Why does Audacity require a specific version of Lame?

I already have this version installed, for another application that requires Lame too:

It’s installed in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Lame MP3”. If I tell Audacity the path to that dll, it won’t accept it. Why can’t Audacity simply allow this version to be used? I don’t want to install two versions.

http://lame.sourceforge.net is just source code, not a compiled DLL file, so the other application is not using anything directly supplied from that site.

Audacity requires that lame_enc.dll contains sufficient “symbols” to ensure correct encoding. You can follow http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/faq_installation_and_plug_ins.html#lame to obtain a suitable lame_enc.dll. If you put that lame_enc.dll in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Lame MP3” instead of the current DLL, the other application should be able to use it.


When you use the “Export > MP3” option, Audacity accesses “hooks” in the LAME API and sends the audio data to the LAME library, which the LAME library then encodes before Audacity writes the encoded data to disk as an MP3 file. This method is both fast and efficient, but most standalone LAME executables do not have the necessary “hooks”, so Audacity cannot connect directly to the API.

Audacity provides an alternative method to connect to external libraries, which is to access libraries through their command line interface (CLI). Most standalone versions of LAME do support this method, but it is less efficient and does not support such close integration as API. To use this method you need to select the “(external program)” option in the Export dialog and enter the appropriate command line arguments. More information and some examples can be found in the manual here: http://manual.audacityteam.org/man/exporting_to_an_external_program.html

If you use (external program) to export you must point Audacity to a lame.exe executable - it won’t work with a DLL file.

So if the other application only comes with lame_enc.dll, you will still need to follow the steps in the FAQ, in which case you might as well use standard “MP3 files” when you export.


Just checked again, the HTML files in my Lame folder mention the above link, but after visiting the links section there, I guess I got the compiled version from here:

I do have both a lame_enc.dll and lame.exe in the folder therefore.

I renamed the old DLL and copied the one from the zip archive linked on the Audacity page into my folder, seems to work now. Hopefully the other application will still work too with that new DLL…