Recording with Audacity (for Mac OS X)
Among other things, Audacity allows you to record your voice in .mp3 file format using a
microphone connected to a computer. You can then upload the files to the Digital Drop Box in
Blackboard for your course section.
1. Start Audacity. The Audacity window opens.
2. The first time you record, do the following. Otherwise, skip to step 4.
From the Audacity menu, select Preferences. The Audacity Preferences window opens.
Verify or change the following settings:
• On the Audio I/O tab, under Recording, from the Channels list, select 2
• On the Quality tab, from the Default Sample Rate, select 44100 Hz.
• On the File Formats tab, under MP3 Export Setup, from the Bit Rate list, select
3. Click OK. The Audacity Preferences window closes.
4. When you are ready to begin recording, click Record.
Note: To pause recording, click Pause. To resume recording, click Pause again.
(Clicking Stop ends the recording and creates a file.)
5. When you are finished recording, click Stop.
Note: To listen to the recording, click Play.
Exporting the file
1. From the File menu, select Export As MP3…. The Save window opens.
2. In the Save As box, type a name for the file (retain the .mp3 extension) and click Save.
The Edit the ID3 tags for the MP3 file window opens.
3. Optional: Enter information as desired.
4. Click OK. The file is exported.
Note: If you click Cancel your file will not be saved properly. It will appear in the
location you selected, but the file size will be 0 KB.
1. From the Audacity menu, select Quit Audacity. The Save changes? window appears.
2. Click No; since you exported the file, there is no need to save.
Copy files to AFS
In case you need to access your Audacity files from somewhere other than the computer on which
you created them, copy them into your AFSDocs folder.
About file size
The size of your .mp3 files will largely depend on the duration of the recording. Bit rate also
affects file size. By default, the bit rate on the language lab computers is set to 96. Blackboard has
a file size limit of 5 MB. If a file is larger than 5 MB, you will not be able to upload it to
Blackboard. If you need to adjust the bit rate to shrink your file size, do the following:
1. From the Audacity menu, select Preferences.
2. Select the File Formats tab.
3. In the MP3 Export Setup area, select the desired Bit Rate. Lower bit rates provide smaller
file sizes and poorer sound quality. Higher bit rates provide larger file sizes and better
The table below shows the lengths of a recording using various bit rates within a recommended
range, all of which result in a file size of approximately 5 MB. If you need to record a longer
speech sample and upload it to Blackboard, adjust the bit rate accordingly. Alternatively, you may
separate the recording into sections and save each section as a separate file.
Bit Rate Length of Recording File Size
64 10 minutes 50 seconds 4.96 MB
80 8 minutes 40 seconds 4.96 MB
96 7 minutes 10 seconds 4.92 MB
112 6 minutes 10 seconds 4.94 MB