Downloading & Installing Audacity

In this document you will learn about:


Exporting an Audacity File as an MP3 File


Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. There are many pages that provide Audacity downloads; however, we suggest downloading it from U of M Flint’s Blackboard hosting (links below):

Select your operating system and locate the appropriate download link. After you've downloaded the program, install it on your computer.

The following images illustrate the installation process of Audacity to a computer with Windows 7:

  • Double click on the downloaded installation file.

      Audacity exe.jpg

  • Click Run to begin installation.

  • Choose the language to use during the installation.

  • Complete the Setup Wizard.

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Exporting an Audacity File as an MP3 File

After you've recorded in Audacity, you'll able to save your work as an Audacity file. When you attempt to export an Audacity file as an MP3 file, which is a good-quality compressed file, you will receive a message stating that Audacity needs the file lame-enc.dll to create MP3s.

Click on Download. You will need to download the LAME encoder only one time and after that, you'll be able to create MP3 files out of your Audacity recordings just with a few clicks.

Next, you will be provided with the following instructions:

Because of software patents, MP3 encoding software cannot be distribute with Audacity together. Follow these instructions to use the free LAME encoder to export MP3 files with Audacity.


  1. Go to the UM-Flint Windows LAME download page.
  2. Download "Lame_v3.99.3_for_Windows.exe” and save the file anywhere on your computer.
  3. Double-click "Lame_v3.99.3_for_Windows.exe" to launch it (you can safely ignore any warnings that the "publisher could not be verified").
  4. Follow the Setup instructions to install LAME for Audacity, and do not change the offered destination location of "C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity".

You should now be able to export MP3s without any further configuration. For troubleshooting go to the Installation and Plug-Ins page of the Audacity Web site.

Mac OS 9 or X 

  1. Go to the UM-Flint Mac OSX LAME download page.
  2. Download "Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.dmg"
  3. When you have finished downloading, double-click the .dmg to mount it, then go to the Finder (in Safari, "Lame Library v3.98.2 for Audacity.pkg" will be extracted automatically after downloading).
  4. Double-click "Lame Library v3.98.2 for Audacity.pkg". This will install the LAME binary "libmp3lame.dylib" in /usr/local/lib/audacity.
  5. The first time you use the "Export as MP3" command, Audacity will ask you where libmp3lame.dylib is saved - navigate to /usr/local/lib/audacity, select it and click "Open" then "OK".

In case of difficulty, please view further instructions on the Audacity Wiki.

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