviewees CD player. Is this because of my editing methods or should I export in another format?
    Many thanks for any help. Lesley

You downloaded Audacity from which website?
Do you mean that you installed Audacity from the Ubuntu repository? (using a “package manager” such as the Ubuntu “Software Centre” or “Synaptic”)

If you installed Audacity from the Ubuntu repository using a package manager, then that automatically installs LAME as well.

MP3 is a “lossy” format, which means that it lowers the sound quality a bit so that it can make the file size much smaller.
If you intend to make a high quality audio CD, then it is better to export as “16-bit WAV” (the default export format in Audacity). The file size will be much larger than the MP3, but that does not matter for an audio CD because audio CDs always use uncompressed 16-bit audio data, which is exactly the same size as (stereo) 16-bit WAV.
If you want a smaller file to keep after you have made the CD, you could export as WAV (for the CD) and then export as MP3 or Ogg.

(“Ogg vorbis” is similar to MP3 in that it compresses the audio to make smaller files, but it is open source, not subject to MP3 licensing issues, and usually slightly better sound quality. It is widely supported on Linux, but some Windows users may need to install an additional (free) codec to play Ogg files in Windows Media Player).

You may have made a “data CD” rather than an “audio CD”.
Data CDs are like other computer storage devices in that they just store files and folders.
Audio CDs are a special format that was designed for audio CD players.
Computers can read both audio CDs and data CDs.

Some audio CD players can play “data CDs” if they contain MP3 files, but most audio CD players can’t. For compatibility with most audio CD players, make an “audio CD” (it’s a setting in your CD burning software).

Thank you so much for this very clear info. I am certain that I downloaded my Audacity program from the Audacity website. However I will export WAV files in future and see if possibly my discs could be a problem too. Lesley

I will export in future as WAV files. Playback from the CD is perfect with my own devices and PC etc is just apparent on the equipment being used to play the disc in my interviewees house. Her CD player was bought from Tesco she thinks and without a manufacturers label and it appears that some other discs also will not play and they are commercially bought. Problem resolved - thank you. Lesley