LAME is an encoder that converts audio to the MP3 file format. LAME is a free software project that has had many improvements since it was first released in 1998, including an improved psychoacoustic model. Lame is widely recommended as an MP3 encoder, because it performs well in codec listening tests. The LAME encoder outperforms early encoders like L3enc.
LAME is required by some programs (e.g., Audacity) to create MP3 files. LAME is required as an add-on for many Open Source audio programs because the MP3 format is encumbered by software patents. Having these patented procedures (which require licensing in some countries) moved to a separate program allows Open Source programmers to avoid having to worry about those copyright issues....LESS