Loss of quakity exporting as MP3

I have been making home recordings with Audacity for the past four years. I love it!

When I export an Audacity project as an MP3, the tone quality of the MP3 is greatly inferior to the AUP. file. It seems that the crispy highs are lost and the mid-range is muddy.

Could it be that my sound card is deficient? I have Advance AC97 as the audio device in my old emachines computer (to which I have added lots of RAM and a huge hard drive).

If a better sound card would improve the exportation quality, can someone recommend a reasonably priced upgrade? Keep in mind that I only record one stereo track at a time, so I don’t need multiple inputs.

Thank you for any suggestions or opinions. Although I don’t often post, I monitor the forum ferquently for information and ideas that improve my Audacity IQ.


Increase the bit rate of the exported MP3.

Assuming you’re using 1.3.9, this may help:


If you really want to keep the crispy highs, don’t use MP3, use WAV or AIFF.

– Bill

MP3 always produces sound damage. It makes us crazy that everybody thinks they have to be in MP3 to do quality sound production.

No. You don’t. It hurts far more than it helps.



Thank you for the respopnses.

I am still using the 1.2 version. I was informed that, for my uses, I needn’t upgrade to 1.3.

That being the case, can someone suggest some export settings?


Bythe way, I export to MP3 for the purpose of emailing songs to friends and posting them on home recording forums.

From perfect uncompressed quality to just noticeable distortion in stereo it’s 64KB and 32KB in mono. By the time you get to 320KB, most people can’t tell what you did but there may still be some distortion. If the work was already an MP3 at one time, all these numbers go crazy and the music quality will be much worse.

If they’re being posted for the purpose of re-editing and mixing, you should not be using MP3 at all. MP3 is a ‘delivery at the very end’ format for your iPod or music player.


Thanks, Koz:

I record each instrument and voice on a separate stereo track in Audacity. I may have 12 or more finished tracks to edit and mix down. I then need to have a final mix of the song in a file format small enough to send by email to a friend or up load to MySpace, for instance.

To what file format do you suggest I export in order to maintain maximum quality and be easily emailed or uploaded?