Audio marking????

Preamble: I’m ancient. I’m not technically competent. Not incompetent, but my skills are limited to FMPro and Excel. Now I want to use Audacity to record audio books. I have a grandson on the spectrum (Autism). He’s pretty “high up” on the Autism scale. He has an unbelievable memory. But he does much better with aural learning. I intend to read and record his text books. (I’ve checked. These are not available already recorded.) I have a Samson G Track USB mic. My Mac OS is 10.13.6. My grandson also uses a MAC. Which one I don’t know, but I can guarantee it’s at least as new or newer than mine.

What I want to do is to save the recording in the best file format for him to use. I intend to put the recorded files on a thumb drive and give it to him. As I read his text books, I will identify the page number and paragraph. I intend to make each chapter a discrete file. Some chapters (archeology & paleontology) can be quite long. I’m wondering if there is someway to mark the audio sections, enabling him to find or fast forward to that location. Think of a Video DVD where you can fast forward to a particular section.

So, if this or something like it is possible, I would love to know. Also I’d appreciate suggestions as to saving the recordings in the best file format for him. You can post suggestions here and/or email me (Moderator note: email address removed for user SPAM protection).

Thank you.


For spoken word the MP3 file format will be more than adequate. Your grandson could import them into iTunes to play them.

Audacity has no provision to provide “chapter markers” within an audio file (similar to chapters on a DVD).

The easy solution is to provide a separate MP3 file for each chapter (or sub-chapter if you think the chapters are too long). Simply record and edit each chapter (or sub-chapter) then export as MP3, naming it appropriately. I recommend saving each chapter as an Audacity project (as well as exporting an MP3) in case you want to go back and correct something.

Since you’re new to Audacity, you may want to have a look at these sections of the Audacity manual.
Also the topics on the main page of the manual under Editing with Audacity.
Audacity supports punch-and-roll recording which may help you when correcting mistakes on the fly.
Have a look at the metadata editor - you can use it to provide title and chapter information that will be visible in iTunes.

– Bill


Thank you very much for the help and advice. Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. I off to follow your URL pointers and I will organize the recordings by separate chapters or sub-chapters. Thanks.




iTunes has the ability to create Playlists. Stacks of “song” titles which let you select and play any “song” at random and the system will play the rest of the Playlist in order.

BrainSurgeryForBeginners-C2-P5 <<

You can transfer a Playlist to your Personal Music Device and that will allow you to skip forward, select something, and automatically play everything else while you’re hiking.

That’s as close as I know of to Audio CD or DVD search/select/play format. The system pointedly does not force you to stick to alphabetic or numeric structures. Scramble or mix and match as needed.

I don’t think you can create a playlist for him…but that sound you hear is me sailing right off the end of my skill set.


And wearing my obsessive cap for a minute, you are going to run into a lot of the same problems that the audiobook people do. It’s good to have all your readings about the same loudness.

We publish an audiobook mastering suite of tools to force everything to come out the same. You’re lucky you don’t have to meet actual audiobook standards, so you won’t be soundproofing your third bedroom or anything. Simple reading is good.

That’s it. Three tools at those settings and all the Brain Surgery chapters should match.

You only have to choose settings once. The settings are sticky.