Like every other recording program, Audacity creates a project file that can be saved, closed and reopened in Audacity. Projects from one piece of software cannot be opened by another software program. Similarly, project files are not automatically completed audio files that can be played by a phone or device.
To create an audio file that can be listened to outside of Audacity, use the ‘Export’ function in the ‘File’ menu. Exporting can be done in various audio file types including .mp3, .wav, and .ogg.
mp3: Low quality audio resolution with a small file size. Universally accepted by all devices.
ogg: Slightly higher sound quality, along with the ability to store metadata about a track such as recording date, artist name, etc. Not universally recognized by all players or devices.
wav: Highest quality audio file with a much larger file size. More commonly recognized than .ogg.
For an overview on how to save your file to a track you can listen to outside of the software, watch the tutorial below.