FAQ:Installation and Plug-Ins

De Audacity Manual

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What should I do if I have problems downloading or installing Audacity?

If you can't download Audacity, or if the downloaded setup file is corrupt, try downloading it from our alternate servers. If you receive a corrupted file once, it's a very good idea to clear the download list or cache in your web browser or download manager before downloading again.

You may see the error Application configuration incorrect when launching Audacity after installation. This mainly affects some Windows XP or 2000 machines. This can be fixed by downloading and installing the appropriate Microsoft "Redistributable Package" as follows: Be sure to get the correct package according to whether you have 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. To check, right-click over My Computer and choose Properties. If 64-bit is not mentioned, you have 32-bit.

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What should I do if I get errors building Audacity?

Audacity provides ready-built installer programs for Windows and Mac, but Audacity can also be built from source code on any platform. With a little knowledge, building is a great way to customize Audacity! For help, please see the Wiki documentation for Windows, Mac and Linux.

If you still cannot build Audacity, please ask on the Compiling Audacity board on the Forum.

  • Please tell us whether you are building from a release tarball or Audacity HEAD.
  • On Windows, please give all the instances of "ERROR" in the Visual Studio output window (including Linker errors).
  • For Mac and Linux, please provide the last lines of the configure or make output that fail.
    • For Linux, also tell us which distribution and release you are using (for example, Ubuntu 11.10 or Fedora 16).

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Windows: How do I install Audacity, and do I have to uninstall a previous version first?

Save: On the download page, left-click the "installer" link to save it to your computer. Check the browser preferences if necessary to find out where your downloads are saved. Alternatively, right-click over the link, "Save Target As" or "Save Link As" and choose the location to save the file to. Then double-click the downloaded .exe file to start the installer. You must be an administrator on the computer to do this, or follow the prompts to confirm your permission to install.

Run: Using Internet Explorer and a few other browsers, you can left-click the "installer" link and select an option to "Run" the file. This launches the Audacity setup immediately. Note: Some security programs will query or block installers running from the computer's temporary space.

Updating a previous installation: If you install a new Audacity version after installing a previous one, the installer will offer to install to the same directory as the previous installation. If the previous installation was Audacity 1.2 or 2.x, the installation directory is normally Program Files\Audacity (or Program Files(x86)\Audacity on 64-bit Windows). As long as you don't change the installation directory, Audacity will install over the previous 1.2 or 2.x version, and any extra plug-ins you added to the "Plug-Ins" folder will still be available.

If the previous version was 1.3.x, please uninstall 1.3 before installing the current 2.x version. After uninstalling 1.3, any extra plug-ins you added to that version will remain, and you can move them to the "Plug-Ins" folder of the new installation.

Updating optional libraries: If upgrading from Audacity 1.3.6 or earlier, you must update to the latest LAME MP3 encoding library. Otherwise there is no need to upgrade LAME or FFmpeg unless this is indicated in the Release Notes for the new version of Audacity.

If you prefer not to use the installer (or security restrictions prevent installing programs), choose the link for the "zip" file instead. Then on Windows XP or later, right-click the downloaded file and choose the option to extract the contents. You can also use 7-Zip or other extraction utilities.

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Windows: How do I uninstall Audacity?

Audacity can be uninstalled by choosing "Add/Remove Programs" or "Uninstall a program" in the Windows Control Panel. Select "Audacity" from the list and follow the instructions which will launch the Audacity uninstall program. Make sure you quit Audacity before uninstalling, or you will receive errors that some files could not be removed.

If the Control Panel cannot uninstall Audacity, open the folder in which you installed Audacity and double-click "unins000.exe" (this file might have other numbers in the name). This requires "unins000.dat" (or similar) to be present in the installation folder.

If you still cannot uninstall Audacity, download the installer again. Install Audacity to the same location you installed it to before (which happens by default). This will replace the uninstall files with good copies, then you can run the uninstaller again.

Uninstallation leaves your Audacity settings intact, in case you want to install Audacity again at some time in the future. If you want to remove your settings as well, delete Audacity's folder for application data whose location is given here.

See also: How do I reset my Audacity settings?

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How do I reset my Audacity settings?

Uninstalling Audacity does not automatically repair or reset your settings in Audacity Preferences. If you are trying to fix a problem with Audacity, take one of the following actions.

  • Quit Audacity and reset Preferences using the audacity.cfg settings file. There is then no need to uninstall and re-install.
  • Alternatively, Windows users may run the installer and in the "Select Additional Tasks" screen, put a check in the "Reset Preferences" box. Complete the installation. On launching Audacity, a dialog will appear where you can confirm if you want to reset preferences just this once, or not.

See also: Windows: How do I uninstall Audacity?

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How do I download and install the LAME MP3 encoder?

Because of software patents, we cannot distribute MP3 encoding software ourselves. Follow these instructions to use the free LAME encoder to export MP3 files with Audacity.

Windows

  1. Go to the download page
     Left-click this link, do not right-click.
  2. Directly underneath "For FFMpeg/LAME on Windows", left-click the link Lame v3.99.3 for Windows.exe and save the file anywhere on your computer.
  3. Double-click "Lame v3.99.3 for Windows.exe" to launch it (you can safely ignore any warnings that the "publisher could not be verified").
  4. Follow the Setup instructions to install LAME for Audacity, making sure not to change the offered installation location of "C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity" (or "C:\Program Files (x86)\Lame for Audacity" on a 64-bit version of Windows).

You should now be able to export MP3s without any further configuration, choosing File > Export... then selecting "MP3 Files" in the File Export Dialog.

Troubleshooting

Occasionally, there may be a conflict where Audacity still tries to detect the path to an older lame_enc.dll file. To correct this:

  1. Ensure there are no older versions of lame_enc.dll in any locations where Audacity detects it, namely:
    • C:\Program Files\Lame for Audacity or C:\Program Files (x86)\Lame for Audacity (this is where the installer puts the new .dll)
    • the Audacity installation folder (usually C:\Program Files\Audacity or C:\Program Files (x86)\Audacity), or in the Plug-Ins folder inside that.
  2. Exit Audacity and navigate to the audacity.cfg preferences file at:
    • Windows 2000/XP: Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Audacity\audacity.cfg
    • Windows Vista/7: Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Audacity\audacity.cfg.
  3. Open audacity.cfg in a text editor such as Notepad, and delete the two lines starting with:
    • [MP3]
      MP3LibPath=
  4. Save the changes to audacity.cfg and restart Audacity
In order to see audacity.cfg, you may need to set the operating system to show hidden files and folders. See instructions for Windows 7 and Windows versions before 7.
Warning icon Merely exiting Audacity and deleting audacity.cfg will not prevent current Audacity from looking for lame_enc.dll in the path used by legacy 1.2 versions of Audacity. It is thus always best to use the above four steps, which will still allow legacy 1.2 to find lame_enc.dll if required.


Mac OS X

On OS X 10.6 or later, Administrative (and occasionally, root) permissions may be needed on some machines to read the LAME library the installer places in /usr/local/lib/audacity.

In case of difficulty, please download the zip version "Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.zip" from "Alternative zip download for Lame 3.98.2" below and follow the instructions.

  • Installer
  1. Go to the LAME download page.
  2. Download Lame Library v3.98.2 for Audacity on OSX.dmg.
  3. When you have finished downloading, double-click the .dmg to mount it, then go to the Finder (in Safari, the "Lame Library v3.98.2 for Audacity" virtual disk image will be extracted and mounted automatically after downloading).
  4. Double-click "Lame Library v3.98.2 for Audacity.pkg"; the standard OS X Installer will start
  5. Click through the steps in the Installer, accepting the defaults in all cases; this will install the LAME binary "libmp3lame.dylib" in /usr/local/lib/audacity.
  6. Audacity should detect LAME automatically when you export as MP3. If Audacity cannot find LAME:
    1. Click Audacity > Preferences then choose "Libraries" on the left.
    2. Click "Locate..." under "MP3 Export Library", then "Browse..." in the "Locate Lame" dialog.
    3. The "Where is libmp3lame.dylib?" window will open at /usr/local/lib/audacity; select "libmp3lame.dylib", click "Open" then "OK" and "OK".
  • Alternative zip download for Lame 3.98.2
  1. Download http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar/Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.zip.
  2. Extract the contents of the zip to a folder called "Lame_Library_v3.98.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX" anywhere you have full permissions (such as your Desktop).
  3. Click Audacity > Preferences then choose "Libraries" on the left.
  4. Click "Locate..." under "MP3 Export Library", then "Browse..." in the "Locate Lame" dialog.
  5. Navigate to and open the folder you extracted the zip to, select "libmp3lame.dylib", click "Open" then "OK" and "OK".

This is a good solution if Audacity does not recognize or work correctly with libmp3lame.dylib when installed to /usr/local/lib/audacity.

You should now be able to export MP3s without any further configuration, choosing File > Export... then selecting "MP3 Files" in the File Export Dialog.

In case of difficulty, or if you have an older version of Audacity, please view our detailed instructions on the Audacity Wiki.

Linux/Unix

Some Linux distributions (for example, Ubuntu) now package Audacity with MP3 encoding and FFmpeg support already linked dynamically to the relevant system libraries. In these packaged builds there is no need to locate LAME or FFmpeg, so Audacity will have no "Libraries" Preferences.
  • Users compiling Audacity from source code can similarly remove the "Libraries" Preferences by configuring Audacity with --disable-dynamic-loading then build Audacity linked to both system LAME and FFmpeg. Otherwise, users building Audacity from source must locate a compatible build of LAME in the "Libraries" Preferences as below.

Most distributions have some sort of package manager that fetches software packages from the Internet and installs them for you. Open that package manager, search for LAME, and install it if it is not already installed.

Installing LAME on Ubuntu 11.10 and later

In Ubuntu 11.10 and later the default package manager is the "Ubuntu Software Center". It is often most convenient to install the "Ubuntu Restricted Extras" as this includes LAME, FFmpeg and other useful media encoding/decoding tools.

If you wish to install only the LAME package required for MP3 export, search for LAME in the Ubuntu Software Center and install it.

Installing LAME on other Debian-based systems

The following are detailed instructions for installing LAME using the Synaptic package manager on recent Debian-based systems and in Ubuntu 11.04 and earlier.

  1. Open Synaptic:
    • In GNOME (the default desktop environment for many Debian-based systems), access Synaptic by clicking System > Administration
    • In KDE there will be a similar menu accessible from the bottom-left of the screen
  2. Enter the root password when asked for it.
  3. In the Synaptic window, choose "Settings", then “Repositories”
  4. In the "distribution Software" tab, check the box for "non free" (on Ubuntu based systems this is called "multiverse"), then hit the Close button.
  5. Back in the main Synaptic Window, type “lame” in the "Quick search" box.
  6. The search results will show the packages “lame” and “libmp3lame0” at the top of the list; mark both for installation by double-clicking.
  7. Click "Apply", and on “OK” for any warnings; the LAME software will automatically download and install.
  8. Right-click over the entry for "libmp3lame0" > Properties
  9. On the "Installed Files" tab, note the location of "libmp3lame.so.0", probably at /usr/lib/libmp3lame.so.0
  10. Close all the Synaptic windows

Locating LAME

  1. Open Audacity, click Edit > Preferences then on "Libraries" in the list on the left
  2. In "MP3 Export Library" check if a LAME version number displays to right of "MP3 Library Version". If so, LAME has been detected and you should now be able to export MP3 and skip the remainder of these instructions. If the MP3 Library is stated as "not found":
    1. Click the "Locate...” button
    2. In the "Locate Lame" dialog that appears, click "Browse"
    3. In the "Where is libmp3lame.so.0?" dialog, navigate to the location you noted in step 9, select "libmp3lame.so.0", click "Open", then "OK" and "OK" to exit Preferences

If your distribution does not have a LAME package, please view these instructions on the Audacity Wiki.

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How do I download and install the FFmpeg Import/Export Library?

The optional FFmpeg library allows Audacity to import and export a much larger range of audio formats including AC3, AMR(NB), M4A, MP4 and WMA and also audio from most video files.

Warning icon

FFmpeg 0.6.2 for Windows and Mac listed below should be used with the latest version of Audacity from http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/.

Windows

  1. Go to the download page
     Left-click this link, do not right-click.
  2. Look for "For FFMpeg/LAME on Windows", then a few lines under that, left-click the link FFmpeg_v0.6.2_for_Audacity_on_Windows.exe and save the file anywhere on your computer.
  3. Double-click "FFmpeg_v0.6.2_for_Audacity_on_Windows.exe" to launch the installer (you can safely ignore any warnings that the "publisher could not be verified").
  4. Read the License and click Next, Next and Install to install the required files to "C:\Program Files\FFmpeg for Audacity" (or "C:\Program Files (x86)\FFmpeg for Audacity" on a 64-bit version of Windows).
  5. Restart Audacity if it was running when you installed FFmpeg.
  6. If you have problems with Audacity detecting FFmpeg, follow the steps to manually locate FFmpeg.
  • Alternative zip download for FFmpeg 0.6.2 - extract the contents to a folder called "FFmpeg_v0.6.2_for_Audacity_on_Windows" anywhere on your computer, then follow the instructions below to locate avformat-52.dll using the Libraries Preferences.

Mac OS X

On OS X 10.6 or later, Administrative (and occasionally, root) permissions may be needed on some machines to read the FFmpeg library the installer places in /usr/local/lib/audacity.

In case of difficulty, please download the zip version "FFmpeg_v0.6.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.zip" from "Alternative zip download for FFmpeg 0.6.2" below and follow the instructions.

  • Installer:
  1. Go to the LAME download page
  2. Download FFmpeg (0.6.2 OSX 10.4+ DMG)
  3. When you have finished downloading, double-click the .dmg to mount it, then go to the Finder (in Safari, the "FFmpeg Libraries for Audacity" virtual disk image will be extracted and mounted automatically after downloading).
  4. Double-click "FFmpeg Libraries for Audacity.pkg" to launch the standard OS X Installer.
  5. Click through the steps in the Installer, accepting the defaults in all cases; this will install the FFmpeg libraries in /usr/local/lib/audacity
  6. Restart Audacity if it was running when you installed FFmpeg
  7. If you have problems with Audacity detecting FFmpeg, follow the steps to manually locate FFmpeg.
  • Alternative zip download for FFmpeg 0.6.2
  1. Download http://lame1.buanzo.com.ar/FFmpeg_v0.6.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX.zip
  2. Extract the contents to a folder called "FFmpeg_v0.6.2_for_Audacity_on_OSX" anywhere you have full permissions (such as your Desktop) then follow the instructions below to locate libavformat-52.dylib using the Libraries Preferences. This is a good solution if Audacity does not recognize or work correctly with libavformat-52.dylib when installed to /usr/local/lib/audacity.
  • You can also build Audacity from SVN and link to a system copy of FFmpeg built from source, using these instructions.

Linux/Unix

Some Linux distributions (for example, Ubuntu) now package Audacity with MP3 encoding and FFmpeg support already linked dynamically to the relevant system libraries. In these packaged builds there is no need to locate LAME or FFmpeg, so Audacity will have no "Libraries" Preferences.
  • Users compiling Audacity from source code can similarly remove the "Libraries" Preferences by configuring Audacity with --disable-dynamic-loading then build Audacity linked to both system LAME and FFmpeg. Otherwise, users building Audacity from source must locate a compatible build of FFmpeg in the "Libraries" Preferences as below.

You may download (or build) a suitable FFmpeg library for your own purposes. To build, obtain the source code from the FFmpeg project. If you download a pre-built library, this might be either a "shared" or "static" build. A static build consists of a single libavformat library, whereas a shared build has at least three libraries (libavformat, libavcodec and libavutil). It is recommended to use a shared build, but Audacity will also work with a static build.

If you compile Audacity from source code, it will link to the installed FFmpeg headers, which should always be compatible with an installed FFmpeg binary.

Warning icon FFmpeg version information: Audacity should support building against FFmpeg 0.5 through 0.8. It may not currently be possible to build Audacity against later versions of FFmpeg.

Locating the FFmpeg library manually

If you installed FFmpeg while Audacity was running, or if you installed FFmpeg to a non-default location, Audacity will ask you to configure Preferences to locate the FFmpeg library. To do this, access Preferences then the "Libraries" tab on the left:

FFmpeg Locate... and Download... buttons

As seen in the image above, the "FFmpeg Library Version" will say "not found". To correct this:

  1. Click the "Locate..." button to right of "FFmpeg Library".
  2. If a "Success" message indicates Audacity has now automatically detected the library and asks if you want to detect them manually, click "No", then OK to close Preferences.
  3. If the "Locate FFmpeg" dialog appears, click "Browse...".
  4. Navigate to the avformat library, and select it. It may have different names, such as "avformat-52.dll" on Windows, "libavformat-52.dylib" on Mac or "libavformat.so.52" on Linux.
  5. Click "Open" then "OK", and "OK" again to close Preferences.

"FFmpeg Library Version" should now show a number. If not, you may have installed the wrong libraries. Click the "Download..." button to obtain the correct library for your operating system. You can also choose Help > Show Log... to see diagnostic information about FFmpeg detection.


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Why do I receive an error when I export to an FFmpeg format?

If you receive a "cannot find audio codec" error when exporting to an FFmpeg format, the FFmpeg library you are linking to does not support this codec. To export to this format, you will need a build of the FFmpeg library that supports this codec.

Distributable libraries will not include support for AMR WB (wide band), due to licensing issues. Exporting to AMR WB will return the error "FFmpeg cannot find audio codec 0x 12001". To obtain AMR WB export support, you could build FFmpeg yourself from source and enable the relevant library in the configure step.

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How do I install VST plug-ins?

Audacity supports almost all VST effect plug-ins and should scan automatically for these when run for the first time. VST instrument (VSTi) plug-ins are not currently supported.

To install new VST effects, place them in the “Plug-ins” folder inside the Audacity installation folder. On Windows, this is usually under Program Files (or Program Files (x86) on 64-bit Windows); on Mac OS X, it is usually in the "Applications" folder. VST effects will also be found if they are added to (or already exist in) various system locations. To display the newly added plug-ins:

  1. Go to the Effects Preferences
  2. Under "VST Effects", put a check mark in "Rescan VST effects next time Audacity is started"
  3. Exit Audacity and launch it again.

There is no need to add the VST Enabler which was required by previous versions of Audacity.

See also: Why do some VST plug-ins not work or display incorrectly?

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Why do some VST plug-ins not work or display incorrectly?

Audacity will by default display VST effect plug-ins with a full graphical interface where the plug-in supplies this. Any plug-in that requires to be left open while processing audio will not work correctly. VST instrument (VSTi) plug-ins are not currently supported.

If any plug-in displays incorrectly, you can uncheck "Display VST effects in graphical mode" in the Effects Preferences to display a simpler tabular interface for the plug-in (this also affects all other plug-ins).

If you experience a problem with a specific VST effect plug-in in Audacity, please contact us.

See also: How do I install VST plug-ins?

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How do I install plug-ins on Linux?

Individual Nyquist and LADPSA plug-ins can be installed by putting the plug-ins into the Audacity Plug-ins folder:

  • /usr/share/audacity/plug-ins if Audacity was installed from a repository package
  • /usr/local/share/audacity/plug-ins if you compiled Audacity from source code.

These locations are usually set as read-only, so the plug-ins will need to be copied as root (for example, by issuing an appropriate root command in the terminal, or by using the terminal to open a file manager application with root permissions). Note that updating the repository package of Audacity may remove plug-ins that are not part of the package.

Alternatively you can create a folder called .audacity-files in your home directory, create a sub-folder called plug-ins then put your plug-ins into that. (Note: the dot in the name .audacity-files indicates that it is a hidden folder). This folder is then accessible without root permissions and will not be modified by installing a new Audacity package.

Many LADSPA plug-in packages are available in the repositories of most major Linux distributions. If Audacity is installed from a repository package it should automatically find plug-ins in their installed location of /usr/lib/ladpsa, but Audacity compiled from source may not find LADSPA plug-ins there.

If necessary you can set an environment variable to indicate to Audacity where LADSPA plug-ins are installed. For Debian-based distributions this can be done by entering the following code at the command prompt (change <user> to your account user name):

  export LADSPA_PATH=$LADSPA_PATH:/home/<user>/.ladspa:/usr/local/lib/ladspa:/usr/lib/ladspa

If you wish this path to be set each time you boot, the LADSPA_PATH environment variable may be added to ~/.profile or this file may be added if it does not exist. An example of how to add the LADSPA_PATH environment variable:

  LADSPA_PATH=$LADSPA_PATH:/home/<user>/.ladspa:/usr/local/lib/ladspa:/usr/lib/ladspa
  export LADSPA_PATH

For OpenSuse 64, LADSPA plug-ins may be found in /usr/lib64/ladspa. This path can be set by adding the following line to your /etc/environment file:

  LADSPA_PATH=/usr/lib64/ladspa

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