Unable to open lame or FFMpeg

2.8 GHz Quad Core Intel Xenon
Mac OS-X 10.6.8
Audacity 2.0

I needed a fresh install of Audacity to custom export the sound track from a short video show. Audacity installed OK and seems to run, but can’t find either the FFMpeg or Lame libraries, even though they’re in the correct folders/directories. I’m running Audacity as LowlyUser, but I installed everything as administrator – or LowlyUser with administrator install privileges as needed.

“Enter administrator password…”

I know I’m the only person running Macs in a corporate environment, but still. I thought we had all this ironed out.


Only partially ironed out.

Leland did a new FFmpeg installer that installs to Library/Application Support/audacity/libs and committed the code change that will have Audacity recognise that path. He has not done the new Lame installer yet.

So do give the new FFmpeg installer a test (you will need to use it with the latest nightly build from the top of this list) .

Otherwise, you will need the zips for LAME and/or FFmpeg from http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar/ and unpack the dylib files where you wish.


Otherwise, you will need the zips for LAME and/or FFmpeg from > http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar/ > and unpack the dylib files where you wish.

Just for form. It says in the zip instructions that I am to follow the install instructions. What instructions?


I don’t know anywhere that it says to follow “install instructions”.

If you are referring to the FAQ’s:

it says for both LAME and FFmpeg to “download the zip version… from Alternative zip download… below and follow the instructions”. So it means the instructions under “Alternative zip download”. If this was causing the problem, I have now hyperlinked “below” in the FAQ’s.


I installed the lame software within its folder under “plug-ins” and I was this close to installing the FFMpeg folder when one of the production departments had problems and I had to leave.

FFMpeg is a problem because it’s not a single dylib. How do I deal with that? The Preferences will not allow me to point to a folder full of dylibs.


A good idea is to read the instructions at http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/FAQ:Installation_and_Plug-Ins#macff_zip .

Extract the contents to a folder called “FFmpeg_v0.6.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX” anywhere you have full permissions (such as your Desktop) then follow the instructions > below > to locate libavformat-52.dylib using the Libraries Preferences.

So the single dylib file you have to select when you use the Libraries Preferences is “libavformat-52.dylib”.


This is the layout. For some reason, the simple lame module loaded immediately and without fuss. Not so the FFMpeg. Simply nothing happens. I Point to:


Which is what the instructions say ( see pix).

When I select and install…

It appears to work.

The in-built install instructions are wrong.

That’s layer three. The auto install fails, the manual instructions fail and the real instructions are difficult to find.

Screen shot 2012-05-10 at 10.39.05 AM.png
Screen shot 2012-05-10 at 10.30.59 AM.png

Good. As the Manual says.

They aren’t built-in instructions. The text for the library that “Audacity needs” is dynamic.

It should default to “libavformat.52.dylib” and does for me. I would assume it says “libavcodec.52.dylib” because you browsed for and selected “libavcodec.52.dylib” in the past so it got written to audacity.cfg. Try quitting Audacity, initialising audacity.cfg, then restart Audacity. It should then be looking for the “libavformat.52.dylib” file. If this is the “nightly build” then the path it will default to is /Library/Application Support/audacity/libs/libavformat.52.dylib.

Tell me how to improve them, then:

without repeating "Locating the FFmpeg library manually " three times (once for each platform).

I have already tried to “improve” them by adding extra internal links.


Tell me how to improve them

I would improve them by not needing them. I objected at the beginning to needing a password just to install helper software, but not the program being helped. What’s wrong with this picture? The process is default and it’s a security problem just waiting for the starting flag.

Also putting the software in a hidden “system” location guarantees a posting on the forum as people try to figure out what happened – and can’t. It also prompts a trip to the help system for anyone with machines under administration (and not the British corporate sense).

The Zip install is a breath of sea air compared to the default install.

There must be a story as to how we got the Installer Package for Macs.

I reference the current Audacity install: Explode the installer. Click on the Audacity folder and drag it to your Applications folder.

Make a cuppa.

There must be a way to install lame and FFMpeg with that sort of simplicity.


So we already have those.

Did you try the new FFmpeg installer yet?