Save a file

After I have opened and edited an *.mp3 file I want to save the changes.
Nothing could be simpler and more natural.

But: thousands of other users have the same problem as your forum proves.

My and their questions show that your description how to save a file is inadequate.

Cann’t you just add the tag: “Save File” to the main menu with the functionality
that other programs, e.g. iTunes, use the changed file afterwards?

I have spent hours on the problem to delete 10 seconds from the beginning of a *.mp3 file
and then tried to use your “Export Ton” (the translation of your menu to German is vage).
But none of the changes are honoured by iTunes – it playes the unaltered original version,
even if closed and started again after the export.

It is a pity that the denominations of the menu items and fancy translations of them
make your software unusuable to me.

If thousands of questions in the forum ask: “How can I save a file” why don’t you answer them
with a menu item “Save file”?
Of course, you could add a dialog about overwriting the original file.

Why does the menu read “export” rather than “save”, why does it read in German “Export Ton” rather than
“Save File”, why does the export leave the original file unaltered, to which file is the change saved to?

If you have researched the Forum, then I am sure you have found by now that Audacity does not open any audio files. It imports their audio data into “projects” which are the Audacity workspace. In the case of a lossy format like MP3, the data will be expanded to lossless PCM (that does not make it sound any better, but increases the quantity of data and means that the audio can be manipulated with a full range of effects while it is in Audacity).

If you read the Manual you can find the answer immediately How do I save my audio for use in other programs? Does saving a project (AUP file) do that?.

In any case there is a warning that pops up when you Save Project that says you must use Export to save for other applications.

The version of Audacity after next “might” group the Export items under File > Save Other. The items will still be called “Export”.

The name of the menu items is nothing to do with you exporting files that are not changed. To check if the exported file was really changed, drag it back into Audacity.

You can overwrite the MP3, but you must export it to the same folder that the original file came from, otherwise it will obviously be a different file even if it has the same name.

If you just want to remove some audio from an MP3, I strongly recommend you try a different type of application that does open MP3 files and edits them directly. An example is mp3DirectCut. With this type of application you can trim or join MP3’s and make volume adjustments including fade in and fade out without any loss of audio quality. When you use Audacity you must re-encode the MP3 from the PCM data and this will degrade the audio because MP3 is a lossy format.

Note that you cannot use filters like Equalisation or Noise Removal with a direct MP3 editor.


THAT is the problem. You have not opened and edited an *.mp3 file.
You have opened a new Audacity project and imported an *.mp3 into the project.

Yes, it’s a significant problem, and we would like to improve the situation, but simply renaming “Export” as “Save” is not a solution.


  1. Create a “Power Point Presentation”.
  2. Edit the presentation.
  3. Save it.
  4. Come back the next day and reopen the saved file:
    You expect the presentation to be as it was when you saved it. You expect that slides, paragraphs, indentations, tables, fonts, photographs, slide transitions, sound effects and everything else will be as you saved it.
    What would happen if Power Point allowed you to “save” as a “*.txt” file?
    All of your work, except for the plain text, would be permanently lost and you would not be happy.

For this reason, Power Point does not allow you to save as “.txt". You can import a ".txt” file into a Power Point presentation, just as you can import a “.wav" file into an Audacity Project, but you can’t “save” a Power Point Presentation as a ".txt” file and you can’t save an Audacity Project as a “*.wav” file.