Some sites like last.fm will not allow you to upload a wav file , and since ableton will not export directly to a .mp3 file there is a need for a converter.
I downloaded a trial of 'Advanced MP3 Conversion' which allows you to convert five files for free. Before I purchase the full software , I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for better converters?
If you have trouble getting the FFmpeg to work with Audacity, you could download LAME Front End which I think comes with LAME MP3 Encoder (as the backend). It gives you full control over MP3 settings and comes with presets too. it's freeware. Also foobar2000 audio media player comes with conversion commands so you can do FLAC or MP3 or OGG or OPUS or AAC or whatnot. Useful if you get sick of MP3's limitations and upload to soundcloud or whatnot.
I know you found your answer, but I want to post this for anyone else who's looking for the quickest way to convert audio. Pazera Free Audio Extractor does whatever you want with literally one click. I use it for WAV to mp3, and I personally think it's better than audacity because there's no rendering or whatever involved, and this one works very quickly (way faster than iTunes would).
Yup, that's what I do a lot. Maybe there's some more efficient methods that my hole in the ground hasn't allowed me to see, but iTunes is pretty effective, haha :p. That, and iTunes does have the pretty high-quality AAC format, so it's great for conversion without losing quality. Of course, they're mp4 files soooo
I use this "MediaHuman Audio Converter" and think it was free. Fast, few clicks, any format.
But today I noticed that it comes out as joint stereo [on 320kbps .mp3], and could not find to change that in preferences.
I think i try Audacity too
If you get an MP3 front end, then you can usually disable the joint stereo MP3 encoding setting which collapses certain bass frequencies to mono and often makes the music sound crappier. Set it to stereo or even dual mono instead of joint stereo and you're in business. Also, you can set it to 320 CBR and disable copyright bits and all the other stuff that uses up quality bits.
But really, these days most portable players can play at least ONE format that's an improvement upon MP3 whether it's FLAC or MP4/AAC or ALAC or whatnot.