Importing an mp3s resulted in static.

Hey, I’m brand new to Audacity and am intending to edit my podcast on it. I selected File>Import>Audio then the file I was trying to import (which is an mp3) but got a message which said Audacity did not recognize the type of file and suggested importing as an uncompressed file. I tried that next. I selected File>Import>Raw Data then my file, hit Import without changing any of the settings. It pulled a blue fuzzy line in. All you can hear is a staticky buzz which stays the same in volume. I’m not sure what to do to fix it. I imported a different mp3 by following File>Import>Audio and it played just fine. I’d appreciate any ideas.

I’m presuming that your “problem” MP3 file plays AOK in a player? If so, it would help everyone to diagnose your problem if you can tell us the following Properties of your MP3 file:

  1. Channels (is it mono or stereo?)
  2. Sample Rate (likely to be 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz)
  3. Encoding bit rate (likely to be 128, 160, 192, or 320 kbps)
  4. Is the MP3 encoding constant (CBR) or variable (VBR) bit rate?

Your MP3 may not really be an MP3, or it may be “imperfect”. Audacity is more picky than most software.

Try converting to WAV with another program. (I’m on Windows and I use Kabuu Audio Converter.)

…If this is your podcast, it’s not recommended that you “work in” MP3. As you may know, MP3 is lossy compression. When you open an MP3 for editing it gets decompressed. If you re-export as MP3 you’re going through another generation of lossy compression and some “damage” accumulates.

You may not hear any quality loss but it’s something you should be aware of. If you want MP3, ideally you should compress to MP3 ONCE as the last step. Or if you don’t have a choice, try to minimize the number of times it’s recompressed.

That won’t work with compressed files. Compression is a lot like encryption and you’ll get garbage (noise) if it’s not decoded properly.

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