how do I add LAME to version 2.1.1 in OS 10.5?

I have an old imac running OS 10.5.8 (Leopard). I just downloaded Audacity 2.1.1 and installed it. It seems to work OK. But I want to export MP3, and it tells me I need to add a LAME file. Where do I get a version of LAME that works with this version of Audacity and OS 10? And how do I install it?

Audacity 2.1.1 is a very old version of Audacity. We used to suggest a 3rd party website that had a compatible version, but it seems they no longer have it. You could try downloading

RECOMMENDED Installer Package for LAME on OSX:
Lame_Library_v3.99.5_for_Audacity_on_macOS.dmg >

from here: free mp3 converter - Lame for Audacity - FFMpeg for Audacity - Free and Safe downloads

It’s a DMG file, so like other DMG files you would double click on it to open the DMG, then follow the on-screen instructions.

I successfully downloaded and installed the LAME version you suggested. I tried to tell Audacity where it was using the Preferences/Libraries screen, but it would not accept the file after I navigated to it. I also tried exporting in Audacity to MP3 format, and got the window asking me where the MP3 encoder was located. I navigated to the downloaded LAME file and selected it, and got error message “cannot load MP3 encoder file.”
What should I try next?
I could export from audacity into WAV format, then use a separate app to change WAV into MP3. Cumbersome, but coudl work. Can you suggest one for an older mac OS?

You can’t be using Audacity 2.4.2 because the “Locate” button for LAME is greyed out in Audacity 2.4.2 (because LAME is built in and enabled by default).

As noted in my earlier posts, I am using Audacity 2.1.1. I think this is the newest version that is compatible with mac OS 10.5, which I have. It does NOT come with LAME, so I am trying to find a version of LAME that will work with it.
Can I run a newer Audacity that includes mp3 export on my OS 10.5 Intel mac? If so, please tell me which version.

In Audacity > Preferences > Libraries, click the “Locate…” button in the LAME section. Click the “Browse…” button. This will take you to a file-open dialog. You may need to navigate to the correct folder to find LAME.

If the file-open dialog is not showing the “libs” folder, in the sidebar, click on the icon for your hard disk. Then in the file list, double-click on “Library”, then “Application Support”, then “audacity”, then "libs.

If the file “libmp3lame.dylib” is greyed out, in the bottom of the dialog, where it says “File type:”, select “Dynamic Libraries (*.dylib)”. The file “libmp3lame.dylib” should now be selectable. Click on it, then the “Open” button. Then click “OK” in the “Locate LAME” dialog. This should return you to the Libraries Preferences where it should show “MP3 Library Version: LAME 3.99.5”.

– Bill

Still not working.
The Libraries window allows me to browse to find the LAME encoder. When I navigate to it on my HD, using the path you described, I find the file. I can select it OK and it is not greyed out. But when I click Open, it takes me back to the Libraries window and still says I must identify the LAME encoder–it does not seem to “accept” the file after I click Open. It does not help to change the file type do Dynamic Libraries as you suggested–same result.

I had the same problem; here’s what Steve told me to do: “If you upgrade to Audacity 2.4.2, it has the MP3 encoding library built in:”.

However, I’m using OS High Sierra, which is version 10.13.6. If you can upgrade your OS you should be able to install the latest version of Audacity which makes exporting data to MP3’s very simple.

It’s an old machine, and upgrading the OS will likely break multiple apps. I’d like to use it as is if possible, and get Audacity 2.1.1 to export MP3 format. That should be possible.
Or is there a newer version of Audacity that will work with OS 10.5 Sierra on mac?

You are sure you have the 32-bit version and not the 64-bit version of LAME?

Since it works for me (using Audacity 2.1.1 and macOS 10.14.5), and I do not have a 10.5 machine to test on, I can’t go any further with suggestions to get LAME working for you with Audacity.

You might try Max. Export to AIF then use Max to batch-convert to MP3.

– Bill

I downloaded the LAME link suggested early in this chain:

There did not seem to be any options for 32 vs 64 bit versions. Is there a full source for LAME versions that I could examine?

That is the 32-bit version.
– Bill