Exports at high sample rate despite changing settings

Hey! It’s my first post so please let me know if I’m missing any standard good to know details.

I ripped a record using audacity to record to .flac. Each track ran around 125MB. I exported these files to .aiff and was shocked to see them export as large as 846MB. I inspected the exported .aiff file to find a sample rate of 352.8 kHz.

To try to solve this I found some settings in Preferences<Quality. Set the Default Sample Rate to 44110 hz and sample format to 24-bit. I exported again with the file type of AIFF with an encoding of Signed 24-bit PCM, still resulting in an 846MB file despite changing these settings. I double-checked the settings on the second export and they remained as they were set, so I’m not sure why my default setting of 44110 hz is overwritten on export.

I’m not aware of any other settings I can try and am certainly at a loss. Any help is extremely appreciated

The default sample rate can be overridden.
When you import a file into a new (empty) project, the sample rate of the imported file overrides Audacity’s default.

Regardless of the default sample rate setting, if you import a file that has a sample rate of 8000 Hz into a new (empty) project, the project’s sample rate is automatically changed to 8000 Hz.

You can see the sample rate of the project in the lower left corner of the main Audacity window (See: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/selection_toolbar.html#rate)

It is the actual “Project Rate”, not the “default project rate” that determines the sample rate of exported audio.

It is recommended to leave that as “32-bit float”.

using audacity to record to .flac.

FLAC is a compressed format. It’s “lossless,” but the file sizes are not predictable or normal.

sample format to 24-bit.


Audio CD format is 44100, 16-bit, Stereo. That’s a good default for most things because most things know what is is and are expecting it. The format sound quality is far higher than a vinyl record.

A 3 minute song comes in at 31.8 MB as a WAV or AIFF. You can extrapolate from there.

That’s for the perfect quality WAV (or AIFF) archive. You can down-convert that to perfect-adjacent 192 Quality MP3 for running on the beach. That’s the quality that Audiobooks use.

You should note that you can’t easily convert MP3 to anything else without sound damage. It’s one-way.

That’s not to say you have to use those formats, but it’s super convenient if you do. Studios use 96000, 24-bit. Their goal is to maintain commercial-perfect sound quality through multiple generations, production editing, and formats; and their storage size doesn’t matter.


Note as above that Audacity works internally at 32-float. That greatly reduces the possibility of sound damage during editing, effects, filters, and corrections. It converts to 16-bit on export unless you stop it.