Audacity: Saving and Exporting Projects

Saving and exporting projects


Now that you know how to create unique audio files, it is important to save the file in a format that you can open at a later point.  Audacity files are saved as projects by default, with the file extension .aup.  This means that Audacity is the only program that can open this file at a later time.  If you plan on finishing a file on the same computer, use the Save or Save as… options located in the File menu.  However, if you have a finished project and want to play it on another computer or mp3 player, you will need to export the file to a different format.


Audacity lets you export your file into three different formats- waveform audio (.wav), MPEG audio layer 3 (.mp3) and Vorbis / Ogg Vorbis (.ogg).  It is recommended that you export your project as a .wav file or .mp3 file.  These two common formats are compatible with Windows Media Player, QuickTime and WinAmp, which are three common multimedia players.  NOTE: to save a file as an .mp3, you need to download a LAME encoder.  LAME encoders are free downloads found on the Internet (with links on Audacity’s site) but Audacity does not want to package this file with the program to make sure that it does not infringe upon the rights of any patent holders.


Depending on the length of your recording, you may need to convert it to an .mp3 file.  A 60 second .mp3 file will be about 1 megabyte in size, while a .wav file the same length will be about 5 megabytes in size.  Another benefit to .mp3 files is that you can encode them- which means you can add the artist’s name, genre and other data about the file.


Activity: Try to export a file as a .wav and .mp3 file.  Click File / Export as WAV… and then File / Export as MP3….  Follow the prompts and save each file to your desktop.  If you have multiple tracks, you will get a warning message saying that your tracks will be compressed.  Click OK.  Then, attempt to open each file with Windows Media Player to see if it will work.



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