Older versions of Audacity can't export MP3s natively, and you'll need to install an add-on called the "LAME MP3 encoder" to do so. When you export an Audacity file as an MP3 track, you can specify its name, artist, genre, and more. Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories .

Audacity is a popular audio-editing program that's free, powerful, and easy to use.

Using Audacity , you can produce music, podcasts, and other audio projects without needing to buy an expensive commercial audio program.

When your audio project is completed, though, you typically need to save it as an MP3 so it can be published and shared.

Luckily, exporting Audacity files as MP3s only takes a moment. Here's how to do it using Audacity on your Mac or PC.

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How to export Audacity files as MP3s

1. In Audacity, click "File" at the top of the screen.

2. In the drop-down menu, click "Export" and then choose "Export as MP3."



How to export Audacity files to MP3 1 Dave Johnson/Business Insider

3. At the bottom of the dialog box in the Format Options section, choose your MP3 settings. As a general rule, you'll get the best results by choosing "Constant" for the "Bit Rate Mode" rather than one of the variable bitrate options. Choose the bitrate from the "Quality" drop-down menu (if in doubt, choose 192 kbps or higher) and then save your file.

How to export Audacity files to MP3 2 Dave Johnson/Business Insider

4. In the "Edit Metadata Tags" window, fill in as much information as you desire about your MP3 file. This data is entirely optional, but will be visible if you import your file into programs like iTunes. Click "OK" when you're done.

How to export Audacity files to MP3 3 Dave Johnson/Business Insider

How to export Audacity files as MP3s using older versions of Audacity

In older versions of Audacity, you couldn't convert audio to MP3 without first installing an MP3 encoder add-on to your Mac or PC. This is because the encoding library was protected by a patent, and couldn't legally be included with Audacity.

The patent has expired, though, and the most current version of Audacity includes the MP3 encoder. If you have an older version of Audacity, you can install the LAME MP3 encoder , and then restart Audacity.

However, it's easier to just install the latest version of Audacity. If you do, not only will you get built-in MP3 exports, but you'll receive an improved version of Audacity as well.

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