increase volume of mp3 file not created oneself

Windows version: 7 (64 bit)
Audacity obtained from exe.installer


is it possible to amplify the volume of an mp3 file with the function “amplify” in the “menu” effect if I haven’t recorded the file myself, e.g. the file of an audiobook? It doesn’t seem to work with my program. When I open the file with audacity the whole “effect” menu stays pale.

Thank you very much in advance for your answer!


You need to select the audio before an effect can be applied - Tip: Ctrl+A will select the whole project.

And you need to be in Stop mode and nor Pause mode.


You can certainly do that with the provided tools, but you may not be comfortable with the results.

Because Audacity always works in a very high quality internal sound format, it has to make a new MP3 when you’re done – asuming you’re not going to enjoy the show inside Audacity from this time forward. When Audacity does this, it has to create further MP3 damage, over the damage already there. You will never get a tiny, efficient sound file that you had before without honking, bubbling or gargling distortion in the new one. You can avoid this problem, but the new sound file will be seriously bigger than the old one.

None of this may bother you, but you need to know it’s going to happen.

You might be able to use a “real” MP3 program like mp3split to change the overall volume of the show. MP3Split doesn’t have to make a new MP3 and there is no further damage to the sound. You will note that the number of tools and effects is greatly restricted because of that.


Hi waxcylinde, thank you very much for the answer. That was indeed the problem.

And thank you too kozikowski. I checked it. The quality loss is indeed very annoying. Can I avoid it with MP3split? And then I am not sure whether you mean MP3splt (without the “i”).

Matthias, I think the dynamic range of the music (volume) is one of the criteria that the mp3 algorithms look at when they create the file. So especially if it was created with VBR, which is examining the music and making the mp3 file based on what it finds?

I’d expect amping the volume to degrade the music.

Yes, the quality decreases indeed and I don’t really know how to prevent this. Thank you anyway for your response!

Can’t you just turn up the volume on the player?

“I don’t really know how to prevent this.”
If it is what I suggested, there will be no way to maintain the quality if you are using MP3 files as the source files.

MP3 is a delivery format not a production format. It’s the music that you put on your Personal Music Player and enjoy it and that’s the end. MP3 gets small, efficient sound files for your music player by creating sound damage and then cleverly hiding it so most people can’t tell it’s there. The instant you want to change an MP3 file in Audacity, you have to make a new one and the hidden distortion pops up.

I’ve never used MP3splt. It claims to be able to do simple jobs without creating a new MP3 at the end – avoiding the additional distortion. If it’s tool set is right for you, you win. If not, you’re stuck. Your choices are stop using MP3 and go to an uncompressed format like WAV, or create an MP3 with very, very high datarate and large files.


I have just tried MP3splt but as the name suggests: It is only able to split MP3 files, not increase the volume. Thank you very much for your help anyway.