I just read that mp3 importing is supported in Ardour for OSX. If I would try to haxx my Ardour to play mp3, where would I begin?
It is supported in OS X because that functionality is provided by the OS, provides a level of protection for Ardour. We utilize CoreAudio on OS X, since that is provided by the OS we can do so and maintain compatibility with the GPL that Ardour is licensed under, and since Apple paid the licensing fee for the technology specifically for CoreAudio, it isn’t an issue there.
As I mentioned, the issue is far from technical, it is merely legal. A simple grep of the code for loading audio would give you more than a few pointers most likely, though it has been some time since i looked at it. I will say do not expect any patch enabling MP3 to be at all supported or accepted by the Ardour development team however due to the legal issues, that is all on you.
PS As of right now any file you import is converted to the ‘native’ format as specified in your options, not really saving a lot of space, and if all you are looking to do is basic editing, no mixing or processing, Ardour may not be the best tool for this job tbh. Something akin to MP3DirectCut might be better for what you want to do.