What is LAME?

Hey, there!

LAME, the MP3-exporting plugin for Audacity, enables software that doesn’t have built-in MP3 export capability (like Audacity) to spit out MP3 files. What does the acronym LAME stand for?

It actually stands for LAME Ain’t an MP3 Encoder – and for good reason.

It isn’t.

You need to make MP3s, and Audacity (and LAME) are free and open source. The company that created the MP3 format charges money for each of their MP3 encoders that get distributed. That collides with the concepts and requirements of open source software.

LAME is an open source, reverse engineered version of the actual, official Fraunhofer-Thomson MP3 encoder that the company licenses for money. A group of software geeks got together, and working backwards from a finished MP3, figured out the process (or their version of the process) that T-F created to encode MP3s. Reverse engineering of a technical process is recognized around the world as not being a violation of patents or copyrights.

Get LAME here.

(When you get there, scroll down the page you land on to get to the operating-specific downloads of LAME – lots of ads on that page!)

It’s as if a company figured out how to exactly duplicate the taste of Coca Cola, not by stealing the formula from Coke, but by working in a kitchen for days and months, trying different recipes until it discovered exactly the right combination of ingredients and how to create the soda itself, and then gave that recipe to any company that wanted to make that reverse-engineered product, for free.

And given the millions of auditions every year submitted using the LAME encoder, it’s clear that they got the recipe right. There’s no discernible difference between an MP3 file created with the Fraunhofer-Thomson encoder and one created with LAME.

So, you can safely add LAME to your sound recording software’s plugins and know that your MP3s will sound great, and without fear that Fraunhofer-Thomson will come knocking on your door someday, looking for a licensing fee.

Hope this helps.


9 Responses to 6 Steps to a Perfect VO Demo

  1. Kelli August 18, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    I feel really good about my demo. It is a quick and fun process, even for someone like me who gets very self concious. :)

  2. David Britz September 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    The demos are great. Superb quality. Why go anywhere else?

  3. David Britz October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    Can’t wait to record my Narration VO Demo!! :))

  4. Mike Brang December 31, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Having a well-produced demo is one of the most important things in the VO business. I had a number of demos made from other producers in the past and they all had one thing in common — that manufactured, cookie cutter sound!
    What sets David apart from the rest, besides his affordable price and tremendously fast turn around time, is that all of the clips you record with him sound unique. Each spot sounds like an actual commercial you recorded for a job.
    My agent loved the quality and even asked who produced it to refer his other talent there!

    Thanks again, David for producing such a great, high quality demo for me. You made the process relaxing and enjoyable. I urge anyone reading this unsolicited reply to listen to David’s student demos to hear the difference for yourself. Anyone would be lucky to work with him

  5. Kristy Liles February 9, 2017 at 7:04 pm #

    I can not thank you enough. I worked so hard on 15 page IVR project, one day I cryed, look for answers, pull my hear (not really) but I was about until another VO send me this great tool. Thanks!

  6. Frank June 11, 2017 at 9:51 pm #


    When v123 indicates the audition is for a student/ nonprofit are we to assume it is for $0. If so, why does the audition ask for an amount to be entered?

  7. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    I did get this scam through Voice 123. In our discourse, they offered me the gig and they gave me the name of a legit local place to record and the same runaround with the money. I didn’t send anything, but instead, I called the studio to make sure the booking was for the day we set up, and lo and behold, the people there had no idea what I was talking about. I then tried to call back my “contact person” who was setting this up and there was a fax machine beep on the other end. I immediately contacted Voice 123 and told them what had happened. You know what they say…if it sounds togaed to be true, it probably is. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. shirley jordan June 12, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    …too good…not togaed.
    The one time spell check didn’t work!

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