You may have noticed that the default installation of Audacity doesn’t have built-in support for MP3s due to licensing issues. Here’s how to add it in yourself for free really easily in few simple steps.
Photo by bobcat rock
Step 1: Download and Install the LAME MP3 Encoder
Head over to the LAME Download page and scroll down to where you see “For Audacity on Windows”.
Left click on the link to download the .exe file, and install it as you would any other piece of software.
On Mac OS X
Head over to the LAME Download page and scroll down to where you see “For Audacity 1.3.3 or later on Mac OS X”.
Left click on the link to download the .dmg file, and install it as you would any other piece of software.
Linux users can just download the “lame” and “libmp3lame0” libraries quickly and easily. Ubuntu users can open up a terminal and just pop in the following command:
sudo apt-get install lame libmp3lame0
Be sure to have multiverse repositories enabled!
Step 2: Point Audacity in the Right Direction
If you followed the instructions above to install LAME then Audacity should see it without a problem the next time you start it up. However, if you installed LAME differently for various reasons, then you can show Audacity where to find it.
Open up Audacity’s Preferences and click on the Libraries tab.
Click on the “Locate…” button.
Hit “Browse” and navigate to wherever your LAME encoder library happens to be, and click OK. If you’re using Ubuntu, you’ll see something more like this:
You only need to do this once, and Audacity will remember this location in the future for all of your mp3-editing goodness!