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Published on Jun 16, 2012
Audacity doesn't have a built-in MP3 encoder, but is very easy to install LAME. LAME is the official encoder for saving MP3's and is designed to work with Audacity. MP3 files use lossy compression, which means that the file size is smaller than uncompressed files, but they lose some of the detail of the uncompressed audio file. However, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a high-quality MP3 and an uncompressed file.
To install LAME, go to http://lame.buanzo.org/ and download the correct version of LAME for your operating system. Be careful to download the actual LAME file, because there are many ads on the page. Install the "program", restart Audacity and your should now be able to save MP3's. To verify if Audacity can save MP3's, click Edit on the menu bar and go to "Preferences". Select the "Libraries" section. If the MP3 Export Library displays some version of LAME, you are good to go. If you have problems, click "Locate" and look in the Program Files for a folder called something like "Lame for Audacity on Windows/Mac". You are looking for a .dll on windows and a .dylib file, on Mac. Just double-click on the file and click OK in the Audacity Preferences.