Audacity is the best audio recording and editing software, with unlimited possibilities. In this article, we will see which audio file formats we can export. And, how we can export them into Audacity. There are some options available that let us export files. We can use ‘Export Audio’ or ‘Export selected Audio’ option. Or, we can use the ‘Export Multiple’ option to export more than one audio file simultaneously.
Uncompressed audio formats
Every uncompressed audio clip is in the form of binary numbers. Common formats for uncompressed audios are AIFF and WAF. Therefore, you do not need to worry about the quality loss if you use uncompressed audio files. Other compressed audio formats also include 4-bit DPCM, U-law or A-law. Luckily, Audacity supports all these formats.
AIFF signed 16-bit PCM is useful if you need to burn the exported audio files into audio CDs. WAV 16-bit PCM is also used for the same task of burning the audio exported files to CDs. 24-bit PCMs always provide better quality as compared to the 16-bit ones. However, there is a drawback of memory. 24-bit occupies more space than 16-bit.
If you consider quality terms, 32-bit is the best out of all. But, 32-bit, as expected, occupies a large amount of space (about twice the memory occupied by the 16-bit PCMs). Then, why is 32-bit used at all? Because, 32-bit is the most useful PCM for the backup of finished projects and audio files.
For every audio file format, there is a limit to the file size. For example, WAF and AIFF can accommodate a maximum of 4 GB of audio files. There are some limits to the memory for 16-bit, 24 and 32-bit also, which are more common in terms of possible time duration.
Compressed audio formats
Compressed formats generate files that are smaller than the uncompressed ones. Let us see different compressed formats available.
MP3 files are undoubtedly smaller than the AIFF and WAV formats. But, there is something that needs to be considered before you make a choice based on size property. MP3 files have a lower quality than the other two formats listed above. You can only export to MP3 if you download the ‘LAME encoder first’.
OggVorbis: This compressed format offers a better quality of exported files than MP3, occupying the same amount of memory. In short, this offers better quality in less space. MP2 and MP3 are almost similar in terms of the quality of the exported files, but occupy even more space than MP3.
FFmpeg audio formats
These formats are only operational if you install the FFmpeg library. There are four potential compressed formats. These are:
M4A files are compressible audio file formats, which occupy low space and have m4a, mp4, and 3gp as its possible extensions. Microsoft has developed WMA audio file format and offers different possible extensions for example: .asf and .wmv. AC3 and AMR are the other possible formats supported by Audacity.
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