I want to be able to record band practices and then quickly create mp3s and send them out. Fidelity doesn't matter so much, right now I'm using garage band, creating an m4a from garage band and then using ITunes to convert that file to mp3. The last step is emailing out the mp3s (or uploading them to ftp server).

Is there any software that can help me reduce the number of steps I'm taking ?

  • What's wrong with m4a's?
    – Matthew Read
    Jan 3, 2011 at 22:31
  • 1
    Yeah good question Matthew, I guess nothing. But to most people if you say m4a, they say, "whats that ?". Mp3s people understand. Not that it matters too much.
    – c3rin
    Jan 4, 2011 at 1:46

4 Answers 4


If you like GarageBand, then consider upgrading to the latest version. GarageBand added the MP3 codec in version 4 (the current version, version 6, is bundled with iLife '11).

  1. Select the "Export Song to Disk..." entry in the Share menu.
  2. In the export dialog, pick "Compress using: MP3 Encoder".
  • With the new Mac App Store that launched 1/6/2011, GarageBand '11 (aka version 6.0) can be purchased as an individual app. The Mac App Store requires an update to Mac OS X 10.6.6.
    – Kim Burgaard
    Jan 7, 2011 at 21:04

Audacity is a nice open source audio editor that can record, edit and export to mp3.


If reducing your steps is what you're after, have you considered a hardware approach? Something like a Zoom H1 will record a decent stereo image if left in the middle of a rehearsal space and it'll save the data as MP3 right from the outset. All you have to do is download it from the device, upload it to your server. Doesn't really get much more point-and-shoot than that in the audio world. There's a whole slew of these pocket stereo recorders out on the market now, so you've got a lot of choice.


Have you tried automating some of the steps with Automator?

  • I've never had luck with Automator. Maybe I need to do some research into that. Know any sites that good for learning Automator?
    – c3rin
    Jan 7, 2011 at 18:13
  • I've had some success with it just messing around and recording scripts, but haven't used it with GarageBand. Apple's apps seem to be better supported though so I'd expect basic things to work. I've been able to get what I need using Apple's docs before but there are probably good sites or books out there. I think it was kind of intended to help with graphic/video/audio production workflows.
    – Nathan
    Jan 7, 2011 at 18:23

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