MP3 files exported in stereo from Audacity distraed

Audacity 3.0.2 Mac Big Sur.
When I export files in MP3 stereo and then play them in Music, they sound distorted. They sound fine in Musik when I export them to MP3 mono, they also sound fine in Music when I export them to Wav stereo. Files always sound fine, no matter to what I export them, when I open them again in Audacity. An earlier post said that this is a problem of iTunes (now Music) and that in Preferences “Sound Enhancer” needs to be unchecked. But Sound Enhancer is unchecked and it sounds distorted non the less.

it sounds distorted.

Can you fuzzy describe the distortion? Talking into a wine glass or milk jug? Loud buzzy? Echo?

Have you ever used the sound recorder on your phone?

Fire it up and record “clean” sound and “distorted” sound from your sound system or speakers. Export the sound file in WAV (if possible) or MP3 (if you have to) and post it on the forum. If it’s stereo (two blue waves) you can’t go longer than about ten seconds. If it’s mono (one blue wave) you can go out to 20 seconds.


This is an example of how it sounds. It varies a bit, I tried Joint Stereo, Stereo, Preset, Constant. I work with a radio station where I need MP3 in 320kbps quality.

Thanks a lot for helping.

I’ve never heard that before. It sounds like a bad 2-way radio transmission.

Now post that same clip without the distortion.


This is how the file actually sounds. It only sounds distorted if - after exporting to MP3 stereo - I open it in Music. It sounds perfectly fine if I open the file again in Audacity. Music only seems to have a problem with the MP3-stereo from Audacity. Files exported to Wav stereo play perfectly fine in Music.

Sometimes if a stereo channel gets inverted, it can cancel out portions of the audio track in the other channel when played using certain devices. But since you don’t have this problem with WAV files, I don’t see how that could be applicable here…

Have you tried using a third party to do the WAV to MP3 conversion? For example, Convert Audio Formats using VLC Media Player

Thank you, Jademan. I will try that. It is only since I have updated to Big Sur that I have this problem. With Catalina I could export files from Audacity in MP3 stereo and they would play perfectly fine in iTunes. Perhaps with a future update to Big Sur, this will get resolved…

I don’t use Audacity to Export MP3 (or AAC) files for iTunes use - I export as WAV, import the WAVs into my iTunes library and convert them using the encoders built-in with iTunes.

I tended to prefer the Apple implemented encoders - plus I need the lossless WAVs anyway for my hi-fi digital “juke-box”.


Thank you, Peter!

Thanks Jademan, I will use VLC now - or the built-in Encoder.