Sending your work to others

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If you are working with other users, can you send your multi-track Project to them so they can contribute to it? Can you send an audio message with some music and email it to a relative? Or what if you want to open your Project on another of your own computers running a different operating system?

Sending Projects to others

It's quite possible to send an Audacity Project to another person or open it on another computer of your own, so that the Project can be opened in another copy of Audacity with all the tracks, label and envelope information in situ.

In practice, the problem with sending a project to someone else is its size. At Audacity's default 32-bit float sample format / 44,100 Hz sample rate using lossless uncompressed audio, stereo Projects take 20 MB of space per minute, which rules out sending projects by email. You may wish to send the project in a compressed .zip archive. Free Windows tools to create .zip archives include 7-Zip or IZArc. Free Mac tools include Keka or Apple's built-in compression utility. Zip compression is lossless, so does not reduce the space on disk very much.

To send your project, first close it (saving changes) so that Audacity can discard the surplus data which allows undo and redo of edits while projects are open. This way, only the audio for the current state of the project is included.

Then use a zip application like those above to place the AUP3 file inside a zip file. Then find a suitable free Internet file transfer service to send your zip file. Recommendable services include the following. Check the limitations for free accounts on size and number of uploads, maximum permitted number of downloads, and length of time files are stored for.

Do not forget old-fashioned solutions too if your Internet connection is slow, you can always copy your project to a USB thumb drive then send it by postal mail.

Sending an exported audio file

You can also send an exported audio file from your Project to the other user. Only Project\xe2\x80\x93specific information such as label and envelope data will be lost by exporting instead of saving a project.

To export your Project as an audio file, choose the File > Export Audio command. Choices:

  • Exporting as a WAV or AIFF file creates a file with no loss of audio quality, but this takes 10 MB of disk space per minute for CD quality (44,100 Hz, 16-bit stereo).
  • Exporting from Audacity as FLAC provides lossless compression and reliably reduces file size by about 40% compared to WAV or AIFF.
  • Exporting as an OGG or MP3 greatly reduces the size of the exported file, at the expense of some quality loss.
    • OGG tends to have slightly higher quality than MP3 for the same file size, but not all software players can accept OGG, and most websites hosting audio files expect MP3.
    • Audacity's default MP3 export bit rate of 128 kbps gives very reasonable sound quality for about 1 MB of space per minute. To compress the MP3 to a still smaller file (at the cost of further quality loss), choose "MP3 Files" in the Export File window, press the Options button then reduce the bit rate in the "Quality" dropdown.

      For example, a 64 kbps MP3 would take up 0.5 MB (500 kb) per minute, because 64 kbps is half the default bit rate of 128 kbps.

For all formats except MP3, you can reduce the exported file size further by reducing its sample rate. Do this by changing the Project Sample Rate in Audio Settings Preferences. Reducing the Project Sample Rate below 44,100 Hz is only recommended for speech.

Sending files by email

You should always attach your audio file to the email message. Some email clients can embed the audio inside HTML email messages so that the recipient hears the audio on opening the email without having to open an attachment. However whether the recipient will hear the audio depends on the recipient having an HTML email client (or having HTML enabled without any security restrictions in place). Many email users disable HTML email due to its perceived security risk.

Sending files greater than 5 MB by email is usually out of the question due to server bandwidth and storage restrictions. Some webmail services do allow larger messages to be sent. For example, Gmail allows sending messages up to 25 MB, but this still depends on the recipient's email service accepting large attachments (Gmail now accepts incoming attachments up to 50 MB). The best solution is often to use a web-based transfer service like WeTransfer or DropBox , or burn the exported audio file to an audio CD and send it by postal mail.

If you want to burn to an audio CD you need to export 44,100 Hz, 16-bit stereo WAV or AIFF files, and tell your burning software to burn an "audio" or "music" CD. For instructions on how to do this, see How to burn CDs. Audio CDs will retain the full quality of the original track in Audacity, can contain 74 \xe2\x80\x93 80 minutes of music and can be played in computers and on any standalone CD player (and some standalone DVD players).

Exporting from multi-track projects

If you have multiple tracks in your Project, Audacity by default will mix these down to a single mono or stereo track when exporting to an audio file. To export separate tracks you can:

The recipient can then shift-select and multiple import each file into separate tracks of an empty Audacity Project.

Alternatively, current Audacity can export the individual tracks in a Project as one multi-channel audio file. So if you had a Project with six mono or left/right tracks, it could be exported as a one six-channel audio file, and any user of Audacity 1.2 or later can open that file and see the channels displayed as individual tracks.

To use multi-channel export, go to Import/Export Preferences and enable "Use custom mix".