Need to save time - multitasking

Is there a way that I can export to mp3 and be recording something else simultaneously? I have long recordings (20 -45 minutes) back to back. It takes 4 - 8 minutes for my computer to make an mp3 from a long recording. I can’t to do anything with Audacity while it’s exporting. It seems to be locked into doing just that.

The design decision was made to make the export dialogue “modal”, meaning nothing else can be done while exporting. This is because Audacity isn’t very multi-threaded, and other operations going on in the same processor “thread” as export - particularly an import - could potentially destabilise Audacity.

You can partially work round this, at your own risk.

Import your audio files or open your saved projects first.

File > New to open a new project window. Press Record in that window.

Hold ALT + use TAB to switch to the other project window(s) and work in those. You can even export from one of those windows while the recording is going on, but you still can’t take any other project actions while an export is going on.