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How can I view the bitrate of a media file in Audacity? There are lots of instructions on how to change the bitrate of a file, but I can't find anything about finding the bitrate of the original file. I am able to open the file in iTunes, and see the bitrate there, but I figured that Audacity with all it's power would be able to show it to me without having to open another program.

Some background: I am already using Audacity to edit my audio file. Audacity by default chooses to export at 128kbps, and the file is usually significantly lower than that. I would like to export the audio at around the same bitrate. It would be nice if Audacity would choose the current bitrate as default, but since it doesn't, I would like to see the current bitrate from within Audacity.

  • Are you forced to use Audacity? If you make your question broader, you'll be surprised what else there is :) – slhck Jun 15 '12 at 22:10
  • @slhck: I'm using Audacity for some audio editing, and I'm pretty happy with it. I don't want to pay much money for another audio editor. I'm already in Audacity when editing, so I would rather not open another program just to see the bitrate if I don't have to. Maybe I'll add some of this background to the question. – Frank Henard Jun 15 '12 at 22:15
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    I just spent 10 minutes looking through Audacity's (v2.0) interface for a bitrate. I didn't find anything. Does Audacity decompress or convert audio when importing? If so, then I don't think information such as bitrate would not transfer over well. – iglvzx Jun 15 '12 at 22:49
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Once a file has been loaded into Audacity it's converted into the format used in the Audacity workspace.

When you open an MP3 you may notice the loading dialog actually says "Importing", so (depending on the input file) it's converted to something like a "Stereo, 44100Hz 32-bit float" 'track'.

At this point the file's bitrate is no longer involved, so there's nothing to show you.

When you Export the project to a media file (like an MP3), you will be given the option to set the bitrate of the file you are exporting the tracks as.

  • Is there any advantage of exporting to higher bit rate more than the original ?. – Talespin_Kit Dec 16 '16 at 21:03
  • No. Besides a uselessly larger file. @Talespin_Kit – Adam McArthur Jan 27 '17 at 11:51
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Just adding to Techie007's answer that in V2.1.2 there's a Project bitrate above the bottom status bar. That value should match the bit rate of the working file or the file sizes of ensuing exports won't match.

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If you're using a mac add the file to iTunes and then you can view the song info, on the File Tab if shows you the bit rate

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To save with the bitrate of the original file do the following:

Check the file size of the original file before Audacity, then save with Audacity using a few different bitrates. The one that is close to the original size is the original bitrate.

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