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5 quick ways to record MP3 audio on Mac [Full Guide]

Mac has built-in audio recording tools like QuickTime and Voice Memos to help you record MP3 files. There are also some 3rd-party apps that can record MP3 on Mac with clicks.

Jasmin Woods Updated on Mar 2, 2023 3:27 PM

What to know for MP3 record on Mac:

  • Recording MP3 on Mac can help you take quick notes to remember many important details.
  • Your Mac comes with several audio recording apps, such as QuickTime Player and Voice Memos, which allows you to record MP3 files on your Mac with simple clicks.
  • Apps like GarageBand and Audacity have the ability to record, mix, and edit multiple audio tracks, and export recordings as MP3 files on your Mac.
  • For easier audio recordings, the AppGeeker Screen Recorder offers options to record MP3 from your Mac audio, microphone or both. You can decide the audio quality and make edits.

The QuickTime, Voice Memos, and other efficient audio recorders can make MP3 recordings on Mac easily.

MP3 is one of the most popular formats of audio files. It's widely used in the world of digital audio, and is compatible with a wide range of software and devices, including Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows and more platforms.

You can easily record MP3 files on Mac to note and save some important details. Whether you want to record music ideas, or record your Mac audio in MP3 format, there are quite a few ways to create MP3 recordings on a Mac. You can use the built-in application and microphone on macOS, or apply some efficient third-party tools to record audio input and output as MP3 files on your Mac.

Regardless of which method you pick, you'll need to use an available microphone on your Mac to record MP3 audio files. You can use the default microphone that comes pre-installed on macOS, or enable an external USB microphone connected to your Mac.

How to record MP3 on Mac with QuickTime Player

If you want to make an audio-only recording, the pre-installed app QuickTime Player on Mac is capable enough to get the job done. However, if you're looking for some more advanced MP3 recorders, try the recording apps like AppGeeker Screen Recorder and GarageBand.

Built into all macOS computer, QuickTime Player is not just a media player, but also a recording application that allows you to make basic video and audio recordings on your Mac. It enables you to record MP3 audio through a microphone and lets you make simple editing. You can trim the MP3 audio file, split it into clips, merge and rearrange the sound clips, and share the MP3 recording file whenever you need.

Also see: How to Record Screen and Audio with QuickTime Player

Now, follow the simple steps below to create a new MP3 recording on your Mac with clicks:

Step 1. Open the QuickTime Player app on your Mac, and go to File > New Audio Recording at the top. You can run the QuickTime Player from the Application folder or the Launchpad.

Use QuickTime Player to create new MP3 audio recordings on Mac.

Step 2. Click the drop-down arrow to access the Options menu, and adjust the recording settings.

Select an available microphone on Mac to record audio files.

From the option list, select a microphone you'd like to use and choose the recording quality for the MP3 audio file. Note that the audio recording in maximum-quality will take up much storage space.

Step 3. Drag the speaker slider to control the recording volume.

Step 4. Hit the red Record button in the middle to start audio recording.

The QuickTime Player will capture all sounds coming through the selected microphone. You can pause and resume the recording by option-clicking the Record button while recording.

Step 5. When you're done, click the Stop square button to end recording.

Step 6. On the upper-left corner, select File > Save to save the new audio recording.

Play and save the new audio recording on Mac.

By default, the file will be saved in M4A format. You can play and convert the audio recording into MP3 format using the Music app on macOS.

How to save audio recording as MP3 on Mac?

  • Open the audio recording with Music app, and navigate to File > Settings.
  • Select Files, and check the Import Settings box.
  • Change the Import Using option to MP3 Encoder, and click on OK.
  • Now, select the recording in Music app, and go to File > Convert > Create MP3 Version.
  • Find the new MP3 version just created in Music Library, and locate it to a new location.

This way, you can save all your audio recordings as MP3 files on your Mac.

How to record MP3 audio on Mac using Voice Memos

Another quick and easy way to make MP3 audio recordings is to use the pre-installed Voice Memos application on your Mac. With this native recording tool, you can easily record your voice, music, meetings, and sound tracks on Mac with a few clicks. Additionally, you are able to listen to the MP3 recordings in Voice Memos on any of your Apple devices under the same Apple ID.

Note: The MP3 audio can be recorded on your Mac with either the built-in microphone or a connected external one, so make sure that your microphone is working properly, or the MP3 recording process won't happen on your Mac.

1. Simply launch the Voice Memos app on macOS.

2. Click the red Record button when you're ready, and speak into your microphone. To produce a clear MP3 audio file, don't get too close to your mic.

Click the Record button to start an audio recording in Voice Memos.

3. Hit the Pause / Resume option button to pause and continue the recording when you want.

You can pause and resume recording when you need, or click on Done to stop MP3 capture.

4. When you need to end recording, check the Done option on the bottom right corner.

Once done, you can play, trim and edit the recording, and save it on your Mac. Also, if you'd like to use the audio as an MP3 file, you may need to convert the recording into MP3 format first. Or, you can add the recording to Music app, and create an MP3 version of it by heading to File > Convert.

Read Also: How to Record Video and Audio on Mac

Record MP3 from Mac audio & microphone via Screen Recorder

The preloaded audio recording tools on Mac like QuickTime Player and Voice Memos allow you to record the external sound only. But if you want to record your Mac audio as MP3 file in high quality, you can't go wrong with the AppGeeker Screen Recorder.

It is made for screen capture but can also be used for audio recording. It's a convenient recorder especially when you have to record an MP3 file on your Mac as soon as possible.

This feature-rich tool is capable of recording MP3 files from your Mac sound and microphone audio separately or simultaneously. Even better, you can configure every aspect of the recording before you start, including recording source, format, audio quality, volume, and recording length. Not only for MP3 files, it also supports many other popular audio and video formats, ensuring that your recordings can be accessible on different platforms and devices.

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

Step 1: Open the Screen Recorder on Mac and enter Audio Recorder mode.

Choose Audio Recorder mode to create new MP3 audio files on Mac.

Step 2: Select audio sources to record and configure the audio settings.

  • Turn on the System sound to capture the audio coming from your Mac.
  • Switch on Microphone option to record external audio like meetings, music, calls and more.

Enable source sound(s) and adjust the output format and audio quality in Recording Settings.

  • Click the Output icon at the top, select MP3 from Audio format. You can also choose other supported formats if you want.
  • Decide the Audio Quality. It allows you to record MP3 audio in lossless quality.
  • Adjust other settings of the MP3 audio file you're going to record.

Manage the format and quality for the new audio recording.

Step 3: Click the REC button to begin MP3 recording on Mac.

The recording status bar will let you know the recording length and file size. You can pause and resume the MP3 recording anytime you want.

View the recording status on the floating bar on the screen.

Step 4: Hit the red Stop square and save the MP3 audio file.

Listen to the MP3 recording and save it on your Mac computer.

As soon as you stop recording, the preview window pops up automatically, allowing you to play the MP3 file and make edits. You can clip and edit the recording according to your needs. To save the MP3 recording on your Mac, simply check the Save button in the lower-right corner. You can also re-record the MP3 audio if necessary.

Record MP3 on Mac with GarageBand app

Being a fully equipped music creation software, GarageBand is one of the best recording studio apps for Mac, iPhone and iPad. It is more than just an audio recording app. It is a complete music creating platform that allows you to record, mix and edit multiple sound tracks, and release and share your music worldwide.

With a host of helpful audio mastering features, GarageBand lets you record MP3 files on your Mac without effort. You can easily add MP3 tracks or start MP3 recordings on your Mac anytime. Simply use your microphone to capture your voice, instrument performance, and anything else you wish to record as an MP3 audio file.

1. Run GarageBand on your Mac. You can search and open it from the Launchpad.

2. Click Empty Project to add a new recording project, and expand Details below to handle other professional recording settings.

Create an empty project to record an MP3 on Mac.

3. Click the Choose button to create a new MP3 recording project.

4. Click the add + icon from the top left, you'll be asked to choose a track type for the recording.

You can select a recording source from software instrument, microphone input, a connected guitar or bass to your Mac, and more.

Choose a track type and select an input device before recording.

5. Check the Input option to select an input microphone from the list, and hit the Create button.

6. Hit the top Record button in red circle or press R key to start MP3 audio recording. You can now start talking, singing, or playing your instrument.

Hit the Record circle button to start recording MP3 audio.

7. When everything is done, hit the square Stop button to end the MP3 file. You can hit the green Play button to check your recording.

8. To save the track as an MP3 file on Mac, go to Share > Export Song to Disk at the top menu.

Make sure you check the MP3 option in the pop-up box. Then rename the file and hit Export to save the MP3 audio recording on Mac.

Export the recording result in MP3 format and save it on Mac.

The only downside to GarageBand on Mac is the complicated recording interface, which can be a bit confusing for beginners.

Create MP3 recording on Mac with Audacity

The last audio recorder available for MP3 recording on macOS is the open-source application Audacity. This program enables you to record an MP3 on Mac using an internal or external microphone, and allows for multi-track editing. It's pretty easy to use. You can simply use your Mac as an MP3 recorder and make new sound tracks.

Related: How to Use Audacity to Record Audio on Mac

First, install and open Audacity app on your Mac.

In the middle of the top, check Audio Setup and select a microphone from Recording Devices.

You can view Audio Setup option and the recording control panel at the top of the screen.

Click Tracks at the top menu bar, and choose Add New to create a new empty track.

To start recording, simply press the R button or click the Record button with red circle in the upper-left section of the window.

Use the control panel while recording the MP3 in Audacity.

Talk to your microphone or make any sounds you want to record as MP3. You will see the sound waves moving on the screen.

When you're done with recording, hit the Stop button with a black square.

The last step is to export the audio recording as an MP3 file. Access File > Export > Export as MP3 from the menu bar at the top, and you will get a new MP3 recording on your Mac.

Export the recording file as MP3 on Mac.


1. How to create an MP3 audio file on Mac?

Both QuickTime Player and Voice Memos allow you to record audio files on Mac. They usually save the audio recordings in M4A format. Luckily, you can easily turn the audio into MP3 files with the help of the Music app.

  • Open the Music app on your Mac, and drag and drop the audio recording into Music Library.
  • Go to File > Settings at the top, then select Files > Import Settings.
  • Select MP3 Encoder and confirm with OK button.
  • Click on the audio file in Music list, and go to File > Convert.
  • Select Create MP3 Version, and the recording will be converted to MP3 file on your Mac.

2. Can QuickTime Player record MP3 audio?

Unfortunately, the QuickTime Player usually records audio as an M4A file. If you want to record MP3 on your Mac without converting, the recording apps like AppGeeker Screen Recorder and Audacity can help you get the job done with simple steps.

3. How to record audio on Mac?

Open the QuickTime Player on Mac, and choose File > New Audio Recording at the top menu.

Click on the arrow, and select a source microphone from Options drop-down menu.

Hit the red circle Record button to start audio recording.

When you want to stop, click the Stop button to exit recording mode.

Save the new audio file on your Mac by navigating to File > Save.

Rename the file and give it a new location.

4. How to record MP3 from Mac audio?

Use the AppGeeker Screen Recorder on your Mac, you can record MP3 from either your Mac system sound or microphone input. Here's how:

  • Run Screen Recorder on your Mac, and choose Audio Recorder option.
  • Enable System Sound / Microphone. You can turn on them both.
  • Check the gear icon at the top, and in the Output section, select MP3 from Audio format.
  • Back to the recording panel, click REC button to start MP3 audio recording.
  • When you're done, hit the square Stop button to end recording.
  • Listen to the MP3 file, and save it on your Mac.

This way, you can record any sound on your Mac and save it as an MP3 file or export it in other formats you want.

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

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