Batch Processing iTunes Songs

“Apply Chains” will apply an effect to all my 2000 iTunes songs, but I have to store all songs from all albums in a single file to run the whole batch. Is there a way to get the processed songs back into the original albums in my iTunes library?? Thanks!!

There’s a better reason not to do that. Audacity doesn’t directly edit MP3 or AAC files. It imports them, works on them and then exports the music to a whole new file, effectively doubling the compression sound damage. MP3 isn’t “free.” It gets the small files by deleting portions of the performance too small to notice. If you do it twice, you may notice them.

You should use one of the pure MP3 editors, or use iTunes’s built-in Sound Check software to match levels.

iTunes > Preferences > Playback: [X] Sound Check > OK


Thank you for your prompt reply! It happens that I don’t have any MP3 songs in my library - only WAV and M4A. I have used the iTunes built-in “Sound Check” for a couple years now, but still find significant variations in the maximum sound levels in playback between songs. The Audacity NORMALIZE effect seems to solve the problem, but I didn’t want to take the time to run it individually on each of hundreds of albums.

WAV files are “free.” They’re uncompressed and you can work in them in Audacity with no trouble. Not so the M4A or AAC files. Those are going to go through the re-encoding step and pick up extra sound damage. I believe you can’t mix them in a Chain (batch process) because Chains can’t make production decisions—someone will correct me.

Last time I put WAV files on my iPod, I couldn’t help noticing that I only got about seven songs on there and it filled up. How did you get around that?


You can’t export to M4A or any formats requiring FFmpeg using Chains - it’s a serious feature lack. You can include M4A and WAV files to process, but they will all be exported as WAV or to whatever available format you choose as the export command in the Chain.

Another feature lack is that Audacity “Apply Chain to Files” can’t look anywhere inside the specified folder for the files, so the files have to be at the top level in that specified folder.

@Starnuke - please see the pink panel at the top of the page - what operating system are you using? If we know that we might be able to direct you to some other software.


Sorry - I am running Windows 7 on my iTunes computer.
My iPod has a capacity of 160 GB. My 2000 songs use about one half of the memory so I don’t mind exporting to WAV files. So I think the problem boils down to: is there a way to get the batch normalized song files easily back intothe original individual song albums?

Thanks again to all of you!

is there a way to get the batch normalized song files easily back intothe original individual song albums?

I think I’m pretty safe there.


It can’t make production decisions. IF the song came from Lady GaGa, THEN put the new song in HERE.

Also, I know it seems like a fantastic idea, but stepping on the old files with the new ones works until Something Goes Wrong and the system flushes both the new and the old song.

“Chains did Something Funny and I can’t find my original performance WAV files any more… Please help. They’re really important!”


Anyone have some suggestions for other software. I’m willing to purchase a product if it will actually keep my NORMALIZED songs sorted by album in iTunes.

Apple forums have anything?

I would try - it’s free as long as you don’t encode MP3’s. It has a good range of effects and I think it should preserve the folder structure when overwriting the files.


Back up your work!!