Using MP3 files

  • Live versions: All
  • Operating System: All

Importing MP3 Files

MP3 files can be imported into Live. You can drag and drop the files from Live's Browser as well as directly from Explorer(Win)/Finder(Mac). Once an MP3 is dropped into a track, Live decodes it and writes the result to a temporary, uncompressed sample file.

Exporting MP3 files

MP3 files can be exported in Live using the Export Audio/Video command.


Note that LAME, iTunes/Quicktime, and WMP Codecs all add varying amounts of padding to the MP3 file's header, therefore, it is expected that MP3 files exported from Live and re-imported to Live will have audible padding present in the audio clip. Read more from LAME here

MP3 Conversion tool recommendations (Live 1-9)

MP3 Export is not possible in Live 1-9. However there are many free tools to convert a WAV or AIFF file into an MP3.

  • On MacOS we recommend iTunes. A tutorial about how to convert audio files into MP3 with iTunes can be found in the Apple knowledge base. iTunes is available for Windows as well.
  • Another good tool on Mac is Max (not to be confused with Cycling '74's Max/MSP).
  • LAME is an MP3 encoding resource, used by many freeware programs, a good example of which is LAME Front End, which provides many easy-to-use encoding options.
  • Audacity is also available for both platforms, but you'll need to follow some instructions to get it to export files as MP3 first.

Issues importing or working with MP3 in Live

Some issues which can occur when importing or working with MP3 files in Live are detailed in this article: Issues importing compressed audio files to Live.

Ableton offers these in-depth help and learning resources: