:: Audacity Tips & Tutorials -> Audacity Preference Settings
These preferences tips will ensure MP3 file quality. These screen shots are from the Mac version of Audacity; there is a slight difference in appearance in Windows and Unix.
You should set these preferences before you record or import your first audio file. Jump to:
- Audacity File Quality Preferences
- Audacity File Format Preferences
- Audacity Input-Output Preferences
- Audacity Keyboard Shortcuts Preferences
- Audacity Mouse Preferences
Audacity File Quality Preferences
Change The Default Sample Format: 16-bit creates a smaller file and is equivalent to audio CD quality.
Audacity File Format Preferences
- Change to Copy File On Import: With this setting, Audacity will always have its own copy of any audio you are using in a project. Otherwise, if you move, change or delete a file that you imported into Audacity, your project may become unusable. This does require more time to import the file, however.
- MP3 Export Set Up: If you have not imported the LAME library files needed to export as an MP3, this option will be grayed out. You can export your files as 16 bit WAV and convert using an online tool like Zamzar or an application like iTunes.
- MP3 Export Set Up: If you do have the LAME library, you can set the export bit rate (settings) from 16-320. Mid-level quality is 96-128; the larger the bit rate, the larger the file size. The latest version of Audacity has several options for MP3 preferences.
Audacity Input-Output Preferences
- If you are going to use Audacity to record interviews, leave the default channel at mono (not stereo).
- If your computer has multiple sound sources, such as Microphone and Line In, you will need to use the Mixer Toolbar to set the volume level of your audio device and to select the input source.
Audacity Keyboard Shortcuts Preferences
You can customize Audacity keyboard shortcuts. Be careful not to introduce a system conflict!