Apply Chain used to run but not now

Audacity 1.3.14 beta (operating from a .dmg downloaded in 2011)
Mac OSX 10.4 with all Apple updates, running on Mac G4 machine.

I knew that to use Apply Chain I must have an Audacity window open. The window must be empty, otherwise it tells me to save and close the current project first. I have been doing this successfully on this machine for more than 10 months. I made no changes to machine, operating system or to Audacity.

Now, a new problem with Apply Chain. “Message: You must select a track first”. But the window is empty, so I can’t do that. When I create a track and select it, I get the original problem - it tells me to save and close the current project first.

Thank you

What does your chain do? What is its job?

Please note that the current version is 2.0.0: .

That is normal for all operating systems. Audacity windows are always separate projects, even if not explicitly saved as projects. So you cannot apply chains to files while audio data exists in the window.

We can add your vote that it should open multiple .aup files for Chain processing. You can open a single .aup file and then apply a chain to it by using File > Apply Chain… then “Apply to Current Project”.

As you know, the project window must be empty before you can apply chains to files.

I don’t know why you are seeing that message, but I suggest Audacity > Quit Audacity, then launch Audacity from its icon in your “Applications” folder or from the Dock.


Koz asks:
What does your chain do? What is its job?

The chain is: 1. Normalize 2. Export Ogg 3. End

I have been using this chain on files digitized from LP and tape recordings. Number of files in a chain has been up to about 20 at a time. With the present problem, Apply Chain does not work with even a single file at a time.


Gale Andrews wrote:
Please note that the current version is 2.0.0:

I saw mention of v 2.0.0 on the Audacity web site, but trying to download it I got directed to a place that offered just the 1.3.14 download, so I put off looking for 2.0.0. Today I used the above link and installed v 2.0.0 (but keeping my existing Preferences files, etc). I am pleased to say that Apply Chain works in v 2.0.0 as it previously did in v 1.3.14 before I ran into trouble. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Overall, Audacity is a great application, and thanks again for your quick response to my problem.


I suspect that was a problem with your web browser and/or the web site which means you would see old content until you refreshed the page.

Good. If you are launching Audacity afresh you should always have an empty project window so you should not see the error you mentioned when you choose File > Apply Chain… .

Since I am not aware of anything we fixed relevant to this, I would try Audacity > Quit Audacity if it happens again, or
if that doesn’t work, quit Audacity then reset the audacity.cfg settings file thus ( ).


This issue had me confused. I had opened a bunch of .wav files to batch convert to .mp3, and I got this error.

I eventually figured out I should -not- load the files into Audacity, but rather just access the “apply chain” from an empty Audacity window. This is not very intuitve, and the error message doesn’t explain how things work clearly enough.

Chains may be used for processing external files or for processing tracks in the current project.
See here in the manual for more information:

Which error? It is correct that if you apply the Chain to files you will be asked to save and close the project.

If you see an error that you should select a track first, I think that is a bug.

I slightly agree but the point is that the Apply to Files routine is unattended.

Personally I don’t think it unreasonable to allow an Export Multiple command in a Chain applied to the project, but such a command would not work in a Chain applied to files, so adding that command does actually introduce more complexity.