Do multiple sequential exports of mp3's degrade sound quality?

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Do multiple sequential exports of mp3's degrade sound quality?

Wade Cottingham
Hello!  

My question is sort of about SAVE versus EXPORT.

If I take an mp3 file recorded at 320 and open
it in Audacity, and edit it,
say snipping a few seconds off the end of the file,
and then export it at 320, and then
repeat the process...... open the file I just exported,
and snip a few seconds off the end, and
export it at 320 ..... repeat the process several times.

If I repeat this process 10 times, is the tenth
export of a lower quality than the original file?

I'm trying to understand if each cycle of opening,
editing, and exporting a file results in degradation like analog tape bounces
would ..... or does Audacity preserve the exact
digital file when exporting (minus the parts I chopped off).

For the type of editing I've described, a SAVE function
would make more sense to me, but SAVE doesn't
give me the edited mp3 file, the best I can tell.
It seems that the only way to get an edited file
in Audacity is to export.

If this question makes sense, an answer would help
me, so thank you in advance !!

Wade Cottingham
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Re: Do multiple sequential exports of mp3's degrade sound quality?

Stevethefiddle
"Save" creates an "Audacity Project" and not an audio file. See here for more information: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/index.php?title=File_Management_Tips

When you open or Import an MP3 file, Audacity decodes it so that it can edit the uncompressed data. If you then Export it as an MP3, the will be some amount of sound quality lost. Sound quality degredation will occur each time that you re-encode the data.

To avoid these incremental losses, Export you audio in an uncompressed format such as WAV.