Is there any way I can get that working again or does it only work if its a .wav file?
The show was already toast when you did that. That should have worked either WAV or MP3.
Are there blue waves when you open the MP3? Flat line?
In order of appearance:
Audacity Lossless Project.
This the the largest way to save a show and the most robust. It will save an edit’s sound, timelines, configurations, setups, layouts, and settings, but not UNDO. It also saves unique, recoverable sound files of all the work. It’s huge. Save (not Export) one of these when you still have a working show. It’s not the worst idea to save multiple times through the course of the production with different filenames so you can save more than one backup without them stepping on each other. If Audacity falls over in a dead faint, you can always open the older Lossless Project you saved before lunch.
In all filenames, only use upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, -dash- and underscore. Today is not 10/25/20. It’s 2020-10-25. That’s ISO date format. You can leave out the dashes, but it’s harder to read.
This is the one that Audacity saves when everybody thinks they’re saving a sound file. They’re not. It’s a simple save of edit sound, timelines, configurations, setups, and settings (but not UNDO). It’s missing the actual stand-alone sound files included in Lossless. It’s the most efficient way to save an edit for later (as long as you don’t need UNDO). It’s also the most brittle and likely to turn your show into trash if anything goes wrong.
The Project format will change in the next Audacity version to make errors and damage less likely.
This is the uncompressed, high quality sound in Audio CDs and in a slightly different version in the main sound channel of video. I call it “perfect” quality. It’s not quite, but it’s close enough for sound production. It’s stereo or mono only. Two sound channels, left and right, or one sound channel in the middle. Microsoft WAV files are supported by and will open up in all three computer types. Audacity won’t Save one of these. You have to File > Export.
Audacity will mix down however many edit channels you have to stereo or mono when you export.
I still have WAV files for effects voice work I recorded a long time ago. These are the master files the editors use to put a movie together.
This is the famous sound format that everybody’s in love with. MP3 gets it’s small, convenient sound files by re-arranging musical tones in the show—and leaving some out. There is a quality slider when you export an MP3 and as long as you choose a high enough quality, most time you can’t tell what it’s doing.
Make an MP3 when you want to listen to your show on your portable music player while you’re running on the beach, posting to share for listening on-line, and in a very highly controlled manner, submitting for audiobook publication. That’s it. Those are the only three times to use MP3.
Never use MP3 in the middle of production because each time you edit or change an MP3, Audacity makes a new one and it rearranges and leaves out even more musical tones. If you do that three times, the show may be trash. The distortion is permanent. There are tricks, but in general you can’t stop it. Never do any production ever in MP3.
You said you use MP3 downloads in your show. That’s fine as long as you never want to re-edit a show. If you do, you may find the tags, interstitials, and bumper sounds a little weird, tinkly, and cellphony, but your voice is fine. That’s the magic of MP3. It’s a time bomb.
There was a poster who created a music review radio show for broadcast. He downloaded MP3 songs, reviewed them and included them in his show. He made an MP3 of his whole show and shipped it off to the station who broadcast it no trouble. But they couldn’t make the stations MP3 podcast. Couldn’t do it. His voice was OK, but all the music turned to bubbly garbage.
We got him out of trouble by making an Audio CD (perfect quality WAV, right?) and delivering that to the station instead of the MP3. Making the WAV doesn’t reverse the damage, but it stopped getting worse during the delivery.
MP3’s full family name is MPEG-1, Layer Three. It’s part of a digital video format designed about the same time as VHS tape.