MP3 files silenced when I import them[SOLVED]

I have a problem to import mp3 files. Audacity open them but just appears a long line without waves and sound.
If I import a wav file no problem, I export them to mp3 files without problems.
My operating system is Windows XP Professional.
Help me please!!!
Thank you very much


You can’t open MP3s that you just exported? (Sometimes, it’s MP3s from an older encoder causing this kind of problem. But, if you can’t open just-saved MP3s, that’s not the issue.)

I believe Audacity uses the Windows-supplied MP3 decoder. (LAME is used for encoding.) Can you play MP3s in Windows Media Player? Have you installed any “CODEC packs”?

Audacity uses libmad: .

You may have a problem with disk space or Audacity cannot read its temporary directory correctly. Audacity will decompress the entire MP3 file to lossless PCM which will take a lot of disk space. This may not be a problem if you read the WAV files directly from the file when you import them, because this will only take a few kb of temporary space.

I suggest you choose Edit > Preferences (CTRL + P) in Audacity then choose “Directories” (“Cartelle” in Italian) on the left. Make sure you have enough disk space. Including editing, you should allow at least 300 MB of space for a three-minute MP3, 3 GB for an MP3 lasting 30 minutes, and so on.

If you think you have enough disk space, click the “Choose…” (Scegli…) button in Directories Preferences and select another directory to use as your Audacity Temporary Directory.

If Audacity says the temporary directory is C:DOCUME~1ABRI~1LOCALS~1Tempaudacity_1_2_temp or similar with “~1” in the path to the temporary folder, you should definitely choose another folder, or create a new one just for the Audacity temporary directory.


If I import file just exported to MP3 ther’s the same problem: flat line vithout sound!
I have this problem since a month about, before all was ok…

Space on disk is 55,7 Giga…

Dear Gale, you WAS RIGHT!!! It was a problem of space…
I diden’t know the decompression require so much space and, for the first time, I imported a big Mp3 file (about 1 our of music) to divide pieces of music and the file had the problem. After that each file I import has the same problem wiith all MP3 files!
I tried to change the direcotory like you have suggest to me, creating it on an external disck and…now all is ok!
I don’t understand why, even on the original disck there is 57 giga of space, Audacity still “feel” that wrong big file…
However thanks! I thank you very very much for your suggestion.

By default you need 20 MB of space for every minute of the imported file. Every time you do an edit on the whole track you need another 20 MB per minute because of the ability to undo the edit.

Importing an hour of stereo audio takes 1.2 GB of space by default.

If you do 12 edits on that file that is one quarter of your 57 GB used.

When you have finished with a long file and you have exported what you want as a WAV or MP3 or other file, then you need to do File > Close to free up the temporary space. If for example you did File > New three times and imported similar files into new project windows and edited those, without closing the other projects using File > Close, you can see that all your space would be gone.

Also note that clicking [X] on the Track Control Panel to remove it does not clear the temporary space, because you could ask to undo the track removal. Clicking [X] then importing and editing a new one hour file several times would soon use 57 GB up. So again, you need to use File > Close.

Even if you save a project when Audacity asks you after File > Close, this still frees a lot of space.
When you close and save a project, Audacity only retains the audio data for the current state of the project and not all the audio data for the undo steps.