Trying to export as MP3 file

Hi there,

I recorded several large files (around 1 hr each) using Audacity 1.2.6 on my Mac OS X 10.6.8 and cannot export as WAV files (as other posters have mentioned, all I get is silence on the file). I tried to download Lame Library so I could export as MP3 but my Mac is not allowing me to click on LameLib when I am prompted to find it in the Audacity > Preferences folder. I downloaded the updated Audacity version 2.0 but I don’t know if this would have an effect on recordings I have already made. Given the size of these files, I’m not even sure they would be small enough to email as MP3s - any guidance on how I can export these files for purposes of emailing them to my transcriptionist?


I recorded several large files

So you captured several one-hour shows and saved them as Audacity Projects. Did I get that? You didn’t save a “file.” Audacity Projects can have many thousands of files.

Can you open one of your shows in Audacity 2? Do you get sound and the blue waveforms? I’m trying to reconstruct why you would ever get a silent WAV file. How do you know it’s silent? Did you open the exported show up in Audacity again?

Nobody’s surprised that Audacity 1.2 would produce magic results. Modern computers haven’t supported Audacity 1.2 in a long time.

Last time I tried to install the lame software in the approved manner, it failed and I gave up and put the software in the Audacity Plugins folder. Then I opened Audacity Preferences and pointed to it.


There are tricks to compressing tiny MP3. Tracks > Stereo Track to Mono. Mono files transmit with half the filesizes. Do not try to “help” MP3 by muffling it or processing it. That drives the coders crazy and damages the show needlessly.

32 is the minimum code rate where many but not all people can just tell there’s something wrong with a mono show. 64 for stereo. You can go less than that, but intelligibility can suffer.

Past that, cut up the show into 15 minute chunks or use one of the many file services. I have my own web site and server, so that’s how I do it. I had a brief encounter with DropBox and that would work too, and be more secure.


You can open the projects created in 1.2.x with 2.0.0. We recommend that you make a copy of the projects before opening them, as once you make changes to the project and save it in 2.0.0, 1.2.x will no longer be able to open it.

I’m surprised you’re running 1.2.6 on OS X 10.6.8. 1.2.6 is for PPC, 1.2.5 is for Intel.

You mention “LameLib” - that’s the old version of Lame for PPC machines.

You need the “Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.dmg” from the LAME download page.
Please see this FAQ:

After installing Lame, I recommend you clean up your Audacity installation.
Go to /Library/Preferences and delete the “audacity Preferences” file.
Go to /Library/Application Support/audacity and delete the “audacity.cfg” file.

When you start Audacity it should automatically detect the Lame library. If it does not and you have trouble getting Audacity to find and recognize Lame, get back to us - there’s an alternative method for the rare cases where the DMG installation doesn’t seem to work.

– Bill

Thank you both for your responses. I can confirm that I can open my projects using Audacity 2.0, but the projects saved as WAV files still play silently in iTunes and Quicktime (that is, the timer is going showing the correct length of the project, but there is no sound) - the project will only play in the .aup format which I know I can’t send to my email recipient. I have downloaded Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.dmg several times, but my Mac does not appear to recognize the file path that pops up into the locator window (/usr/local/lib/audacity/libmp3lame.dylib). Each time I try to export my project as an MP3, I get the message “Could not open MP3 encoding library”.

As I mentioned in my first post, my ultimate goal is to email these projects to my transcriptionist. Based on what I have read on this forum it seems as though MP3 is the way to go but my transcriptionist is able to accept a number of different types of files. As such, if there is a way to get the WAV files to play there is no need to export as MP3 - any guidance would be most appreciate!