Category: Audio

Exporting to mp3 from Audacity on an Intel Mac

I upgraded to a shiny new Intel based MacBook Pro recently and I love it.

One problem that I hadn’t anticipated was that the Audacity plugin for exporting to mp3 is not available for the Intel Mac. I use Audacity all the time for editing my podcasts and for creating the mp3’s which I publish on PodLeaders.com and on the it@cork blog.

I kinda cheated in finding a way around this – I downloaded the Windows version of Audacity and installed it on my Windows XP installation on Parallels on my Mac. This version of Audacity can export to mp3 no problem.

So now, I am editing all my podcasts (and exporting to mp3) using Windows on the Mac – (yeuch!). I’ve no doubt there is a more straightforward way to do this but this is the hack I came up with being a blogger of very little brain!

Audacity aiff import problems

Audacity is an open source, cross-platform sound editing application. It is the sound editor I use for producing the PodLeaders and it@cork podcasts.

The process I use for producing the podcasts was:

  1. Record the interview using Skype and Wiretap Pro (with Wiretap Pro set to save as mp3)
  2. Import the mp3 file to Audacity and edit
  3. Export as mp3 and publish

After a recent conversation with Doug Kaye, I decided to try his Levelator application to get the levels on the recordings the same. This meant I had to change Wiretap Pro to output to aiff ( a lossless format) instead of mp3.

I did this and recorded a number of interviews successfully, saving the interviews as aiff. However, yesterday, when I went to edit the first of those interviews, I was disappointed that the Levelator couldn’t work with the files (gave an error and stopped trying to level them).

However, I was horrified when I tried importing the files into Audacity only to find that the imported files had massive echo problems, echo problems (!). No matter what I tried I couldn’t get rid of the echo and it made the audio useless.

Finally, I hit on a solution:

  1. Import the aiff files into iTunes
  2. Export from iTunes as mp3
  3. Import the mp3 file into Audacity – no echo (phew!)

I should have hit on this solution sooner but it had been a long day!