| or MPEG-1 Layer II, is a size-compressed, lossy audio format from which the popular MP3 (MPEG-1 Layer III) format was developed. MP3 came to predominate in computer and internet applications, as it required a lower bit rate (and hence smaller file size) than MP2 to achieve reasonable quality. However MP2 has greater error-resilience than MP3, and at higher bit rates (256 kbps and above) is often regarded as sounding better. For these reasons it is widely used in broadcasting, and includes a 384 kbps option not available in MP3.
MP2 support in Audacity
MP2 files can be imported into both current and legacy 1.2.6 versions of Audacity. In order to export MP2 files from Audacity you must use current Audacity. Only current Audacity or legacy 1.3.4 or later supports the highest 384 kbps export bit rate. In current Audacity bit rates can be chosen at time of exporting the file. Simply click, choose "MP2 Files" in the "Save as type" dropdown, and click the "Options" button.
- for Windows
- for OS X
- for Linux
Note: every time you export from Audacity as an MP2, MP3 or other lossy audio format, the encoding necessarily degrades some of the original audio quality. If you have an MP2 or MP3 file on which you want to perform simple edits (cut, copy, paste, join, fade or normalise), you may prefer an application that can edit MP2 or MP3 directly without having to decompress then re-encode. for Windows and for OS 8, 9 and X are two such applications. For more advanced edits, you must accept any perceptible quality loss from re-encoding your MP2/3 when you export.