turntable to MP3?

I’m a novice to Audacity but I have a dream to connect my USB turntable into Audacity and have it make MP3s.
Currently my ION turntable will only make WAV or M4a into my Windows 7. I would love it if I could skip the WAV step and save files directly to MP3.
Is possible?
Please help if you can
Thank you

Yes, you just need to Export as MP3 - but you will need to download the optional LAME library - see: https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/installing_and_updating_audacity_on_windows.html#winlame


Wax Cylinder, first of all it is excellent that you would address my question. Thank You. It is awfully nice of you.
I have taken your instruction and downloaded the LAME. I do fear I have asked my question incorrectly.
The signal I get from my Ion turntable into the USB port is not ( I believe) recognized by Audacity. It seems I still need to send the turntable signal into the EZ Download software that the ION people endorse with the result being a WAV file that I then name and save in my computer. I can then put that WAV file into Audacity and have it generate an MP3.
Am I doing it wrong or is there just no way to capture the original turntable signal into Audacity and have it make an MP3?

It should record if you select your USB device as your [u]Recording Device[/u].

Note that your choice of recording software doesn’t affect sound quality (as long as it’s working properly) because it simply “captures” the digital audio stream from the driver and sends it to the hard drive.

When it comes to de-clicking, noise reduction, or other processing/effects, the software will make a difference.

Am I doing it wrong or is there just no way to capture the original turntable signal into Audacity and have it make an MP3?

As you may know MP3 is lossy compression.* If you are doing any editing or noise reduction etc., I recommend you export to WAV and/or create/save an Audacity project** (both lossless) immediately after recording. When you open a compressed file in Audacity (or any “normal” audio editor) it gets decompressed. If you then re-save (re-export) as MP3 you are going through a 2nd generation of lossy compression and the “damage” does accumulate.

Some people like to keep a lossless archive. That way, you can make copies in any lossless or lossy format in the future without multiple lossy-generations. FLAC is a popular archive format. The files are almost half the size of WAVs and metadata (embedded title/album/artist information) is not well-supported for WAV.


  • MP3 is NOT “terrible” and with high quality settings it can often sound identical to the original. But, it’s “bad practice” to make multiple generations of lossy compression and at some point the damage becomes audible.

** I always recommend making a WAV backup whether you are making an audacity project (AUP file) or not. An Audacity project is actually many-many files and it can get messed-up if you move it, etc. A WAV file is “safer”.

Thank You all for your help. I did discover what my Idiot Novice Mistake was and I’ll share it with you so you can watch for it with other Novices.
My “Device Toolbar” was displaying all scrunched up so that I could not read the options it was presenting. After I stretched it out I could see that there was right in front of me an option to input my ION turntable in stereo. All is now working well. Thank you. I was distraught and now very happy.

Glad you got it sorted - and thanks for posting back (this may well help others in the future).