Trying to change chain w/o success

After a couple of days reading the docs & much beer & coffee (beer in the AM, coffee at PM), I’m appreciating what a great program Audacity is.

I need help on one difficulty however.

I export a individual ripped FLAC file (TEST.flac) to Mp3 using the attached settings, (these settings stick) resulting in a size of 5,872KB.

I then did a export to Mp3 chain.

File>Apply Chain>Mp3 Conversion>Apply to Files, added some files including TEST.flac. TEST.MP3 was 5,866 KB. Another file decreased almost 100KB. I believe this is because the chain is using; Variable Speed> Fast & I was using Standard on the individual file.

How do I get the chain to honor the Standard choice? btw…I get lost when folks talk about command line, etc.

I’ve tested this and Audacity is using Variable speed: Standard when selected (both direct file export and in Chain).

There is some natural variability in file size when encoding as MP3. If you encode the same file 3 times with the same settings you are likely to get 3 different file sizes. MP3 is an inexact format.

The free program MediaInfo ( ) can tell you if “fast” or “standard” has been used (–vbr-new is “fast” or --vbr-old is “standard”):


Encoding settings                : -m j -V 0 -q 3 -lowpass 19.5 --vbr-old -b 32


Encoding settings                : -m j -V 0 -q 0 -lowpass 19.5 --vbr-new -b 32

The Lame manual recommends using the Fast settings in most cases.

I didn’t know about the variability…thanks for the info.

After I posted my question, I discovered that I could also use Export Multiple instead of a Chain to encode several Mp3s at once at my chosen settings.

Re: The Lame manual recommends using the Fast settings in most cases.
I thought I read here that Standard gives “better” results, hence the slight increase in size…maybe it’s not an improvement one can hear???

With older versions of Lame “Standard” was better quality than “Fast”.
There has since been a lot of optimising of the “Fast” method to provide better quality. In recent years “–vbr-new” has become the recommended VBR mode for both best quality and speed. You may find this article of interest: